Target Therapy in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: Hope or Mirage?

International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2023 May 23 [Link]

Federica Borea, Marika A Franczak, Maria Garcia, Matteo Perrino, Nadia Cordua, Ryszard T Smolenski, Godefridus J Peters, Rafal Dziadziuszko, Armando Santoro, Paolo A Zucali, Elisa Giovannetti


Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare neoplasm that is typically diagnosed in a locally advanced stage, making it not eligible for radical surgery and requiring systemic treatment. Chemotherapy with platinum compounds and pemetrexed has been the only approved standard of care for approximately 20 years, without any relevant therapeutic advance until the introduction of immune checkpoint inhibitors. Nevertheless, the prognosis remains poor, with an average survival of only 18 months. Thanks to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying tumor biology, targeted therapy has become an essential therapeutic option in several solid malignancies. Unfortunately, most of the clinical trials evaluating potentially targeted drugs for MPM have failed. This review aims to present the main findings of the most promising targeted therapies in MPM, and to explore possible reasons leading to treatments failures. The ultimate goal is to determine whether there is still a place for continued preclinical/clinical research in this area.