KRAS Pathway Alterations in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: An Underestimated Player

Cancers 2022 September 2 [Link]

Lilith Trassl, Georgios T Stathopoulos


Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare, incurable cancer of the mesothelial cells lining the lungs and the chest wall that is mainly caused by asbestos inhalation. The molecular mechanisms of mesothelial carcinogenesis are still unclear despite comprehensive studies of the mutational landscape of MPM, and the most frequently mutated genes BAP1, NF2, CDKN2A, TP53, and TSC1 cannot cause MPM in mice in a standalone fashion. Although KRAS pathway alterations were sporadically detected in older studies employing targeted sequencing, they have been largely undetected by next generation sequencing. We recently identified KRAS mutations and copy number alterations in a significant proportion of MPM patients. Here, we review and analyze multiple human datasets and the published literature to show that, in addition to KRAS, multiple other genes of the KRAS pathway are perturbed in a significant proportion of patients with MPM.