Scientific Reports 2018 September 25 [Link]
Johnen G1, Burek K, Raiko I, Wichert K, Pesch B, Weber DG, Lehnert M, Casjens S, Hagemeyer O, Taeger D, Brüning T; MoMar Study Group.
Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is strongly associated with a previous asbestos exposure. To improve timely detection of MM in asbestos workers, better screening tools – like minimally-invasive biomarkers – are desirable. Between 2008 and 2018 2,769 patients with benign asbestos-related diseases were recruited to participate in annual screens. Using a nested case-control design the protein markers calretinin and mesothelin were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays in prediagnostic plasma samples of 34 MM cases as well as 136 matched controls from the cohort. Conditional on a pre-defined specificity of 98% for calretinin and 99% for mesothelin the markers reached individual sensitivities of 31% and 23%, respectively, when including the incident cases with samples taken between one and 15 months before diagnosis. The combination of both markers increased the sensitivity to 46% at 98% specificity. Marker complementation increased with earlier sampling. The marker combination improves the sensitivity of the individual markers, indicating a useful complementation and suggesting that additional markers may further improve the performance. This is the first prospective cohort study to evaluate a detection of MM by calretinin and its combination with mesothelin up to about a year before clinical diagnosis. Whether an earlier diagnosis will result in reduced mortality has yet to be demonstrated.