Article

Current concepts in malignant pleural mesothelioma.

New York University Medical Center, Department of Surgery, 550 First Avenue, NBV-15N1, New York, NY 10016, USA.
Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy (Impact Factor: 3.06). 03/2008; 8(2):293-303. DOI: 10.1586/14737140.8.2.293
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare but lethal cancer associated with asbestos exposure. Worldwide, the incidence of MPM is expected to increase over the next 20 years. The molecular and genetic profiling of MPM tumors and patients, and improved understanding of the pathogenesis of MPM may lead to novel diagnostic, preventative and therapeutic strategies. Treatment options for MPM remain limited and no consensus exists at this time. Multimodality therapy that combines surgery, chemotherapy and radiation offers the best chance for long-term survival in select patients.

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    ABSTRACT: Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive tumor, mainly derived from the pleura, which is predominantly associated with exposure to asbestos fibers. The prognosis of MM patients is particularly severe, with a median survival of approximately 9-12 months and latency between exposure and diagnosis ranging from 20-50 years (median 30 years). Emerging evidence has demonstrated that tumor aggressiveness is associated with genome and gene expression abnormalities; therefore, several studies have recently focused on the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in MM tumorigenesis. miRNAs are small non-protein coding single-stranded RNAs (17-22 nucleotides) involved in numerous cellular processes that negatively regulate gene expression by modulating the expression of downstream target genes. miRNAs are often deregulated in cancer; in particular, the differential miRNA expression profiles of MM cells compared to unaffected mesothelial cells have suggested potential roles of miRNAs as either oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes in MM oncogenesis. In this review, the mechanism of MM carcinogenesis was evaluated through the analysis of the published miRNA expression data. The roles of miRNAs as diagnostic biomarkers and prognostic factors for potential therapeutic strategies will be presented and discussed.
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive tumor of serosal surfaces with a poor prognosis. Methotrexate and gemcitabine have exhibited single-agent activity in MPM. We evaluated the feasibility of sequential administration of these agents in the treatment of MPM. A total of 21 patients with MPM received a 30-min infusion of 100 mg/m(2) methotrexate and, 30 min later, a 30-min infusion of 800 mg/m(2) gemcitabine. Twenty-four hours following the administration of methotrexate, leucovorin rescue therapy was initiated (10 mg/m(2) leucovorin administered 4 times at 6-h intervals). These treatments were administered weekly, with 4 weekly administrations constituting a cycle of therapy. A total of 88 cycles were administered to the 21 patients, with each patient receiving 1-10 cycles (median, 4.2 cycles). Eight patients (38.1%) exhibited a partial response, 10 patients (47.6%) had stable disease and 3 patients (14.3%) had progressive disease. The median overall survival was 19.4 months (range, 02-41 months). One-year and 2-year survival rates were 61.9 and 38.1%, respectively. Hematological toxicity was considered acceptable, with grade 3-4 toxicities occurring in 3 (14.3%) patients. Non-hematologic toxicity was generally mild. There was no treatment-related mortality. Our results suggest that methotrexate and gemcitabine combination therapy is feasible and effective in the treatment of MPM. This regimen may offer an alternative to platinum-based chemotherapy and a prospective trial including a larger cohort of patients is recommended to confirm these results.
    Molecular and Clinical Oncology 07/2013; 1(4):639-642.
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant mesothelioma is an asbestos induced cancer that is difficult to diagnose. Several studies have combined biomarkers to improve mesothelioma diagnosis, but with moderate success, and there is a need for new mesothelioma biomarkers. The tumour is often resistant to treatment and most patients will survive less than a year. An indicator of patient survival is the tumours growth pattern, which in turn is influenced by expressed proteoglycans. In this thesis work, we aim to improve the possibilities to diagnose malignant mesothelioma by combining biomarkers and by identifying new ones. We also investigate tumour driving mechanisms with focus on one of these suggested biomarkers, the cell-bound proteoglycan syndecan-1. We were able to construct a diagnostic two-step model based on biomarkers in patient material. By implementing a cut-off level and thereafter focusing on unresolved patients we combined hyaluronan and N-ERC/mesothelin (paper I), which significantly increased the diagnostic accuracy for malignant mesothelioma. To further improve diagnosis, we used mass spectrometry to find new biomarkers. We identified and validated galectin-1, which was excellent in discriminating mesotheliomas from adenocarcinomas (paper II). In the same study, we were also the first to describe aldo-keto reductase 1B10 as a novel prognostic mesothelioma biomarker. Syndecan-1 has been indicated as a marker for carcinomas. In paper I we describe how higher levels of syndecan-1 indicate the presence of a carcinoma over a mesothelioma. This was verified in paper II when syndecan-1 was identified as downregulated in fluids from mesothelioma patients compared to lung cancer patients. Paper III and paper IV focus on this proteoglycan. Malignant cell lines transfected with syndecan-1 and various truncated forms of syndecan-1 affected adhesion and migration, which are key features of cancer invasion (paper III). The results showed a domain- and cell type specific effect on the cells’ motility. Regulating syndecan-1 levels and analysing the global gene expression of mesothelioma cells made it evident that this proteoglycan has a strong influence on transforming growth factor β signalling and several growth factor pathways (paper IV). Links to cell migration and proliferation were furthermore identified, along with glycosaminoglycan modifying enzymes. These results can shed light on the complex role of syndecan-1 in invasion and growth of malignant mesenchymal cells. Taken together, this thesis work describes a complement to conventional mesothelioma diagnosis and identifies novel biomarkers. Furthermore, the potential biomarker syndecan-1 was shown to have an effect on cell motility and proliferation. These results increase our understanding of this aggressive malignancy.
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