Breaking Down the Three Types of Mesothelioma: Insights from Recent Research

Breaking Down the Three Types of Mesothelioma: Insights from Recent Research

Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that affects a special lining around our organs called the mesothelium. Mesothelioma most commonly grows in the lungs. It is caused by exposure to a toxic material called asbestos.

Understanding Mesothelioma: Types, Causes, and Diagnosis

There are different types of mesothelioma that each have unique qualities. Identifying the specific type of mesothelioma that someone has is important. It can help their doctors understand how the cancer behaves and how best to treat it. There are three main categories: epithelioid, biphasic, and sarcomatoid.

But, figuring out which category a case of mesothelioma falls into can be tricky. This is because the cancer cells can look different even within the same tumor. This is where a special technique called immunohistochemistry comes in. It uses markers, which are like little flags, to help identify the three types of mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma Subtyping: Identifying Markers for Precise Diagnosis

In this study, scientists looked at five specific markers. They were Mesothelin, Claudin-15, Complement Factor B, Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1, and p21-activated Kinase 4. These markers have been linked to the three types of mesothelioma. The scientists studied samples from 73 people with mesothelioma in their lungs. Then, they double-checked their findings on another group of 30 people.

The researchers found that two markers, Mesothelin and Claudin-15, were good at identifying the epithelioid type with about 80% accuracy. They were also good at not getting it wrong, with between 73% and 84% accuracy in ruling out other types of mesothelioma.

The markers Complement Factor B and p21-activated Kinase 4 were a bit different. They were really good at catching the epithelioid type, but sometimes they got it wrong when saying it was not that type. They had higher sensitivity, which means they were good at finding the epithelioid type. But they also had lower specificity, which means they sometimes said it was the epithelioid type when it was a different type.

For the biphasic type of mesothelioma all the markers showed different patterns when they looked at the two parts separately. This is important because it helps doctors understand which types are present in the tumor.

This study can helps doctors to use special markers to figure out which type of mesothelioma a person has. This is important because it helps them plan the best treatment for their patients.


Di Stefano I, Alì G, Poma AM, Bruno R, Proietti A, Niccoli C, Zirafa CC, Melfi F, Mastromarino MG, Lucchi M, et al. New Immunohistochemical Markers for Pleural Mesothelioma Subtyping. Diagnostics. 2023; 13(18):2945. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics13182945.

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