Diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for malignant mesothelioma: an update
Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive and lethal cancer, mostly related to inhalation of asbestos and erionite fibers. MM is associated with poor prognosis, because of its resistance to current therapies, even if higher survival occurs in patients diagnosed and treated when at stage I of the disease. However, these do not exceed 5% of the total number of cases, due to the inadequacy of the existing biomarkers for early and accurate diagnosis. Therefore, new effective biomarkers are needed for MM detection at earlier stages and to develop tailored therapies. Here we review the most promising biomarkers in MM to date: mesothelin, soluble mesothelin-related peptides (SMRPs), megakaryocyte potentiating factor (MPF), Osteopontin (OPN), Fibulin-3, high mobility group B1 (HMGB1), microRNAs (miRNAs), multiplex protein signatures. The validation of these biomarkers will allow their use, alone or in combination, for monitoring individuals from cohorts at risk of MM and attaining early detection of MM that is instrumental in improving patient survival.