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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

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Serum mesothelin and megakaryocyte potentiating factor in pancreatic and biliary cancers

Elad Sharon1, a / Jingli Zhang1, a / Kevin Hollevoet1 / Seth M. Steinberg2 / Ira Pastan1 / Masanori Onda1 / Jochen Gaedcke3 / B. Michael Ghadimi3 / Thomas Ried4 / 1

1Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

2Biostatistics and Data Management Section, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

3Department of General and Visceral Surgery, University Medical Center Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany

4Genetics Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

aElad Sharon and Jingli Zhang are considered first authors for this publication and contributed equally.

Corresponding author: Raffit Hassan, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, NCI, 37 Convent Drive, Room 5116, Bethesda, MD 20892-4264, USA Phone: +1 301 451-8742, Fax: +1 301 402-1344

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. Volume 50, Issue 4, Pages 721–725, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: 10.1515/cclm.2011.816, December 2011

Publication History

Published Online:


Background: Tumor mesothelin overexpression is present in different malignancies, including the majority of patients with pancreatic or biliary cancers. The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of shed serum mesothelin and megakaryocyte potentiating factor (MPF) concentrations as biomarkers for these cancers.

Methods: A total of 151 individuals, divided into five groups, were retrospectively analyzed: healthy donors (n=15), patients with benign non-pancreatic conditions (n=52), benign pancreatic conditions (n=33), biliary carcinoma (n=9), and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (n=42). Mesothelin and MPF concentrations were measured in serum with the Mesomark™ and Human MPF ELISA, respectively.

Results: Mesothelin and MPF concentrations did not significantly differ among the five individual participant groups (p=0.34, p=0.33, respectively), nor did any other combination and pair-wise comparison of the participant groups demonstrated a significant difference in biomarker concentrations. In patients with pancreatic cancer, mesothelin or MPF concentrations were not associated with tumor stage (p=0.87, p=0.48, respectively) or differentiation grade (p=0.73, p=0.52, respectively).

Conclusions: Serum mesothelin and MPF concentrations, measured with standard available ELISAs, were not specific for benign or pancreatic disease. Both biomarkers were not elevated in patients with pancreatic or biliary cancers, and consequently do not appear to be useful biomarkers for these malignancies.

Keywords: biliary cancer; megakaryocyte potentiating factor; mesothelin; pancreatic cancer

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