The MESOMICS project is the most comprehensive dataset of mesothelioma genomics to date. The data in this resource can help researchers to design precision treatments for mesothelioma patients
This project was created by an international collaboration between scientists from France, Chile, and the United States.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure. There are approximately 2,000 cases of mesothelioma diagnosed in the United States alone every year. Because it is so rare, the treatment options are very limited compared to other types of cancer.
The limited treatment options combined with the cancer’s ability to spread without being noticed makes mesothelioma a deadly disease. Median overall survival for mesothelioma patients is a little over a year.
One factor in the prognosis for mesothelioma is the cell type. There are three cell types for this type of cancer: epithelioid, sarcomatoid and biphasic. Epithelioid mesothelioma tends to have the best prognosis. Sarcomatoid mesothelioma usually has the worst prognosis.
Deciding on Treatment Plan
One of the ways doctors decide on a treatment plan for mesothelioma patients is by looking at the cancer tissue and identifying important characteristics. Things like cell type and biomarkers can tell doctors what type of treatment will work best for the patient.
However, the rareness of mesothelioma can make this strategy hard for doctors. There isn’t enough research for doctors to be able to agree on a standard approach for treating mesothelioma.
That’s where the MESOMICS project comes in. This dataset combines the tumor profiles of over 100 malignant pleural mesothelioma tumors. Now researchers can use this data to analyze the genomic structure of mesothelioma and identify specific structures that could impact treatment.
“As most patients with MPM will survive to second- or third-line systemic therapy, future studies will be needed to describe the molecular landscape of MPM at these time points to develop effective precision medicine strategies,” say study researchers.
Di Genova A, Mangiante L, Sexton-Oates A, et al. A molecular phenotypic map of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Gigascience. 2022;12:giac128. doi: 10.1093/gigascience/giac128. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36705549