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Osteopontin: a useful biomarker in asbestos-related cancer

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Data from this study suggest that serum osteopontin levels could be used to discriminate between persons with exposure to asbestos who do not have early pleural mesothelioma and those with exposure to asbestos who do have early pleural mesothelioma, regardless of the histologic type of the mesothelioma.

The authors point out that the most important result of this study is the apparent ability of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for osteopontin to identify early pleural mesothelioma (stage I). Also, the finding that osteopontin was present in the tumor cells of pleural mesothelioma and not in the stroma provides support for the specificity of osteopontin as a marker for transformed mesothelial cells. This finding, if confirmed, would have immediate clinical applications, because the use of therapy could potentially influence survival among patients with stage I pleural mesothelioma.
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