Aims: We previously established the use of a minimal panel of antibodies as sufficient to diagnose most epithelial malignant mesothelioma (MPM). We aimed to validate this approach and investigate the utility of a D2-40 antibody. Methods: A series of 80 MPM patients selected for surgery and 21 consecutive patients with pleural metastatic carcinoma were included. A minimal panel of antibodies, consisting of calretinin, BG8 and CD15, and D2-40 was investigated. Results: Therewere 61 epithelial and 19 biphasicMPMaswell as 12 metastatic lung, six breast (5 ductal adenocarcinomas, 1 mixed ductal/lobular adenocarcinoma), two serous papillary ovarian carcinomas and one moderately differentiated colorectal adenocarcinoma. The sensitivity of positive calretinin labelling to confirm the diagnosis of MPM was 97.5%, while the 'diagnostic sensitivities' of lack of labeling for BG8 and CD15 were 91.3% and 97.5%, respectively. The use of calretinin, BG8 and CD15 resulted in correct classification in 97.5% of all MPMs. All MPM cases investigated showed at least focal positive D2-40 labelling. Conclusions: We have validated the usefulness of a minimal panel of antibodies with calretinin, BG8 and CD15 as the initial step to the diagnosis of MPM. D2-40 emerged as a helpful diagnostic tool for cases where our initial approach failed to conclusively diagnose MPM.