Malignant mesothelioma is an asbestos-related malignancy where there is a paucity of useful molecular markers for prognosis and response to therapy. In this research project initiated by Drs Stephen Kao and Glen Reid from the Asbestos Disease Research Institute, APAF applied iTRAQ mass spectrometry as a screening approach to examine plasma from patients with short and long survival times. The study revealed five proteins that segregate these patient groups; SPARC, selenoprotein P, tetranectin, IBP2 and CXCL7. These proteins were examined by ELISA , where high SPARC levels correlated with shorter survival. This finding was confirmed in an independent cohort of malignant mesothelioma patients offering promise as a circulating prognostic biomarker.
Kao SC, Kirschner, MB, Cooper, WA, Tran T, Burgers S, Wright C, Korse T, van den Broek D, Edelman J, Vallely M, McCaughan B, Pavlakis N, Clarke S, Molloy MP, van Zandwijk N, Reid G. A proteomics-based approach identifies secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) as a prognostic biomarker in malignant pleural mesothelioma. Br. J. Cancer 2016, doi:10.1038/bjc.2015.470