The objective of this paper is to investigate the mesothelin expression level to the clinicopathological features, chemoresponse, and to the outcome of patients with epithelial ovarian carcinoma (EOC). Mesothelin mRNA was detected by real-time quantitative reverse-transcription PCR in 139 EOC patients. Clinical characteristics, histopathological items, responses to chemotherapy, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) were recorded. Tumours with advanced stages had higher mesothelin than those with early stages. The chemoresistant patients showed significantly higher mesothelin than did chemosensitive patients (2.81 vs 0.43, P<0.001), irrespective of optimal or suboptimal surgery in those with advanced stages. Highly expressed levels of mesothelin were an independent but poor prognostic factor in the PFS (2.03 (1.23-3.37) P=0.006) and OS (3.72 (1.64-8.45), P=0.002) of the 139 EOC patients in multivariate analysis. In addition, patients in advanced stages with highly expressed mesothelin also had significantly worse OS, regardless of whether they had undergone optimal (13.85 (1.76-125.60), P=0.013) or suboptimal (4.47 (1.83-10.88), P=0.001) debulking surgery in multivariate analysis. Out results provide new evidence that mesothelin expression is associated with chemoresistance and with shorter disease-free survival and worse OS of patients with EOC.