Mesothelioma Blood Test-Mesomark Test

The reason for high death rates among mesothelioma patients is the aggressive nature of the disease and the inability to diagnose it until it is well advanced. Because mesothelioma symptoms do not show up until about 40-50 years after exposure to asbestos, most cases at the time of diagnosis have already reached Stage III or IV. As a result, mesothelioma treatment options are often more palliative than curative.

However, the ability to diagnose the disease at an earlier time would certainly result in a better prognosis for mesothelioma patients. That ability is now present in the form of a mesothelioma blood test known as Mesomark. Developed by Fujirebio Diagnostics Inc. of Malvern, Pennsylvania, a leader in the field of oncology testing, the test measures the amount of a particular biomarker in human serum.

The test was first released in Australia in March 2005 and distribution expanded to Europe just a few months later. Food and Drug Administration approval for the blood test was received nearly two years later in January 2007.

Testing for Mesothelioma

Mesomark is an easily performed blood test that uses an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to measure the amount of Soluble Mesothelin-Related Peptides (SMRP) in human serum. SMRP is a biomarker that is produced by mesothelioma cells, and this biomarker may be elevated in the serum of patients who have mesothelioma. The detection of the biomarker through a blood test can help attain an early diagnosis, resulting in more treatment options and a better prognosis for patients.

Mesomark is what is referred to as an in-vitro test. In this test, the blood that is drawn from the patient is sent to a laboratory to measure the level of SMRP. This is performed by using monoclonal antibodies that are known to specifically bind to SMRP. Measuring the amount of bound antibodies in the blood indicates the amount of SMRP, and certain levels indicate the presence of mesothelioma. In addition to detecting the presence of mesothelioma in yet-to-be-diagnosed patients, the Mesomark blood test may also be used to monitor the success of treatments in patients who have already been diagnosed with the disease.

These tests will also help determine the next course of treatment.

The Mesomark blood test has NOT yet been approved for the early diagnosis of mesothelioma.

This test has been approved as a Humanitarian Use Device (HUD), meaning that physicians must follow certain procedures to qualify their patients for testing. Once the physician is certified, informational brochures will be sent to be distributed to each applicable patient.

Those wishing to take part in Mesomark testing will be asked to provide one or more samples of blood. The blood samples will then be sent to a national reference laboratory for testing. In conjunction with other clinical and laboratory data obtained by your doctor, decisions regarding your treatment and care may be simplified. You may discontinue testing at any time.

The costs associated with the Mesomark blood test may not be covered under health insurance, therefore, you may be required to pay all or part of the costs out of pocket. It is recommended that you check with your insurance carrier to determine whether coverage is available under your policy.

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