Understanding Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: A Closer Look at Genomic Patterns

Understanding Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: A Closer Look at Genomic Patterns

Scientists studied how asbestos exposure alters the genes of malignant pleural mesothelioma. They published their findings in the Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology, and Oncology. This effort showed how the genes of three tumors form. Overall, the study deepened our knowledge of mesothelioma’s genetic changes and their connection to asbestos.

The Genetic Secrets of Mesothelioma

Cancer is a disease that can affect different parts of our bodies. One type of cancer that can develop in the lungs is called malignant pleural mesothelioma. This type of cancer is rare and can be caused by being around a material called asbestos.

Asbestos is a material that was used in buildings and factories in the past. When asbestos fibers are breathed in, they can harm the lining of the lungs and lead to malignant pleural mesothelioma. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is rare and linked to asbestos. So, we don’t know as much about its genes as we do about other common cancers.

In a recent study, scientists wanted to learn more about the genes in tumors. They focused on malignant pleural mesothelioma. They studied the genes of three malignant pleural mesothelioma tumors. They used special techniques to look at the entire genetic code.

Patterns in Mesothelioma Genomic Data

One important thing they found was changes in genes like BAP1, RB1, and TP53 in two of the patients. These genes are important in cancer development. These two patients also had lots of changes in how their chromosomes, the parts of our cells that carry genes, looked. This kind of chromosome change is rare and is called chromoanasynthesis.

The changes in the third patient’s chromosomes were simpler. But, they still affected key cancer genes like TGFBR1, KMT2C, and PALLD. This shows that while the chromosome changes may differ in mesothelioma tumors, the gene changes are similar.

The study also found some genes. For example, XRCC1 and ERCC2. These genes could be targeted with specific treatments. They also found a new gene fusion, SKA3-DDX10, in two of the tumors. This fusion has not been seen before in this cancer.

This study helps us understand more about the genes in mesothelioma tumors. It also shows how they might be treated. By learning more about the genetics of malignant pleural mesothelioma, scientists hope to find better ways to treat this rare cancer.


Tuncel, Tunç, Güntülü Ak, Hasan Veysi Güneş, and Muzaffer Metintaş. “Complex Genomic Rearrangement Patterns in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Due to Environmental Asbestos Exposure.” Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology: Official Organ of the International Society for Environmental Toxicology and Cancer 43, no. 2 (2024): 13–27. https://doi.org/10.1615/JEnvironPatholToxicolOncol.2023046200.


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