Biologic, Cytogenetic, and Molecular Factors in Mesothelial Proliferations

Ultrastructural Pathology. 2006 Jan-Feb;30(1):19-30. [Link]

John Hicks A1

A1 Department of Pathology, Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA


Although mesothelioma cases may have peaked in the 1990s in developed countries, it is expected that there will be over 70,000 cases diagnosed in the United States over the next 5 decades. With the industrial expansion in Southeast Asia and China and the continued use of asbestos, an epidemic of mesothelioma cases is anticipated over the next several decades. A considerable amount has been learned about the cytogenetic and molecular genetics of mesotheliomas. However, in-depth studies are needed to further define specific factors that may provide for early diagnosis, surgical treatment, oncologic management, and gene therapy. Serologic markers for surveillance of those with asbestos exposure and at risk for mesothelioma are needed. Targeted therapy using molecular markers and gene therapy may provide a means to reverse mesothelial proliferations or stabilize tumor growth and allow for surgical resection. The future holds great promise in identifying mesothelioma gene expression profiles (genomics, gene microarrays) and proteins (proteomics) that may produce the key to dealing with this dismal and devastating neoplasm.

Keywords: biology, cell cycle, cytogenetics, epidemiology, growth factors, mesothelioma, molecular pathology, SV40, tumor suppressor genes