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Enzyme May Help Doctors Determine Mesothelioma Prognosis

1220139_lab4Cancer researchers in New York say they have found a new way to help determine prognosis for people with malignant pleural mesothelioma. In a report in the Annals of Surgical Oncology, a team of doctors from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center say patients whose cancer cells tested positive for an enzyme called CD10 had more aggressive mesothelioma and shorter survival times.

Right now, stage (a measure of how far cancer has spread in the body) and type are the primary prognostic factors for mesothelioma. People with more advanced cancer or non-epithelioid mesothelioma tend to have poorer outcomes than people with epithelioid or early-stage mesothelioma. By offering another reliable prognostic factor, the new study suggests that CD10 can help make the process more effective, which may improve treatment planning.

CD10 is an enzyme coded by the MME gene and found in various normal tissues. It acts on certain hormones and cytokines in the body and has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and acute lymphocytic leukemia as well as some lymphomas and myeloma. Although it is known to make certain cancers more aggressive, it has never been tested as a prognostic factor for mesothelioma.

The New York research team tested tumor cells from 176 mesothelioma cases for CD10 and found the enzyme in 93 percent of the sarcomatoid mesothelioma tumors and 79 percent of the biphasic tumors. Among the epithelioid mesothelioma tumors (the most common type), those whose cells all looked the same (non-pleomorphic) had lower CD10 expression, and better prognosis, than those with the pleomorphic subtype. No matter which kind of mesothelioma a patient had, those whose tumor cells tested positive for CD10 had the most aggressive cancer and the poorest outcomes.

“Overall survival for patients with positive CD10 expression was significantly shorter than that for patients with negative CD10 expression in all patients,” writes lead researcher Kyuichi Kadoka, MD, PhD, who is also associated with Kagawa University in Japan. The team concludes that CD10 can be used as an independent prognostic factor for mesothelioma patients.


Kadoka, K et al, “Tumoral CD10 Expression Correlates with Aggressive Histology and Prognosis in Patients with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma”, January 22, 2015, Annals of Surgical Oncology, Epub ahead of print

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