Circulating SMRP and CA-125 before and after pleurectomy decortication for pleural mesothelioma

Thoracic Cancer 2024 April 16 [Link]

Juuso Paajanen, Ahmed Sadek, William G Richards, Yue Xie, Emanuele Mazzola, Kristina Sidopoulos, John Kuckelman, Ritu R Gill, Raphael Bueno


Background: Tumor recurrence remains the main barrier to survival after surgery for pleural mesothelioma (PM). Soluble mesothelin-related protein (SMRP) and cancer antigen 125 (CA-125) are established blood-based biomarkers for monitoring PM. We prospectively studied the utility of these biomarkers after pleurectomy decortication (PD).

Methods: Patients who underwent PD and achieved complete macroscopic resection with available preoperative SMRP levels were included. Tumor marker levels were determined within 60 days of three timepoints: (1) preoperation, (2) post-operation, and (3) recurrence.

Results: Of 356 evaluable patients, 276 (78%) had recurrence by the end of follow-up interval. Elevated preoperative SMRP levels were associated with epithelioid histology (p < 0.013), advanced TNM (p < 0.001) stage, and clinical stage (p < 0.001). Preoperative CA-125 levels were not significantly associated with clinical covariates. Neither biomarker was associated with survival or disease-free survival. With respect to nonpleural and nonlymphatic recurrences, mean SMRP levels were elevated in patients with pleural (p = 0.021) and lymph node (p = 0.042) recurrences. CA-125 levels were significantly higher in patients with abdominal (p < 0.001) and lymph node (p = 0.004) recurrences. Among patients with all three timepoints available, we observed an average decrease in SMRP levels by 1.93 nmol/L (p < 0.001) postoperatively and again an average increase at recurrence by 0.79 nmol/L (p < 0.001). There were no significant changes in levels of CA-125 across the study timepoints (p = 0.47).

Conclusions: Longitudinal changes in SMRP levels corresponded with a radiographic presence of disease in a subset of patients. SMRP surveillance could aid in detection of local recurrences, whereas CA-125 could be helpful in recognizing abdominal recurrences.