New Marker Assists Serous Effusion Cytology Diagnosis

Jun 18, 2024 | By YANG Wulin; ZHAO Weiwei

Recently, Professor YANG Wulin's group from the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, found a new disease marker that can be used to identify reactive mesothelial cells, which aided in the diagnosis of mesothelioma and the screening of benign and malignant serous effusion.

The results o have been published in American Journal of Pathology.

Diagnosing benign and malignant pleural effusion or ascites is challenging because reactive mesothelial cells can be easily confused with malignant tumor cells due to their similar cell morphology, making accurate distinction difficult.

In this study, the specific molecular markers of reactive mesothelial cells were identified and verified by bioinformatics analysis and machine learning combined with immunochemical experiments.

They used three methods to find potential biomarkers: least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO), support vector machine-recursive feature elimination (SVM-RFE), and random forest (RF). They tested these markers in different datasets to check their accuracy. The best marker, ACADL, was further confirmed using a lab technique called immunohistochemistry, which stains tissues to see specific proteins.

researchers found that the expression of ACADL was positive in mesothelial cells, especially in reactive hyperplasia mesothelial cells, but negative in malignant mesothelioma cells. Sample expansion test also showed that ACADL immunochemical staining could effectively distinguish reactive hyperplastic mesothelial cells from mesothelioma cells and other malignant tumor cells in pleural effusion and ascites.

"ACADL could be a useful marker to help diagnose mesothelioma and distinguish between benign and malignant pleural fluid and ascites." said Prof. YANG Wulin.

Research Flowchart (Image by YANG Wulin)

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