Overexpressed genes in malignant pleural mesothelioma: implications in clinical management

Elisa Barone, Federica Gemignani, Stefano Landi


Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a very aggressive cancer poorly responsive to current therapies. MPM patients have a very poor prognosis with a median survival of less than one year from the onset of symptoms. The biomarkers proposed so far do not lead to a sufficiently early diagnosis for a radical treatment of the disease. Thus, the finding of novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets is needed. Gene overexpression has been frequently associated with a malignant phenotype in several cancer types; therefore the identification of overexpressed genes may lead to the detection of novel prognostic or diagnostic marker and to the development of novel therapeutic approaches, based on their inhibition. In the last years, several overexpressed genes have been identified in MPM through gene expression profiling techniques: among them it has been found a group of 51 genes that resulted overexpressed in more than one independent study, revealing their consistency among studies. This article reviews the clinical implications of confirmed overexpressed genes in MPM described so far in literature.