Serum-Based Detection Tools for Mesothelioma Being Developed

Serum-Based Detection Tools for Mesothelioma Being Developed Thumb


Ostroff, et al conducted a series of clinical studies to attempt to develop a non-invasive test for early detection of malignant mesothelioma.  The researchers recognized that because the diagnosis of mesothelioma is a difficult diagnosis to make and the disease is rare, patients do not present for diagnosis or treatment until there are few treatment options left.  Diagnosis is made more difficult because pleural fluid or tissue is required, and obtaining such tissue or fluid requires invasive measures.  Further, screening exposes the patient to high doses of radiation, is costly, and is often largely ineffective until the disease has progressed to a critical stage. 

The researchers used Slow Off-rate Modified Aptamers (SOMAmersTM) to quantify proteins in biologic samples obtained from the study participants.  The researchers were seeking to determine whether serum-based biomarkers could be used to detect malignant mesothelioma in an asbestos-exposed at-risk population.  A total of 259 serem samples were analyzed, and the samples were obtained from patients already diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma as well as patients were were determined to be high-risk controls, most of whom had documented asbestos exposure.  A 13-biomarker panel was discovered and validated with a 92% accuracy of detecting malignant mesothelioma. 

The data suggest that the markers discovered have the potential to improve surveillance of malignant mesothelioma, which would foster early detection, more effective treatment, and potentially prolonged survival.  With high specificity, there would be less unnecessary treatment, which would save the cost of radical treatment options as well as lower the incidence of patient anxiety regarding the disease. 


Ostroff et. al., “Early Detection of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma in Asbestos-Exposed Individuals with a Noninvasive Proteomics-Based Surveillance Tool,” vol. 7, issue 10 (2012).  For the full report, see

Feb 02, 2015