BACKGROUND: Robust markers that predict prognosis and detect early treatment response in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) would enhance patient care. METHODS: Consecutive patients with MPM who were considered fit for first-line chemotherapy were prospectively recruited. Patients of similar performance status opting for best supportive care were included as a comparator group. Baseline and interval CT, PET-CT and serum markers (mesothelin, fibulin-3 and neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR)) were obtained, and patients followed up for a minimum 12 months. FINDINGS: Seventy-three patients were recruited (58 chemotherapy/15 comparator arm). Baseline TGV (total glycolytic volume on PET-CT) was an independent predictor of worse overall survival (OS) (P=0.001). Change in interval TGV(baseline/after two cycles of chemotherapy) did not predict OS or chemotherapy response on CT. Baseline NLR<4 was an independent predictor of better OS (median survival 453 (IQR 272-576) days vs NLR⩾4, 257 (IQR 147-490), P=0.002). Although baseline serum mesothelin did not predict OS, a falling level at 8 weeks significantly predicted longer time to progression (TTP) (P<0.001). INTERPRETATION: Neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio and baseline TGV predict prognosis in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), but PET-CT is unhelpful in monitoring chemotherapy response. Serum mesothelin is a useful early treatment response marker when measured serially during chemotherapy and may have a role in evaluating patients' treatment response.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





1175 - 1182


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Biomarkers, Tumor, Carboplatin, Cisplatin, Cohort Studies, Female, Glutamates, Guanine, Humans, Lung Neoplasms, Lymphocytes, Male, Mesothelioma, Multimodal Imaging, Neutrophils, Pemetrexed, Positron-Emission Tomography, Prognosis, Prospective Studies, Survival Analysis, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, Treatment Outcome