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16

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, Version 1.2016

2

Testing for mesothelioma

Review

Thoracoscopic biopsy

For a thoracoscopic biopsy, also called a VATS

(

v

ideo-

a

ssisted

t

horacoscopic

s

urgery) biopsy,

a small cut into your chest is needed. 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 tissue sample. A thoracoscopic biopsy

is done while you are under general anesthesia. 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. These

breakdown products are found in blood. People

with mesothelioma often have high levels of SMRP

(

s

oluble

m

esothelin-

r

elated

p

eptide). This test

requires a sample of blood to be drawn from a vein

in your arm. The blood sample is then sent to the

lab to be tested. This test cannot be used alone to

diagnose mesothelioma; a biopsy is required.

Review

†

†

Pleural effusion is the buildup of extra fuid

between the two layers of tissue lining the

lungs.

†

†

Pleural thickening is widespread scarring of the

tissue around the lungs.

†

†

It is recommended that you get tested for

mesothelioma if you have had pleural effusion

more than once, have pleural thickening, or

both.

†

†

Samples of pleural fluid and tissue must be

removed from your body and tested to confirm

if you have mesothelioma.

†

†

Imaging tests, like a CT scan, can show where

tumors are located.