Value of Tumor Markers for Differential Diagnosis Between Mesothelioma and other Pleural Tumors

Value of Tumor Markers for Differential Diagnosis Between Mesothelioma and other Pleural Tumors

One interesting study is called, “Malignant mesothelioma. Cytopathology of 75 cases seen in a New Jersey community hospital.” By Triol JH, Conston AS, Chandler SV.  Acta Cytol. 1984 Jan-Feb;28(1):37-45.  Here is an excerpt: “Abstract – Seventy-five cases of diffuse pleural and/or peritoneal malignant mesothelioma (73 of body cavity fluids and 2 of fine needle aspirates) were studied by cytologic methods. Of the three major histologic varieties of mesothelioma (epithelioid, fibrous and mixed, or biphasic), the epithelioid and biphasic types were associated with four cytomorphologic features useful in the diagnostic evaluation: (1) the presence of abnormal cells, apparently mesothelial, (2) nuclei with subtle malignant features, (3) the presence of cells showing transitional forms from normal to abnormal in the same sample and (4) the presence of large tissue fragments. The fibrous mesotheliomas presented cytologically as sarcomatous neoplasms. Three histochemical reactions were found to be valuable adjuncts to diagnosis in the differentiation of the primary malignancies of the serous membranes from metastatic cancers. These stains were the periodic acid-Schiff, with and without diastase digestion, the Alcian blue, with and without hyaluronidase digestion, and the Van Gieson. The histochemistry was diagnostically useful in 42% of the cases in which the cytomorphologic impression was uncertain or equivocal; it served as an added confirmatory finding in 64% of the cytologically diagnosable mesotheliomas.”

Another interesting study is called, “Use of tumor markers for differential diagnosis of mesothelioma and secondary pleural malignancies” – Clinical Biochemistry
Volume 33, Issue 5, July 2000, Pages 405-410 by C. Fuhrman, J. C. Duche, C. Chouaid, I. Abd Alsamad, K. Atassi, I. Monnet, J. P. Tillement and B. Housset – Here is an excerpt: “Abstract – Study objective: The aim of the study was to assess diagnosis value of tumor markers for differential diagnosis between mesothelioma and other pleural tumors.  Design and methods: Prospective study of 85 patients attending our hospital with malignant pleural effusion. The diagnostic approach involved routine pleurocentesis followed by pleural needle. When precise diagnosis was not achieved, thoracoscopy with pleural biopsies was performed. Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), hyaluronic acid, tissue polypeptide antigen and cyfra 21 to 1 were measured in serum and pleural fluid.
Results: By using receiver operating characteristics curves and area under curves, the best diagnostic characteristics were obtained with pleural and serum CEA concentrations. The area under the curve was larger for pleural ACE than for serum ACE. The sensitivity and specificity of a pleural CEA level exceeding 3 ng/mL for ruling out the diagnosis of mesothelioma were 100% and 77%, respectively.

Conclusion: A CEA level above 3 ng/mL in pleural fluid eliminated the diagnosis of mesothelioma, whereas the other markers were not sufficiently discriminant. However, despite a negative predictive value of 100% at a cutoff of 3 ng/mL, CEA assay in pleural fluid only avoids a small number of diagnostic thoracoscopies.”

Another interesting study is called, “Extra-pleural pneumonectomy for malignant pleural mesothelioma: the risks of induction chemotherapy, right-sided procedures and prolonged operations” by Duncan J. Stewarta, Antonio E. Martin-Ucara, John G. Edwardsa, Kevin Westb and David A. Wallera – European Journal of Cardio -Thoracic Surgery Volume 27, Issue 3, March 2005, Pages 373-378.  Here is an excerpt: “Abstract – Objective: With the increasing incidence of malignant pleural mesothelioma and renewed interest in radical surgery as a therapeutic option, we have examined our experience of extra-pleural pneumonectomy, to document the incidence and management of its peri-operative complications. Methods: This analysis was conducted using prospectively entered data contained within the departmental database, with additional information from retrospective case note review. Details of patient selection criteria and operative modifications are included. Results: Over a 59-month period, extra-pleural pneumonectomy was carried out on 74 patients (66 men; 8 women; median age 57 years). Fifteen patients (20%) received cisplatin-doublet induction chemotherapy. The majority (80%) of patients had epithelial tumours and 85% of patients had disease in International Mesothelioma Interest Group stages III and IV. The 30-day post-operative mortality was 6.75% (five patients) and significant morbidity was recorded in 47 patients (63%). Major complications included those of technical origin (diaphragmatic patch dehiscence 8.1%; chylothorax 6.7%; intra-thoracic haemorrhage 6.7%; bronchopleural fistula 6.7%), cardiovascular morbidity (atrial fibrillation 17.5%; mediastinal shift with subacute tamponade 10.8%; right ventricular failure 4%; pulmonary embolus 2.7%) and respiratory morbidity (pneumonia 10.8%; acute lung injury 8.1%). Admission to intensive care was required in 19 patients (26%). Univariate analysis identified the incidence of acute lung injury and mediastinal shift to be significantly associated with induction chemotherapy (P=0.005 and 0.014, respectively). In addition to this, laterality of operation influenced respiratory morbidity (P=0.018) and admission to intensive care (P=0.025). Finally, prolonged operations (greater than the median) were associated with an increased risk of technical (P=0.018) and gastro-intestinal (P=0.023) complications. Conclusions: Extra-pleural pneumonectomy is associated with a high rate of morbidity, but an acceptable mortality rate can be achieved with increasing peri-operative experience. Surgery following induction chemotherapy requires extra vigilance for the development of post-operative respiratory complications.”


Monty Wrobleski is the author of this article.  For more information please click on the following links

Depuy Hip Recall Attorney

Depuy ASR Recall

Depuy Hip Recall


Article from

Comments are closed.