How Calretinin Used to Detect Mesothelioma?
Calretinin: There must be some way to detect mesothelioma. One of the ways to do that is by using Calretinin which happens to be a selective marker. It's basically a calcium-binding protein originally found in neurons (brain cells).
Calretinin is used by pathologists to use it as a marker in the diagnosis of mesothelioma. Along with that various researches are using it for an effective cancer therapy.
It's the duty of a pathologist to use various immunohistochemistry to detect different forms of cancer and other medical conditions.
They have to study different cell types before coming to any conclusion. In doing so, Calretinin has proved quite effective in detecting all the major sub types of mesothelioma except for the sarcomatoid cell types.
With the continued use of Calretinin, scientists and researchers are trying to make it use for an effective future treatment.
What Is Calretinin?
Calretinin is a binding protein used in calcium signaling. It plays a vital role to detect how cells work. Calretinin gets encoded by CALB2 gene in the normal course of event.
As we just mentioned above, Calretinin is expressed naturally in certain neurons of the nervous system. It's also found in some other specialized cells like Leydig cells that are known to produce testosterone in men.
This protein is also expressed in several other loations like hair follicles. Due to its presence at so many places in the body along with its ability to bind with CALB2 gene, it has become a great biomarker for detecting conditions like malignant mesothelioma and Hirschsprung disease.
Using Calretinin to Diagnose Mesothelioma
Calretinin is basically a protein. In normal cases, antibodies re produced against the protein to detect foreign cells involving certain conditions like malignant mesothelioma.
Doctors use this protein to separate epithelioid and biphasic mesothelioma cell types. These are the 2 most common cell types of cancer. At the same time, this protein is also used to distinguish mesothelioma from adenocarcinoma.
Pathologists simply stain a cancer tissue sample taken. They stain it using calretinin antibody. In most mesothelioma cases, a calretinin stain tests positive.
Unlike some well known biomarkers, calretinin can't be used to detect detecting sarcomatoid cells. It's because sarcomatoid mesothelioma is the rarest type of condition and most difficult to treat. As per a study, close to 31% of sarcomatoid cases test positive for this protein.
There is yet another immunohistochemical marker known as podoplanin to detect the chances of sarcomatoid mesothelioma.
Differentiating Mesothelioma from Other Cancers
Calretinin was first employed by pathologists to differentiate both epithelioid and biphasic mesothelioma from adenocarcinoma. Please note that Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of cancer that forms in colon, esophagus, prostate and lungs.
calretinin is used quite differently in testing various cancer cell types like mesothelial cells and adenocarcinoma cells. Due to this, it plays a vital role to prevent preventing mesothelioma misdiagnosis.
Calretinin as a Potential Target for Mesothelioma Treatment
According to a study conducted in the year 2013, researchers first elaborated Calretinin functions in the development of tumor. They detected the depletion of Calretinin in mice due to the presence of mesothelioma cell death within 72 hours and blocked cell growth.
Since Calretinin produced such overwhelming results, it makes it a potential target for mesothelioma gene therapy.
This is what the authors of the study wrote, “These results demonstrate that down regulation of CR [calretinin] had a strong effect on the viability of MM [malignant mesothelioma] cells,” they wrote.