Pass, H. I. et al.
Ann Thorac Surg. 2008;85:265-272.
Pass et al. investigated the MESOMARK assay (soluble mesothelin related peptide (SMRP)) in patients with lung cancer, mesothelioma (MM) and in a population who were asbestos exposed (AE) to confirm findings by other researchers. In addition, they looked at the biomarkers value in other thoracic malignancies and whether the marker was useful in the differential diagnosis of pleural malignancies. The data follows the same pattern as other publications in which there is a significant increase of values in patients with mesothelioma compared to the asbestos exposed population. Using a cut off value of 1.9 nM in comparing the MM patients and AE the sensitivity and specificity are 60% and 89.2% respectively. In the differentiation of MM and lung cancer the data set results in 76.4% specificity and 78.9% sensitivity, at a cut off of 1.1 nM. The research also investigated the mesothelioma value at the different stages of cancer as compared to the AE population of patients. An increase is seen in stage 1 MM patients compared to the AE population and an even greater increase in results is reported in all other stages of the disease. This publication confirms the results of other researchers in a United States population of mesothelioma patients and asbestos exposed individuals. SMRP is a promising marker with a number of potential utilities that still need to be investigated further.