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Disease Markers
Volume 2019, Article ID 8628612, 9 pages
Research Article

MicroRNA Signatures in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Effusions

1Institute for Respiratory Health and Centre for Respiratory Health, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia
2Centre for Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Western Australia and Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia
3Occupational Respiratory Epidemiology, School of Population and Global Health, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
4Department of Respiratory Medicine, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia
5Telethon Kids Institute and Centre for Child Health Research, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia
6School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Western Australia, and Pathwest Laboratory Medicine, QEII Medical Centre, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia
7Pathwest Laboratory Medicine WA, QEII Medical Centre, Monash Avenue, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia
8Medical School, QEII Medical Centre, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia

Correspondence should be addressed to Steven E. Mutsaers; ua.ude.awu@sreastum.nevets

Received 20 November 2018; Revised 28 May 2019; Accepted 17 July 2019; Published 31 July 2019

Academic Editor: Rudy Foddis

Copyright © 2019 Kimberly A. Birnie 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.


Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an incurable cancer of the pleura that can be difficult to diagnose. Biomarkers for an easier and/or earlier diagnosis are needed. Approximately 90% of MPM patients develop a pleural effusion (PE). PEs are ideal sources of biomarkers as the fluid would almost always require drainage for diagnostic and/or therapeutic reasons. However, differentiating MPM PE from PE caused by other diseases can be challenging. MicroRNAs are popular biomarkers given their stable expression in tissue and fluid. MicroRNAs have been analysed in PE cytology samples for the diagnosis of MPM but have not been measured in frozen/fresh PE. We hypothesise that microRNAs expressed in PE are biomarkers for MPM. TaqMan OpenArray was used to analyse over 700 microRNAs in PE cells and supernatants from 26 MPMs and 21 other PE-causing diseases. In PE cells, combining miR-143, miR-210, and miR-200c could differentiate MPM with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.92. The three-microRNA signature could also discriminate MPM from a further 40 adenocarcinomas with an AUC of 0.9887. These results suggest that the expression of miR-143, miR-210, and miR-200c in PE cells might provide a signature for diagnosing MPM.