Serum mesothelin and megakaryocyte potentiating factor in pancreatic and biliary cancers

Clin Chem Lab Med. 2012 Apr;50(4):721-5. doi: 10.1515/CCLM.2011.816.


Background: Tumor mesothelin overexpression is present in different malignancies, including the majority of patients with pancreatic or biliary cancers. The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of shed serum mesothelin and megakaryocyte potentiating factor (MPF) concentrations as biomarkers for these cancers.

Methods: A total of 151 individuals, divided into five groups, were retrospectively analyzed: healthy donors (n=15), patients with benign non-pancreatic conditions (n=52), benign pancreatic conditions (n=33), biliary carcinoma (n=9), and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (n=42). Mesothelin and MPF concentrations were measured in serum with the Mesomark™ and Human MPF ELISA, respectively.

Results: Mesothelin and MPF concentrations did not significantly differ among the five individual participant groups (p=0.34, p=0.33, respectively), nor did any other combination and pair-wise comparison of the participant groups demonstrated a significant difference in biomarker concentrations. In patients with pancreatic cancer, mesothelin or MPF concentrations were not associated with tumor stage (p=0.87, p=0.48, respectively) or differentiation grade (p=0.73, p=0.52, respectively).

Conclusions: Serum mesothelin and MPF concentrations, measured with standard available ELISAs, were not specific for benign or pancreatic disease. Both biomarkers were not elevated in patients with pancreatic or biliary cancers, and consequently do not appear to be useful biomarkers for these malignancies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biliary Tract Neoplasms / blood*
  • Biliary Tract Neoplasms / pathology
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • GPI-Linked Proteins / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / blood*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • mesothelin