A new study has found that a prognostic score based on the activity of just two genes could be useful in predicting outcomes for people with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).
The study was published the journal Diagnostics and was conducted by scientists from Bulgaria.
Early Detection is Key for Better Outcomes
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and chest called the pleura. It usually happens when a person has been exposed to asbestos. This is a harmful mineral that can be used in buildings and other materials. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can get trapped in the pleura and over time, cause cancer to develop.
The cancer cells in MPM can grow and spread to other parts of the body, which can make it difficult to treat. It can cause symptoms like chest pain, difficulty breathing, and a persistent cough. Since it is rare and its symptoms can be like other lung conditions, it can sometimes be hard to diagnose.
Treatment options for malignant pleural mesothelioma may include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, depending on the stage and severity of the cancer. The prognosis for this type of cancer is often poor and early detection is crucial for better outcomes.
Creating a Scoring Tool
The scientists in this new study wanted to create a scoring tool that could help doctors predict how well someone with malignant pleural mesothelioma would do with and without treatment. They used information from The Cancer Genome Atlas to develop and test a score based on the activity of two specific genes, called GOLT1B and MAD2L1.
The scientists found that this two-gene score was the best predictor of overall survival in MPM patients. The score was able to divide patients into low and high score groups with a high level of accuracy. They also found that patients with a high score had different patterns of gene activity and immune cell presence compared to those with a low score. Additionally, the score seemed to be related to how effective certain chemotherapy drugs might be.
This is the first study to show a strong performance of a two-gene prognostic score for malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Shivarov V, Blazhev G, Yordanov A. A Novel Two-Gene Expression-Based Prognostic Score in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. Diagnostics (Basel). 2023;13(9):1556. Published 2023 Apr 26. doi:10.3390/diagnostics13091556. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10177801/