Non-invasive diagnosis of pleural malignancies: The role of tumour markers.

Author:  van den Heuvel MM; Korse CM; Bonfrer JM; Baas P.

van den Heuvel MM, Korse CM, Bonfrer JM, Baas P.
Lung Cancer. 2007, Oct 12. Published Online.
This publication details research done at The Netherlands Cancer Institute to investigate the MESOMARK assay (Soluble Mesothelin Related Peptide (SMRP)), CEA and Cyfra 21-1 in the diagnosis of pleural malignancies. The study tested healthy controls (50), malignant mesothelioma (73) and non-small cell lung cancer (106) collected from patients presenting with pleural effusions or pleural masses. The study looked at the ability of the 3 biomarkers to discern healthy patients from those with a thoracic malignancy and malignant mesothelioma from NSCLC. The combination of all three markers resulted in an improvement from any single marker. An ROC analysis illustrated an AUC of 0.95. CYFRA 21-1 showed no value in the diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma from NSCLC, however SMRP and CEA were found to be predictors of diagnosis alone and the combination of the two markers results in an improvement with a specificity of 95% and a sensitivity of 66%.

Based on the research reported the authors speculate that the combination of these biomarkers makes it a feasible tool for use to differentiate between healthy patients and those with a thoracic malignancy.


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