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Disease Markers
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3510984, 6 pages
Research Article

A Novel Panel of Serum Biomarkers for MPM Diagnosis

1Operative Unit of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University Hospital of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
2Department of Translational Research and of New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
3Department of Biology, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
4Department of Pharmacy, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
5Department of Medical Sciences, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to A. Bonotti

Received 5 October 2016; Revised 7 February 2017; Accepted 9 February 2017; Published 28 February 2017

Academic Editor: Marco E. M. Peluso

Copyright © 2017 A. Bonotti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Exposure to asbestos is the main cause of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), a highly aggressive cancer of the pleura. Since the only tools for early detection are based on radiological tests, some authors focused on serum markers (i.e., mesothelin). The aim of this study was the evaluation of new serum biomarkers to be used individually or in combination, in order to improve the outcome of patients whose disease would be diagnosed at an earlier stage. Serum and plasma were available from 43 subjects previously exposed to asbestos and 27 MPM patients, all being epithelioid type. All the new markers found differentially expressed in MPM and healthy subjects, by proteomic and genomic approaches, have been validated in the serum by the use of specific ELISA. The combined approach, using tools of genomics and proteomics, is found to be highly innovative for this type of disease and led to the identification of new serum markers in the diagnosis of MPM. These results, if confirmed in a larger series, may have a strong impact in this area, because early detection of this cancer in people at high risk could significantly improve the course of the disease and the clinical approach to an individualized therapy.