In a recent study, researchers looked at GATA3 as a potential way to determine mesothelioma type. They also wanted to determine if the biomarker could provide information about prognosis.
Researchers did find a correlation between GATA3 and survival in women vs. men. Women who tested positive for GATA3 survived 15 months longer than men with the biomarker.
How Do Biomarkers Predict Survival?
Researchers can study the relationship between certain biomarkers and survival to identify correlations. Clinical studies typically involve a large group of patients with similar diagnoses. Researchers will compare study results across all patients to arrive at final conclusions.
Why Do Mesothelioma Biomarkers Matter?
Biomarkers can improve early detection, aid diagnosis and help physicians determine prognosis. In some cases, they can even help identify a history of asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma researchers continue to discover new biomarkers and improved uses for them.
GATA3 Biomarker Study Details
GATA3 (GATA Binding Protein 3) is a protein involved with cell behavior and cancer development. Australian researchers conducted a study to determine:
- If GATA3 could help differentiate mesothelioma type
- If GATA3 could help determine prognosis or life expectancy
This study included 149 patients with pleural mesothelioma. All patients had histology samples (biopsy tissue) on file. A biopsy is the only definitive way to diagnose mesothelioma and determine cell type.
By the conclusion of the study, researchers determined:
- GATA3 was present in all mesothelioma types (biphasic, sarcomatoid and epithelioid). It could therefore not be used to determine cell type.
- GATA3 by itself does not provide adequate information about prognosis or life expectancy.
Survival for GATA3-Positive Men and Women
Researchers identified a noteworthy difference in survival between men and women with GATA3.
Women with tumors that tested positive for GATA3 had significantly better survival than men who also tested positive.
Women had a median survival of 24 months. Men had a median survival of 9 months. In other words, GATA3-positive women survived 15 months longer than men, on average.
The Future of Biomarkers for Mesothelioma Research
Biomarkers continue to show promise in helping mesothelioma researchers understand the rare cancer. Aside from aiding in early detection, biomarkers could help identify differences between men and women, as with GATA3.
Researchers have identified women are typically diagnosed earlier, experience better treatment results and have longer life expectancies than men.
Identifying these kinds of correlations may help improve diagnostic tools, treatment methods and survival estimates for mesothelioma patients.