Soluble mesothelin-related peptides (SMRP) - High stability of a potential tumor marker for mesothelioma
SMRP (soluble mesothelin-related peptides) is a promising marker for detection of malignant mesotheliomas (MM) in serum that has not yet been validated in appropriate epidemiological studies. Field studies might not always provide optimal conditions for storage and transport of samples, and follow-up studies have to rely on sample integrity. Proper validation of the marker would require sufficient stability of the antigen and robustness of the assay. SMRP concentrations were evaluated in serum samples of 98 healthy donors, using the MESOMARK ELISA kit. The SMRP distribution in the healthy study population was determined and biological and pre-analytical variations were examined regarding their influence on SMRP concentrations. For diagnostic decisions a best statistical and unbiased cut-off between 1.5 and 1.6 nmol/L was determined (95th percentile). No age- or gender-specific differences could be observed. SMRP exhibits excellent stability regarding short-term storage, long-term storage, and repeated freeze/thaw cycles. Scientific studies as well as real life applications that employ SMRP would not be limited by sample stability issues.
Available from: Monika Raulf
- "Despite rules for proper tissue banking, in reality samples might not always be handled according to standard operating procedures, leading to altered marker levels . Our present study indicates that calretinin concentration in plasma is not altered after repeated freeze/thaw cycles or during the storage at RT or 4°C for at least five days. "
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ABSTRACT: Calretinin is one of the well-established immunohistochemical markers in the diagnostics of malignant mesothelioma (MM). Its utility as a diagnostic tool in human blood, however, is scarcely investigated. The aim of this study was to develop an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for human calretinin in blood and to assess its usefulness as a potential minimally invasive diagnostic marker for MM.
Initially, attempts were made to establish an assay using commercially available antibodies and to optimize it by including a biotin-streptavidin complex into the assay protocol. Subsequently, a novel ELISA based on polyclonal antibodies raised in rabbit immunized with human recombinant calretinin was developed. The assay performance in human serum and plasma (EDTA/heparin) and the influence of calcium concentrations on antibody recognition were studied. Stability of spiked-in calretinin in EDTA plasma under different storage conditions was also examined. In preliminary studies serum and plasma samples from 97 healthy volunteers, 35 asbestos-exposed workers, and 42 MM patients were analyzed.
The mean detection range of the new ELISA was 0.12 to 8.97 ng/ml calretinin. The assay demonstrated markedly lower background and significantly higher sensitivity compared to the initially contrived assay that used commercial antibodies. Recovery rate experiments confirmed dependence of calretinin antibody recognition on calcium concentration. Calcium adjustment is necessary for calretinin measurement in EDTA plasma. Spiked-in calretinin revealed high stability in EDTA plasma when stored at room temperature, 4 degrees C, or after repeated freeze/thaw cycles. Median calretinin values in healthy volunteers, asbestos workers, and MM patients were 0.20, 0.33, and 0.84 ng/ml, respectively (p < 0.0001 for healthy vs. MM, p = 0.0036 for healthy vs. asbestos-exposed, p < 0.0001 for asbestos-exposed vs. MM). Median values in patients with epithelioid and biphasic MM were similar. No influence of age, gender, smoking status, or type of medium (plasma/serum) on calretinin values was found.
The novel assay is highly sensitive and applicable to human serum and plasma. Calretinin appears to be a promising marker for the blood-based detection of MM and might complement other markers. However, further studies are required to prove its usefulness in the diagnosis of MM patients.
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ABSTRACT: ERC/mesothelin is expressed on the normal mesothelium and some cancers such as mesothelioma or ovarian carcinoma. A splicing isoform of ERC/mesothelin (known as SMRP), which has an 82-bp insertion and codes for a C-terminus with a hydrophilic, presumably soluble, tail instead of a GPI-anchoring signal, has been reported as a useful marker for the diagnosis of mesothelioma. However, the existence of SMRP has not yet been demonstrated in the serum of mesothelioma patients. To elucidate the existence of SMRP, we have established a new enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) system for SMRP. The ELISA study revealed that N- and C-ERC/mesothelin were detected in sera from mesothelioma patients, but not SMRP, even in these samples. This result showed that the SMRP detected with MESOMARK kit should be lack of soluble C-terminus and indistinguishable from C-ERC/mesothelin. Further study might be necessary to demonstrate the relationship between SMRP and mesothelin.
Available from: Bogdan Grigoriu
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ABSTRACT: Malignant mesothelioma has a very dismal prognosis with very few patients surviving one year after diagnosis. Early multimodal treatment, however, is expected to improve the outcome. Today, there is a strong need to have disease markers which could be used for screening, diagnosing, and/or monitoring tumour response to treatment. Old markers such as hyaluronic acid, various cytokeratin fragments (CYFRA 21.1, TPA) and other cancer antigens (CA 15.3, CA 125 or CA 19.9 or CEA) are not sensitive or specific enough and cannot be used in practice. More recently new molecules, such as soluble mesothelin and osteopontin, have been proposed for diagnostic purposes. Soluble mesothelin has a good specificity but has a sub-optimal sensitivity being negative in all sarcomatoid and in up to one half of epithelioid mesothelioma. On the contrary osteopontin has an inadequate specificity. Combining different markers together does not lead to an improvement in diagnostic accuracy. Neither marker can be used for screening purposes, the main limitation being the very low incidence of the disease in the at-risk, asbestos exposed population. Mesothelin is also a promising marker for monitoring response to treatment but published data is still insufficient to make recommendations. There is still a strong need for research is this area both in order to discover new markers as well as to correct the positioning of each existing molecule (alone or in combination) is the evaluation of the patients with a mesothelioma.
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