Research advancements provide a brighter future for malignant pleural mesothelioma patients. Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer of the lung lining. Mesothelioma is associated with asbestos exposure.
Australian researchers from the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute and the University of Sydney have reviewed the basic research advancements. Their new publication covers mesothelioma biomarkers and treatment strategies.
There is a long latency period from asbestos exposure to cancer development. A lack of genetic biomarkers makes early diagnosis difficult. The prognosis of pleural mesothelioma is poor. There is an average survival of eight to fourteen months following diagnosis.
Biomarkers are limited in the clinic to diagnose pleural mesothelioma. A biomarker is a biological molecule found in blood or other body fluids that is a sign of a disease, such as cancer.
An invasive biopsy procedure is often required to find a mesothelioma biomarker. This biomarker confirms the final diagnosis.
Previous mesothelioma research advancements have found the exact biomarker related to asbestos carcinogenesis. This research has involved laboratory experimental work. Although there has been some animal research (rat and mice) experimental work. This research has also found many of the other molecular mechanisms. Each plays a role in the development and progression of the disease.
Inhaled asbestos fibers interact with the cells of the lungs. This creates a negative response. Scientists explore many contributing molecular processes such as these.
Scientists have explored DNA damage generated by asbestos fibers. Other studies identified proteins and chemicals absorbed by asbestos fibers. This may lead to an accumulation of hazardous carcinogens in the body. Other studies have explored how asbestos fiber-exposed cells contribute to chronic inflammation. This may also promote the malignant transformation of mesothelial cells.
There is a long latency period from asbestos exposure to cancer development. So, the cancer is usually at an advanced stage at the time of diagnosis. At this late stage, treatment options are mostly ineffective at controlling cancer progression.
Standard treatment strategies include surgery combined with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy.
Past research advancements have allowed the detection and characterization of mesothelioma genes. This specific genomic profiling represents actionable treatment strategies.
Noteworthy Research Advancements
Research advancements on mesothelioma include disease mechanism, diagnosis, and treatment development.
Research in less invasive blood-based biomarkers and treatment strategies is important. More research in this area will improve diagnostic methods and treatment strategies.
This new publication recaps pre-clinical research advancements in mesothelioma disease biology. These developments have included novel diagnostic biomarkers and treatment strategies.
Johnson, B., Lee, K., & Cheng, Y. Y. (2021). Pre-Clinical Research Advancements Relating to Improving the Diagnosis and Treatment of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: A Review. Onco, 1(2), 49-82. https://doi.org/10.3390/onco1020006