Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive and lethal asbestos-related disease. Diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma is particularly challenging and is further complicated by the lack of disease subtype-specific markers. As a result, it is especially difficult to distinguish malignant mesothelioma from benign reactive mesothelial proliferations or reactive fibrosis. Additionally, mesothelioma diagnoses can be confounded by other anatomically related tumors that can invade the pleural or peritoneal cavities, collectively resulting in delayed diagnoses and greatly affecting patient management. High-throughput analyses have uncovered key genomic and epigenomic alterations driving malignant mesothelioma. These molecular features have the potential to better our understanding of malignant mesothelioma biology as well as to improve disease diagnosis and patient prognosis. Genomic approaches have been instrumental in identifying molecular events frequently occurring in mesothelioma. As such, we review the discoveries made using high-throughput technologies, including novel insights obtained from the analysis of the non-coding transcriptome, and the clinical potential of these genetic and epigenetic findings in mesothelioma. Furthermore, we aim to highlight the potential of these technologies in the future clinical applications of the novel molecular features in malignant mesothelioma.
Keywords: asbestos; epigenetics; genomics; mesothelioma; non-coding RNA.