Oncology Letters.. 2012 Oct;4(4):637-641. Epub 2012 Jul 11. [Link]

Saeki H, Hashizume A, Izumi H, Suzuki F, Ishi K, Nojima M, Maeda M, Hino O.

Departments of Diagnostic Pathology.


Ovarian carcinoma has been difficult to diagnose at an early stage. Recently, it has been recognized that the measurement of blood N-ERC/mesothelin levels aids early detection in and postoperative therapeutic monitoring of patients with mesothelioma, who have been exposed to asbestos. ERC/mesothelin has also been reported to be expressed in ovarian carcinoma. We determined serum N-ERC/mesothelin levels in patients with ovarian carcinoma using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In addition, we immunohistochemically evaluated surgically resected specimens for C-ERC/mesothelin expression. As a result, of the 32 patients with ovarian tumors (18 carcinoma, 2 borderline tumors), one patient with serous adenocarcinoma showed increased N-ERC/ mesothelin levels. Immunohistochemically, of the 20 ovarian tumor (carcinoma and borderline tumor) specimens evaluated for serum N-ERC/mesothelin, 9 (45.0%) were positive for C-ERC/mesothelin. The C-ERC/mesothelin-positive specimens were found to be serous and clear cell adenocarcinomas. If serum N-ERC/mesothelin, which is considered useful for early detection in and therapeutic monitoring of patients with mesothelioma, may also be used for ovarian carcinoma monitoring, it may be a valuable serum tumor marker for the early detection of ovarian carcinoma.