bims-mesote Biomed News
on Mesothelioma
Issue of 2021‒05‒23
eleven papers selected by
Laura Mannarino
Humanitas Research

  1. J Thorac Dis. 2021 Apr;13(4): 2510-2523
      The malignant pleural mesothelioma is a very aggressive tumor which is arising from mesothelial cells and is associated with asbestos exposure. It is a heterogeneous cancer that shows a complex pattern of molecular changes, including genetic, chromosomic, and epigenetic abnormalities. The malignant pleural mesothelioma is characterized by a silent and slow clinical progression with an average period of 20-40 years from the asbestos exposure phase to the start of the symptoms. Unfortunately, to date, the therapeutic options are very limited, especially if the tumor is detected late. This narrative review provides an extended overview of the present evidence in the literature regarding the epidemiology, diagnostic pathways and treatment approaches of the malignant pleural mesothelioma. The treatment of mesothelioma has evolved slowly over the last 20 years not only from a surgical point of view but also radiotherapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy play nowadays a key role. Several surgical strategies are available ranging from extrapleural pneumonectomy to cytoreductive surgery but a multidisciplinary approach seems to be mandatory because a single approach has not proved to date to be resolutive. New non-surgical treatment options appear to be promising but the results have to be taken in account with caution because clear evidence with high-quality studies is still lacking.
    Keywords:  MARS, pleural disease; Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM)
  2. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2021 May 17. 9603271211017324
      INTRODUCTION: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a malignant tumor that is associated mostly with asbestos exposure. The present study was to evaluates the diagnostic value of neopterin, periostin, YKL-40, Tenascin-C (TNC), and Indolamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) as noninvasive markers of malign pleural mesothelioma.METHODS: Included in the study were 30 patients diagnosed with malign pleural mesothelioma, and 25 people as a control group. Biomarker levels were determined using an enzyme immunoassay . A Mann-Whitney U test and Spearman correlation methods were used for the statistical analysis.
    RESULTS: All evaluated biomarkers were found to be significantly higher in the MPM group than in the control group (p < 0.05). There was no effect of such variables as gender, age or MPMsubtype on the parameters (p > 0.05) in the patient group. All biomarkers were positively correlated with each other (p < 0.001).
    CONCLUSIONS: The current non-invasive biomarkers that can be used in the diagnosis of MPM yielded significant results and can make important contributions to the early diagnosis of MPM.
    Keywords:  Asbestos; IDO; YKL-40; malign pleural mesothelioma; neopterin; periostin; tenascin-C
  3. Transl Lung Cancer Res. 2021 Apr;10(4): 1594-1607
      Background: Programmed cell death 1/programmed death ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) immune-checkpoint blockade is a promising new therapeutic strategy in cancer. However, expression patterns and prognostic significance of PD-L1 and PD-1 are still controversial in human malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).Methods: Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumor samples from 203 MPM patients receiving standard treatment without immunotherapy were collected from 5 European centers. PD-L1 and PD-1 expression of tumor cells (TCs) and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) were measured by immunohistochemistry and correlated with clinical parameters and long-term outcome.
    Results: High (>10%) PD-L1 TC and PD-1 TILs expressions were found in 18 (8%) and 39 (24%) patients, respectively. PD-L1 was rarely expressed by TILs [≥1%, n=13 (8%); >10%, n=1]. No significant associations were found between the PD-L1 or PD-1 expression of TCs or TILs and clinicopathological parameters such as stage or histological subtype. Notably, patients with high (>10%) TC-specific PD-L1 expression exhibited significantly worse median overall survival (OS) (6.3 vs. 15.1 months of those with low TC PD-L1 expression; HR: 2.51, P<0.001). In multivariate cox regression analysis adjusted for clinical parameters, high TC PD-L1 expression (>10%) proved to be an independent negative prognostic factor for OS (HR: 2.486, P=0.005). There was no significant correlation between PD-L1 or PD-1 expression of TILs and OS.
    Conclusions: In this multicenter cohort study, we demonstrate that high (>10%) PD-L1 expression of TCs independently predicts worse OS in MPM. Further studies are warranted to investigate the value of PD-L1/PD-1 expression as a marker for treatment response in MPM patients receiving immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM); prognosis; programmed cell death 1 (PD-1); programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1)
  4. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2021 May 18.
      BACKGOUND: Literature reports suggest that the host immune system may control Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) growth, although its activity is limited by regulatory mechanisms. In this retrospective study, we analyzed the levels of pro-inflammatory (IL-1, IL-6, TNF), immune-regulatory (IL-10) and Th1/CTL-related cytokines (IL-12p70, IFN-γ) in the pleural exudate and their relationship with overall survival (OS) in MPM.METHODS: Cytokines were quantified by multiplexed immunoassay. Concentrations were dichotomized with respect to the median value. Correlation between cytokine level and OS was assessed using univariate (Kaplan-Meier curves) and multivariate (Cox regression) analyses.
    RESULTS: Regarding outcome, tumor histology, therapies undergone and IFN-γ were independent prognostic factors of OS in a 72 MPM training cohort. Notably, high concentrations of IFN-γ halved death probability (HR of high vs low IFN-γ concentration = 0.491, 95%CI 0.3-0.8, p = 0.007). Also in patients with epithelioid histology and those receiving at least one line of therapy, high IFN-γ level was an independent factor predictive of OS (HR of high vs low IFN-γ concentration were 0.497, p = 0.007 and 0.324, p = 0.006, respectively). However, these data were not confirmed in a 77 MPM validation cohort, possibly due to the low IFN-γ levels encountered in this population, and the heterogeneous distribution of disease stages between the training and the validation cohorts. None of the other cytokines showed any effect on survival.
    CONCLUSIONS: High level of IFN-γ in pleural effusion may be associated with better survival in MPM patients and potentially serve as a prognostic biomarker. Larger prospective studies are needed to ascertain this hypothesis.
    Keywords:  Biomarker; Immune response; Interferon-gamma; Mesothelioma; Outcome; Pleural effusion
  5. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2021 May 18. 1-9
      Unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive disease with a 5-year survival rate of approximately 10%. Recent data suggest that MPM is an immunologically active tumor, in which checkpoint inhibition through the blockade of the anti-cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (-CTLA-4) or anti-programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) could play a major therapeutic role. Initially, clinical trials evaluated immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in the salvage setting after platinum-based chemotherapy with mixed results in terms of efficacy. More recently, the combination of the anti-CTLA-4 agent ipilimumab plus the anti-PD-1 agent nivolumab was tested in the front-line setting, and reported a superior survival as compared to platinum/pemetrexed. While other clinical trials ore ongoing in order to investigate ICIs for MPM, it seems now evident that we have entered a new "era" for the treatment of MPM. In the future, a few issues need to be solved with regard to the use of ICIs for MPM. Among them, there is the identification of biomarkers of sensitivity to immunotherapy that may help enrich the patient population who could benefit the most from treatment, while avoiding for some other patients the potential occurrence of immune-related side effects from therapies that are anticipated to be ineffective.
    Keywords:  Immune checkpoint inhibitors; PD-(L)1; immunotherapy; malignant pleural mesothelioma
  6. Transl Lung Cancer Res. 2021 Apr;10(4): 2079-2087
      Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an uncommon thoracic cancer with a relatively poor outcome, which has only seen modest improvements when compared to non-small cell lung cancer. The mainstays of treatment have been surgery and systemic therapy, with radiation reserved for palliation or as an adjunct. However, there is re-emergent interest in the use of radiotherapy in the treatment of mesothelioma, given recent technical advances in radiotherapy delivery which permit increased treatment accuracy. This overview article reviews the radiobiology of the mesothelioma and whether or not mesothelioma is an inherently radioresistant cancer and the potential impact that hypofractionation may have on different histological subtypes in mesothelioma. This overview also considers the role of radiation in palliation, as adjunct to surgical resection and as adjunct to pleural tract procedures. In particular we review the growing evidence that pleural tract or port site adjuvant radiotherapy provides no clinical benefit. This overview will also consider potential emerging therapeutic strategies such as pre-operative short course hypofractionated radiotherapy. The role of novel radiotherapy techniques such as stereotactic ablative radiotherapy, image guided radiotherapy, proton therapy and the potential role of radiotherapy as an immune stimulating agent in combination of immunotherapy, will also be discussed. Finally, given the many unanswered questions, this review discusses some of the emerging and ongoing clinical trials of radiotherapy in the treatment of mesothelioma.
    Keywords:  Mesothelioma; hemithoracic radiotherapy; palliative radiotherapy; radiation therapy; radiotherapy
  7. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2021 Jun 04. 24 669-681
      Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an incurable surface neoplasm with peculiar pathobiology. MPM proliferates by using the tyrosine-kinase-Ras pathway. Despite representing an attractive therapeutic target, there are no standard agent(s) specifically inhibiting Ras signaling adopted in clinical settings. We posited that biologic effects of microRNA (miRNA) can disrupt this molecular network. Using patient samples, cell lines, and murine tumor xenograft models, we confirmed specific genes in the Ras pathway are targeted by an MPM-associated miRNA and then examined its therapeutic effects. We verified significant and consistent downregulation of miR-206 in MPM tissues. When miR-206 is ectopically re-expressed in MPM cells and delivered to tumor xenografts in mice, it exerted significant cell killing by suppressing multiple components of the receptor-tyrosine-kinase-Ras-cell-cycle-signaling network; some of which were prognostic when overexpressed and/or have not been druggable. Of note, we validated CDK6 as a novel target of miR-206. Overall, this miR-206-targeting mechanism manifested as induced G1/S cell cycle arrest. In addition, we identified a novel MPM therapeutic combination by adding systemic-route abemaciclib with local-route miR-206, which showed additive efficacy translating to improved survival. Our pre-clinical study suggests a potential pathophysiologic role for, and therapeutic relevance of, miR-206 in MPM.
    Keywords:  Ras; cell cycle; mesothelioma; microRNA; receptor tyrosine kinase
  8. Semin Nucl Med. 2021 May 11. pii: S0001-2998(21)00018-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose [18F]FDG-PET/CT represents the metabolic imaging of choice in various cancer types. Used either at diagnosis or during treatment response assessment, the modality allows for a more accurate definition of tumor extent compared to morphological imaging and is able to predict the therapeutic benefit earlier in time. Due to the aspecific uptake property of [18F]FDG there is an overlap of its distribution in normal and pathological conditions, which can make the interpretation of the imaging challenging. Lung and pleural neoplasia are no exception to this, thus acknowledging of possible pitfalls and artifacts are mandatory for image interpretation. While most pitfalls and artifacts are common for all indications with metabolic imaging with [18F]FDG-PET/CT, there are specific variants and pitfalls in lung cancer and malignant pleural mesothelioma. The aim of the present article is to shed light on the most frequent and relevant variants and pitfalls in [18F]FDG-PET/CT imaging in lung cancer and malignant pleural mesothelioma.
  9. Geospat Health. 2021 May 14. 16(1):
      Exposure to asbestos causes a wide range of diseases, such as asbestosis, malignant mesothelioma (MM) and other types of cancer. Many European countries have reduced production and use of asbestos and some have banned it altogether. Based on data derived from the World Health Organisation (WHO) Cancer Mortality Database, we investigated whether some regions in Europe could have a higher relative risk of MM incidence than others. The data were compared, including the number of MM deaths per million inhabitants and aged-standardized mortality rates. Applying Moran's I and Getis-Ord Gi statistic on the agedstandardized mortality rates of MM cases assisted the spatial analysis of the occurrence of health events leading to an assessment of the heterogeneity of distribution and cluster detection of MM. We found a statistically significant positive autocorrelation for the male population and also the general population, while there was no statistically significant positive one for the female population. Hotspots of relative risk of developing MM were found in northwestern Europe. For the general population, Great Britain and the Netherlands stood out with high levels at the 99% and 95% confidence levels, respectively. For the male population, the results were similar, but with addition of risk also in Belgium and Switzerland. However, in many European countries with high asbestos use per capita, the MM incidence was found to still be low. The reasons for this are not yet clear, but part of the problem is certainly due to incomplete data in registers and databases. The latency time can be longer than 40 years and is related to the intensity and time of exposure (occupational, para-occupational and environmental). In Europe, even though peak production occurred in the 1960s and 1970s, a significant decrease in production did not occur until 25 years later, which means that the impact will continue for as late as The mid 2030s.
  10. Hum Mol Genet. 2021 May 18. pii: ddab138. [Epub ahead of print]
      There is irrefutable evidence that germline BAP1 mutations contribute to malignant mesothelioma (MM) susceptibility. However, BAP1 mutations are not found in all cases with evidence of familial MM or in other high-risk cancer families affected by various cancers, including MM. The goal of this study was to use whole genome sequencing (WGS) to determine the frequency and types of germline gene variants occurring in 12 MM patients selected from a series of 141 asbestos-exposed MM patients with a family history of cancer but without a germline BAP1 mutation. WGS was also performed on 2 MM cases, a proband and sibling, from a previously reported family with multiple cases of MM without inheritance of a predisposing BAP1 mutation. Altogether, germline DNA sequencing variants were identified in 20 cancer-related genes in 10 of the 13 probands. Germline indel, splice site, and missense mutations and two large deletions were identified. Among the 13 MM index cases, 6 (46%) exhibited one or more predicted pathogenic mutations. Affected genes encode proteins involved in DNA repair (ATM, ATR, BRCA2, BRIP1, CHEK2, MLH3, MUTYH, POLE, POLE4, POLQ, XRCC1), chromatin modification (ARID1B, DNMT3A, JARID2, SETD1B) or other cellular pathways: LRRK2 (2 cases) and MSH4. Notably, somatic truncating mutation or deletions of LRRK2 were occasionally found in MMs in The Cancer Genome Atlas, and expression of LRRK2 was undetectable or downregulated in a majority of primary MMs and MM cell lines we examined, implying that loss of LRRK2 expression is a newly recognized tumor suppressor alteration in MM.
  11. Front Oncol. 2021 ;11 658395
      Objectives: Patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) or pleural metastases often present with malignant pleural effusion (MPE). This study aimed to analyze the effect of pleural fluid on cancer cells.Materials and Methods: Established patient-derived cancer cell cultures derived from MPE (MPM, breast carcinoma, lung adenocarcinoma) were seeded in 100% pleural fluid (exudate MPM MPE, transudate MPE, non-MPE transudate fluid) and proliferation was monitored. In addition, the establishment of new MPM cell cultures, derived from MPE specimens, was attempted by seeding the cells in 100% MPE fluid.
    Results: All established cancer cell cultures proliferated with similar growth rates in the different types of pleural fluid. Primary MPM cell culture success was similar with MPE fluid as with full culture medium.
    Conclusions: Pleural fluid alone is adequate for cancer cell proliferation in vitro, regardless of the source of pleural fluid. These results support the hypothesis that pleural fluid has important pro-growth biological properties, but the mechanisms for this effect are unclear and likely not malignant effusion specific.
    Keywords:  malignant pleural effusion (MPE); malignant pleural mesothelioma; pleural cancer; pleural fluid; pleural metastases