The malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer with a mean survival rate of less than a year. Moreover, environmental exposure to minerals is an important factor in the development of malignant mesothelioma (MM), especially the mineral asbestos, which has a well-documented role in MM, and more recently, the mineral erionite has been proven to be a strong carcinogenic inducer of MM. In addition, the virus simian virus 40 has been implicated as a co-carcinogenic player in MM. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of this cancer are still not fully understood. Indeed, it is known that several genes are altered ormutated in MM, among those are p16 INK4A, p14ARF, and neurofibromatosis type II. Furthermore, TP53 has been reported to be mutated in the majority of the cancers; however, in MM, it is very uncommon mutations in this gene. Also, the PTEN gene has been shown to play an important role in endometrial cancer and glioblastoma, although the role of PTEN in MM has yet to be established. Taken altogether, this review focuses on the historical aspects, molecular mechanisms, interaction with other genes and proteins, and the role of these genes in MM. Lastly, this review questions the cancer theory of the two hits because the functions of both PTEN and TP53 are not fully explained by this theory.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)