• asbestos;
  • ELISA;
  • ERC/mesothelin/MPF;
  • mesothelioma;
  • tumor marker

Mesothelioma is an aggressive tumor arising from the mesothelium, and is usually associated with previous exposure to asbestos. The incubation period of the tumor may be described as 30–40 years, and the prognosis is dismal. In addition to immunohistochemical markers, recently, serum markers for the diagnosis of mesothelioma have been reported as candidates. In contrast, the expression in renal carcinoma (ERC) gene has been discovered in the Eker rat model (Tsc2 gene mutant), which is a homolog of the human mesothelin/megakaryocyte potentiating factor gene, and a novel ELISA system (N-ERC/mesothelin) has been developed. It has also been found that N-ERC/mesothelin is very stable and plentiful in the blood. In the present paper the potential utility of molecular diagnostic markers is reviewed, including ELISA systems for asbestos-related mesothelioma.