A study looking at blood tests to diagnose mesothelioma (DIAPHRAGM)

Cancer type:






This study is looking at the value of 2 blood tests in the diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma.

Pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer of the lining of the lung. It is related to previous exposure to asbestos, although not everyone who has been exposed to asbestos will develop mesothelioma.
If you have pleural mesothelioma you may have fluid around your lungs (a pleural effusion Open a glossary item). But mesothelioma isn’t the only condition that can cause this. To find out what caused the fluid around your lung, the doctor will take a sample of the fluid. They may also take a sample of tissue (biopsy) from the lining of your lung.

The researchers want to take 2 blood samples from people when they first come to hospital with a pleural effusion or a pleural mass. As mesothelioma is rare, they estimate that only a small number of these people will be diagnosed with mesothelioma. They also want to take blood samples from people who have been exposed to asbestos in the past but do not have a pleural effusion or a previous diagnosis of mesothelioma.

They will compare the results of all the blood samples to see if the substances in the blood (biomarkers Open a glossary item) they are planning on testing can be used to diagnose mesothelioma in the future.

Who can enter

You may be able to join this study if you have a collection of fluid between your chest wall and lung (a pleural effusion). And your doctor has decided you need further tests to find out the cause. This does not mean that you have pleural mesothelioma but you do require further tests to help work out the cause of your pleural effusion.

You cannot join this study if your doctor feels you aren’t well enough.

People who have been exposed to asbestos may be invited to take part in this study if they have another condition caused by asbestos. And they don’t have mesothelioma of the chest or fluid on the lung.

Trial design

The researchers need 600 people who have fluid around the lung to join this study.

When you come to hospital to have the fluid around your lung drained, the researchers will take a sample of blood.

If the doctor diagnoses mesothelioma, the researchers will take a further blood sample 3 months after your diagnosis. This will happen when you come to clinic. There will be no additional visits for the study.

The researchers also need 109 people to join the study who have been exposed to asbestos but don’t have fluid around their lung. People who live in the Glasgow area will be contacted by Clydeside Action on Asbestos with an invitation to participate in this part of the study. If they are interested in participating after speaking with the researchers, they will be given an appointment to attend the Glasgow Clinical Research Facility for an interview and blood test.

Hospital visits

There are no extra hospital visits if you take part in this study.

People who have been exposed to asbestos but don’t have mesothelioma will need to make a trip to Glasgow.

Side effects

There may be some minor bruising or bleeding from where the blood samples are taken.


Republic of Ireland

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Kevin Blyth

Supported by

Chief Scientist Office (CSO)
Clydeside Action on Asbestos (CAA)
Glasgow Clinical Research Facility
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Charlie took part in a trial to try new treatments

A picture of Charlie

“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

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