Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a highly aggressive tumor that arises from the mesothelial cells lining the pleural cavity. Asbestos is considered the major factor in the pathogenesis of this malignancy, with more than 80% of patients with a history of asbestos exposure. MPM is characterized by a long latency period, typically 20–40 years from the time of asbestos exposure to diagnosis, suggesting that multiple somatic genetic alterations are required for the tumorigenic conversion of a mesothelial cell. In the last few years, advancements in next-generation sequencing and “–omics” technologies have revolutionized the field of genomics and medical diagnosis. The focus of this chapter is to summarize recent studies which explore the molecular mechanisms underlying this disease and identify potential therapeutic targets in MPM.
Part of the book: Mesothelioma