Blood Biomarkers Could Revolutionize Mesothelioma Treatment Monitoring

Blood Biomarkers Could Revolutionize Mesothelioma Treatment Monitoring

Researchers from Turkey think that biomarkers in the blood can help doctors find out if their mesothelioma patients are responding well to chemotherapy.

This new study was published in the journal Cancer Biomarkers.

Precision Medicine in Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that is caused by asbestos. It develops in the think layer of tissue that covers many of the body’s internal organs. Most cases of mesothelioma occur in the lungs or the abdomen.

The standard treatment for mesothelioma includes a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. The exact treatment plan is unique to each patient. Their doctor will consider the type of mesothelioma, how far it has spread, and the health of the patient.

Chemotherapy is the most “one size fits all” approach to treating mesothelioma. The standard chemotherapy treatment for mesothelioma is a combination of two drugs: Alimta (pemetrexed) and cisplatin (or carboplatin).  This is the only FDA approved chemotherapy regimen for mesothelioma.

Blood Biomarkers Could Enhance Mesothelioma Survival Rates

The researchers in this study wanted to find out if certain biomarkers could tell them how well a mesothelioma patient was responding to chemotherapy treatment. These biomarkers are special molecules found in the blood. Whether someone has a lot of biomarkers, or a few biomarkers could tell doctors important information about their health. That is what these researchers were trying to find out.

The researchers tested the blood of 64 mesothelioma patients who were treated with chemotherapy. They tested the patients’ blood before treatment and after treatment.

The blood tests showed that some of the biomarkers did change before and after treatment in patients who responded to chemotherapy. These biomarkers were called mesothelin, midkine, and HMGB1.

With more studies like this, doctors might one day be able to measure these biomarkers to find out how well their mesothelioma patients are doing with treatment. The information could help doctors to adjust treatment and improve overall survival.


Bogar F, Ak G, Metintas S, Ayhanci A, Metintas M. Longitudinal monitoring of response to chemotherapy in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma by biomarkers [published online ahead of print, 2023 Jul 17]. Cancer Biomark. 2023;10.3233/CBM-220436. doi:10.3233/CBM-220436. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37545218/

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