Asbestos and malignant pleural mesothelioma: molecular, cellular and physiopathological aspects

Bulletin du Cancer. 2005 Nov;92(11):959-76. [Link]

Mohr S, Keith G, Rihn B.

Institut National de Recherche et de Securite (INRS), Avenue de Bourgogne, BP27, 54501 Vandoeuvre.


Summary : Asbestos is known as mutagenic and carcinogenic for human and is responsible for many pulmonary diseases including asbestosis, bronchogenic carcinoma and malignant pleural mesothelioma. Occupational exposure to asbestos is involved in 70-80% of all malignant pleural mesothelioma. The later presents a growing challenge for both researcher and clinician. The diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma is difficult and the current treatments did not show significant improvement of the survival. The increasing incidence of malignant pleural mesothelioma, its gravity and its human, social and financial consequences are of high concern in public health. In this paper we summarize the so far knowledge on cellular, molecular and pathophysiological events involved in genesis and development of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Finally, the paper also report recent data sourced from the study of malignant pleural mesothelioma transcriptome using high-throughput technologies such as gene expression array. These data should improve the accuracy of mesothelioma diagnosis and therapy.

Keywords: asbestos, mesothelioma, mesothelium, molecular profiling, pathophysiology, pleura, transcriptome