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BACKGROUND: Radiological markers of treatment response and prognostication in malignant pleural mesothelioma have limitations due to the morphology of the disease. Serum or pleural fluid biomarkers that could act as an adjunct to radiological assessment would be of significant value. The aim of this review was to collate and summarise the literature relating to this topic. METHODS: A systematic review was performed on the databases Pubmed and EMBASE to identify relevant studies. Two independent researchers read the abstracts and used the Quality in Prognostic Studies tool to assess the quality of the evidence. RESULTS: Forty-five studies were identified from the current literature. Twenty studies investigated the role of serum soluble mesothelin with majority suggesting that it has variable utility as a baseline test but when measured serially correlates with treatment response and prognosis. Several studies demonstrated that serum osteopontin correlated with survival at baseline. Other biomarkers have shown prognostic utility in individual studies but are yet to be reproduced in large cohort studies. CONCLUSIONS: From the available literature no serum or pleural fluid biomarker was identified that could be recommended currently for routine clinical practice. However, a falling serum soluble mesothelin might correlate with treatment response and improved survival.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





731 - 741


Biomarkers, Tumor, Humans, Mesothelioma, Pleural Neoplasms, Prognosis