Pre-clinical Models for Malignant Mesothelioma Research: From Chemical-Induced to Patient-Derived Cancer Xenografts.

Frontiers in Genetics 2018 July 4 [Link]

Nabavi N, Wei J, Lin D, Collins CC, Gout PW, Wang Y


Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a rare disease often associated with environmental exposure to asbestos and other erionite fibers. MM has a long latency period prior to manifestation and a poor prognosis. The survival post-diagnosis is often less than a year. Although use of asbestos has been banned in the United States and many European countries, asbestos is still being used and extracted in many developing countries. Occupational exposure to asbestos, mining, and migration are reasons that we expect to continue to see growing incidence of mesothelioma in the coming decades. Despite improvements in survival achieved with multimodal therapies and cytoreductive surgeries, less morbid, more effective interventions are needed. Thus, identifying prognostic and predictive biomarkers for MM, and developing novel agents for targeted therapy, are key unmet needs in mesothelioma research and treatment. In this review, we discuss the evolution of pre-clinical model systems developed to study MM and emphasize the remarkable capability of patient-derived xenograft (PDX) MM models in expediting the pre-clinical development of novel therapeutic approaches. PDX disease model systems retain major characteristics of original malignancies with high fidelity, including molecular, histopathological and functional heterogeneities, and as such play major roles in translational research, drug development, and precision medicine.