Follow-up of Soluble Mesothelin-Related Protein Levels in Participants With Asbestos-Related Disorders

Safety and Health at Work 2020 December [Link]

Eun-Kee Park, Anthony R Johnson, Donald Wilson, Paul S Thomas, Deborah H Yates


Background: Asbestos exposure is associated with the development of the cancer malignant mesothelioma (MM). Measurement of soluble mesothelin-related protein (SMRP) has been suggested as a method for detection of MM in its early stages. We prospectively examined SMRP levels in participants with asbestos exposure who are a group at a high risk of development of MM.

Methods: This study was a follow-up of our cohort of 322 asbestos-exposed participants. No further participants developed MM or malignancy over the study period. Mean follow-up time was 22.9 months.

Results: Mean (standard deviation) SMRP levels at baseline and follow-up were 0.94 (0.79) and 0.91 (0.86) nmol/L (p = 0.1033), respectively. Mean SMRP levels of the healthy individuals exposed to asbestos at baseline was significantly lower than those of participants with asbestosis and pleural plaques alone; similar patterns were found on follow-up measurements. There was a statistically significant effect of age on serial SMRP measurements. Our study confirms higher levels in participants with nonmalignant asbestos-related disorders. Levels decreased in asbestos-related disorders other than asbestosis, where a small increase was observed. We did not detect any further cases of malignancy.

Conclusion: Monitoring programs for early detection of MM need to take into account increased SMRP levels found in benign asbestos-related diseases.