A new study on malignant pleural mesothelioma has been published in the journal EBioMedicine. The study, led by scientists from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and partners, identified three sets of tumours with characteristic molecular features.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare, understudied cancer that is associated with exposure to carcinogenic mineral fibres, collectively known as asbestos. Although the use of asbestos has been banned in many developed countries, malignant pleural mesothelioma is still a public health problem. Most patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma die within 2 years after diagnosis.
“Innovative sequencing technologies that provide information on the molecular characteristics of tumours can now uncover differences among tumours that look quite similar under the microscope,” says Dr Matthieu Foll, a scientist in the Genetic Cancer Susceptibility Group at IARC and a lead author of the study. “The expression of proteins associated with the immune and vascular systems in the tumours enabled us to identify molecular profiles that may explain the differences in overall survival and response to treatment.”
These molecular profiles have the potential to inform the clinical management and treatment strategies for malignant pleural mesothelioma and improve the understanding of the carcinogenic processes that contribute to this lethal disease.
Alcala N, Mangiante L, Le-Stang N, Gustafson CE, Boyault S, Damiola F, et al.
Redefining malignant pleural mesothelioma types as a continuum uncovers immune-vascular interactions.
EBioMedicine. Published online 21 October 2019;