Genes Mesothelin Role in Cancer Formation

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 ·

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that occurs almost entirely caused by exposure to asbestos. Since there is no cure for this disease, life expectancy for most mesothelioma patients ranged between four and 18 months after diagnosis of mesothelioma is known for sure.

Although there is no cure to date, some patients who are diagnosed early mesothelioma can be given a combination of aggressive therapy, such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Combination therapy, known as multimodality therapy, currently has the best chance to prolong the life of the patient.

Japanese researchers recently investigated the mechanism of mesothelin genes that result in malignant mesothelioma. The study is published in the medical journal Human Pathology.

The study's authors explain, "Gene methylation led to the development of malignant tumors in several tumor [malignant mesothelioma] are histologically divided into 3 subtypes, namely, epithelioid, sarcomatoid, and biphasic type, and it shows that mesothelin expression is restricted to the type epithelioid and biphasic epithelioid component MM type (malignant mesothelioma). However, the mechanism of expression regulation has not been clarified. "

A total of 118 lung specimens examined, including 39 MM, 41 carcinoma of the lung, 26 nonneoplastic lung lesions, and 12 samples of normal lung tissue. Specimens were tested for mesothelin expression by immunohistochemistry test, together with the methylation status of 20 locations mesothelin gene promoter.

The results showed mesothelin is expressed in the epithelioid subtype of epithelioid and biphasic subtypes. However, the expression of mesothelin is not found in both the sarcomatous subtype of sarcomatoid and biphasic types. Mesothelin gene promoter have a significantly hypomethylasi mesotehelioma malignant specimens without subtype when compared with other lung lesions and lung tissue samples to normal.

The researchers conclude, "These findings suggest that hypomethylasi of mesothelin gene promoter may be specifically related to the formation of MM, regardless of expression status, and that the mesothelin protein expression is lost in the sarcomatoid type due to some posttranscriptional regulatory mechanisms are not known. "

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