NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
Part 3: Testing for mesothelioma
An Abrams needle biopsy is like a core biopsy. However,
it may or may not use CT. An Abrams needle limits the
amount of air that enters tissue during a pleural biopsy.
An open biopsy requires a large surgical cut into the chest.
General anesthesia, a controlled loss of wakefulness from
drugs, is used. This cut allows the surgeon to see into
your chest without any tools. Samples are collected with a
surgical knife. For this biopsy, you will have to stay in the
For a thoracoscopic biopsy, also called a VATS (
urgery) biopsy, a small cut into
your chest is needed. General anesthesia is used. Next,
a thoracoscope is inserted through the cut. A thoracoscope
is a thin, tube-shaped instrument that has a light and camera
for viewing as well as a tool to remove a sample. This
surgery may cause some pain and swelling and will leave
a small scar.
SMRP blood test
Mesothelin-related peptides are made when protein in the
mesothelium breaks down. Mesothelium is a single layer
of cells that makes lubricating fluid. These breakdown
products are found in blood (serum). People with
mesothelioma often have high levels of SMRP. This test
requires a sample of blood to be drawn from a vein in
your arm. The sample is then sent to the lab to be tested.