Clinical Cancer Research, a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, recently released the results of a study from Japan, in which researchers examined the potential of establishing a tumor marker to aid in screening for early diagnosis of mesothelioma.
The study was based on the fact that because mesothelioma initially progresses on the surface of the pleura and peritoneum without forming masses, it has been difficult to diagnose at an early stage, so it would be useful to identify a tumor marker that would help in identifying it.
Researchers had previously identified N-ERC/mesothelin as a potential biomarker for mesothelioma. The recent study used a newly developed ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) system to gather data in clinical trials.
The report states that 102 healthy volunteers were recruited for the study, as well 39 patients diagnosed with mesothelioma, 53 patients diagnosed with diseases that should be distinguished from mesothelioma, and 201 subjects diagnosed with asbestos-related nonmalignant diseases.
The findings show that N-ERC/mesothelin is a “very promising tumor marker for mesothelioma, especially epithelioid mesothelioma.” Serum N-ERC/mesothelin levels showed that the median values from patients with mesothelioma were extremely high compared with levels from other patients.
Researchers participating in the study represented Juntendo University School of Medicine, National Organization Tokyo Hospital, Fukujuji Hospital, Hirano Kameido Himawari Clinic, Immuno-Biological Laboratories Co., Ltd., Hyogo Prefectural Tsukaguchi Hospital, Yokosuka Kyosai Hospital, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, and Tohoku University Hospital.