Translating Mesothelioma Molecular Genomics and Dependencies into Precision Oncology-Based Therapies

Publication date: Available online 20 September 2019Source: Seminars in Cancer BiologyAuthor(s): Trista K. Hinz, Lynn E. HeasleyAbstractMalignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare, yet lethal asbestos-induced cancer and despite marked efforts to reduce occupational exposure, the incidence has not yet significantly declined. Since 2003, combined treatment with a platinum-based agent and pemetrexed has been the first-line therapy and no effective or approved second-line treatments have emerged. The seemingly slow advance in developing new MPM treatments does not appear to be related to a low level of clinical and pre-clinical research activity. Rather, we suggest that a key hurdle in successfully translating basic discovery into novel MPM therapeutics is the underlying assumption that as a rare cancer, it will also be molecularly and genetically homogeneous. In fact, lung adenocarcinoma and melanoma only benefitted from precision oncology upon full appreciation of the high degree of molecular heterogeneity inherent in these cancers, especially regarding the diversity of oncogenic drivers. Herein, we consider the recent explosion of molecular and genetic information that has become available regarding MPM and suggest ways in which the unfolding landscape may guide identification of novel therapeutic vulnerabilities within subsets of MPM that can be targeted in a manner consistent with the tenets of precision oncology.
Source: Seminars in Cancer Biology - Category: Cancer & Oncology Source Type: research

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