Objectives: Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a highly aggressive tumor with poor prognosis. A major challenge is the development and application of early and highly reliable diagnostic marker(s). Serum biomarkers, such as 'soluble mesothelin-related proteins' (SMRPs), is the most studied and frequently used in MM. However, the low sensitivity of SMRPs for early MM limits its value; therefore, additional biomarkers are required. In this study, two epigenetically regulated markers in MM (microRNA-126, miR-126, and methylated thrombomodulin promoter, Met-TM) were combined with SMRPs and evaluated as a potential strategy to detect MM at an early stage. Materials and methods: A total of 188 subjects, including 45 MM patients, 99 asbestos-exposed subjects, and 44 healthy controls were prospectively enrolled, serum samples collected, and serum levels of SMRPs, miR-126 and Met-TM evaluated. Logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate the diagnostic value of the three biomarkers. Using this approach, the performance of the '3-biomarker classifier' was tested by calculating the overall probability score of the MM and control samples, respectively, and the ROC curve was generated. Results and conclusion: The combination of the three biomarkers was the best predictor to differentiate MM patients from asbestos-exposed subjects and healthy controls. The accuracy and cancer specificity was confirmed in a second validation cohort and lung cancer population. We propose that the combination of the two epigenetic biomarkers with SMRPs as a diagnosis for early MM overcomes the limitations of using SMRPs alone.
- Early diagnosis
- Epigenetic biomarkers
- Lung cancer
- Methylated gene thrombomodulin
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cancer Research