A group of independent scientists, physicians, and researchers known as The International Mesothelioma Interest Group have determined that using both positive and negative markers of immunohistochemical panels can help assist with diagnosing Mesothelioma. These panels allow for the differentiation of Mesothelioma from other forms of cancer. In most cases, the prognosis for Mesothelioma is not good. In part, this is due to the fact that the disease is difficult to diagnose due to its location and the fact that it presents like many other cancers.
Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive cancer that attacks the mesothelium. In many cases, the disease begins in the tissue around the lungs. However, it has also been known to start in the lining of the heart or intestines. Immunohistochemical panels can be helpful because they can pinpoint the organ where the cancer is located. This in combination with other diagnostic measures, can help pathologists diagnose Mesothelioma earlier, before it metastasizes. Diagnosing the condition before it begins to spread will allow for early treatment, which can help slow the disease in the early stages.
The International Mesothelioma Interest Group has developed a list of guidelines to help streamline the diagnostic process and help ensure earlier diagnosis for patients around the globe. The list of guidelines, which were developed using their own research in conjunction with private research, text books, and peer-reviewed publications, will help pathologists distinguish Mesothelioma tumors to make an early and adequate diagnosis.
The guidelines will help pathologists distinguish between malignant and benign Mesothelioma tumors, and peritoneal and pleural Mesothelioma. They will also help determine key histologic features, specific characteristics of sarcomatoid mesothelioma, and molecular chemical markers.
Considering that early diagnosis could potentially help treat Mesothelioma in an earlier stage, the benefits of these guidelines could be life altering for many patients. Pathologists and researchers have been focusing on diagnosing and treating Mesothelioma in all stages. However, treating the disease in the first or second stage will benefit the patient immensely, as compared to treating it in stage four, after it has metastasized.
On average, people diagnosed with Mesothelioma live between 12 and 18 months from the date of diagnosis. This is largely due to the fact that the disease gets easier to diagnose as it spreads throughout the body. Unfortunately for the patients, as it gets easier to diagnose it gets much harder to treat. The goal of the new diagnostic guidelines for Mesothelioma is to turn this around. The International Mesothelioma Interest Group hopes that these guidelines will allow for earlier diagnosis, more effective treatment, and much better prognosis and outcomes for patients suffering from this disease.