Mesothelioma: recent highlights

Ann Transl Med. 2017 Jun;5(11):238. doi: 10.21037/atm.2017.04.29.


Recent discoveries have elucidated some of the mechanisms responsible for the development of mesothelioma. These discoveries are: (I) the critical role of chronic inflammation in promoting mesothelioma growth, driven by the release of high mobility group box protein-1 (HMGB1) following asbestos deposition in tissues and its potential role as a biomarker to identify asbestos exposed individuals and mesothelioma patients; (II) the discovery that inherited heterozygous germline mutations of the deubiquitylase BRCA-associated protein 1 (BAP1) cause a high incidence of mesothelioma in some families; and that (III) germline BAP1 mutations lower the threshold of asbestos required to cause mesothelioma in mice, evidence of gene X environment interaction. These findings together with the identification of novel serum biomarkers, including HMGB1, Fibulin-3, etc., promise to revolutionize screening and treatment of this malignancy in the coming years.

Keywords: BRCA-associated protein 1 (BAP1); Mesothelioma; SV40; asbestos; erionite; high mobility group box protein-1 (HMGB1).

Publication types

  • Review