Lay synopsis: Mesothelioma is a deadly asbestos-induced cancer. Currently diagnosis of mesothelioma is difficult, and there are limited treatment options. Biomarkers play a valuable role in the management of other cancers. This study will investigate clinical samples collected over the past twenty years to identify biomarkers specific for mesothelioma with the aim of improving patient outcomes.
Scientific synopsis: Mesothelioma is an aggressive, asbestos-induced incurable cancer with increasing incidence. We aim to develop new mesothelioma-specific tumour biomarkers, which offer an inexpensive, sensitive means of diagnosing mesothelioma in “at risk” individuals and a means of monitoring the response of mesothelioma to therapy, with the aim of improving mesothelioma treatment outcomes. Using high throughput genomic, proteomic and immunomic platforms we have identified a number of candidate biomarkers including one protein, ENOX2, that could be detected in the serum of asbestos exposed individuals 4 years before MM diagnosis.
Western Australia has the highest incidence of mesothelioma in the world. Our centre sees many of these mesothelioma cases; therefore we have the opportunity to evaluate in a clinical setting with a high mesothelioma pre-test probability, the clinical diagnostic accuracy of the biomarkers. This study will not only identify biomarkers for mesothelioma, it will also validate their utility in a clinical setting.