Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a highly aggressive tumor of the pleura closely related to asbestos exposure. Rare as it is, the incidence of MPM is predicted to increase mainly as a result of a lengthy latency period from the initial asbestos exposure, making it a public health concern for the next decades. Moreover, the patients with MPM have an extremely poor prognosis due to its high resistance to conventional oncologic treatments and delayed diagnosis. Although the result of current therapeutic modalities based on patient features and clinical stages is very frustrating, great advances have been shown in the knowledge of molecular biology of MPM in recent years. This is accompanied by dozens of putative prognostic biomarkers that are actively involved in tumor biological activities. These prognostic candidates can offer us a new insight into the biological characteristics of MPM, contributing to development of individualized therapeutic strategies directed against oncogenesis and tumor progression. Thus, personalized approaches based on the molecular biology of the patient's tissue or body fluid will potentially improve the present disappointing outcome, bringing new hope for patients with MPM. This article reviews the principal and several novel biomarkers that can have an influence on prognosis, in the hope that they can provide us with a more profound understanding of the biology of this lethal disease.
Keywords: Biology; Biomarkers; Malignant pleural mesothelioma; Prognosis.