Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention. 2012;13(9):4745-9. [Link]

Wan C, Shen YC, Liu MQ, Yang T, Wang T, Chen L, Yi Q, Wen FQ.

Division of Pulmonary Diseases, State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy of China and Department of Respiratory Medicine, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, China E-mail :,


Background: Activins control the growth of several tumour types including thoracic malignancies. In the present study, we investigated their expression and function in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).

The diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma (MM) remains a clinical challenge and the fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assay has been reported to be one promising tool. The present meta-analysis aimed to establish the overall diagnostic accuracy of FISH for diagnosing MM. After a systematic review of English language studies, the sensitivity, specificity and other measures of accuracy of FISH in the diagnosis of MM were pooled using random-effects models. Summary receiver operating characteristic curves were applied to summarize overall test performance. Nine studies met our inclusion criteria, the pooled sensitivity and specificity for FISH for diagnosing MM being 0.72 (95% CI 0.67-0.76) and 1.00 (95% CI 0.98-1.00), respectively. The positive likelihood ratio was 34.5 (95% CI 14.5-82.10), the negative likelihood ratio was 0.24 (95% CI 0.16-0.36), and the diagnostic odds ratio was 204.9 (95% CI 76.8-546.6), the area under the curve being 0.99. Our data suggest that the FISH assay is likely to be a useful diagnostic tool for confirming MM. However, considering the limited studies and patients included, further large scale studies are needed to confirm these findings.