Targeting AXL in mesothelioma: From functional characterization to clinical implication

Critical Reviews in Oncology and Hematology 2023 June 1 [Link]

Kinjal Bhadresha, Sheefa Mirza, Clement Penny, Muhammed Jameel Mughal


Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a highly aggressive and lethal cancer with a poor survival rate. Current treatment approaches primarily rely on chemotherapy and radiation, but their effectiveness is limited. Consequently, there is an urgent need for alternative treatment strategies, a comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying MM, and the identification of potential therapeutic targets. Extensive studies over the past decade have emphasized the role of Axl in driving tumor development and metastasis, while high levels of Axl expression have been associated with immune evasion, drug resistance, and reduced patient survival in various cancer types. Ongoing clinical trials are investigating the efficacy of Axl inhibitors for different cancers. However, the precise role of Axl in MM progression, development, and metastasis, as well as its regulatory mechanisms within MM, remain inadequately understood. This review aims to comprehensively investigate the involvement of Axl in MM. We discuss Axl role in MM progression, development, and metastasis, along with its specific regulatory mechanisms. Additionally, we examined the Axl associated signaling pathways, the relationship between Axl and immune evasion, and the clinical implications of Axl for MM treatment. Furthermore, we discussed the potential utility of liquid biopsy as a non-invasive diagnostic technique for early detection of Axl in MM. Lastly, we evaluated the potential of a microRNA signature that targets Axl. By consolidating existing knowledge and identifying research gaps, this review contributes to a better understanding of Axl’s role in MM and sets the stage for future investigations and the development of effective therapeutic interventions.