Research on Mesothelioma
Prof. Ada Funaro and coworkers have just published an important work revealing for the first time that a specific membrane glycoprotein (CD157) is implicated in multiple aspects of malignant mesothelioma progression. Authors suggest that CD157 expression could be used to stratify patients into different prognostic groups or to select patients that might benefit from particular chemotherapeutic approach.
Abstract: Malignant mesothelioma is a deadly tumor whose diagnosis and treatment remain very challenging. There is an urgent need to advance our understanding of mesothelioma biology and to identify new molecular markers for improving management of patients. CD157 is a membrane glycoprotein linked to ovarian cancer progression and mesenchymal differentiation.
The common embryonic origin of ovarian epithelial cells and mesothelial cells and the evident similarities between ovarian and mesothelial cancer prompted us to investigate the biological role and clinical significance of CD157 in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). CD157 mRNA and protein were detected in four of nine MPM cell lines of diverse histotype and in 85.2% of MPM surgical tissue samples (32/37 epithelioid; 37/44 biphasic). CD157 expression correlated with clinical aggressiveness in biphasic MPM. Indeed, high CD157 was a negative prognostic factor and an independent predictor of poor survival for patients with biphasic MPM by multivariate survival analysis (HR = 2.433, 95% CI 1.120-5.284; p = 0.025). In mesothelioma cell lines, CD157 gain (in CD157-negative cells) or knockdown (in CD157-positive cells) affected cell growth, migration, invasion and tumorigenicity, most notably in biphasic MPM cell lines. In these cells, CD157 expression was associated with increased activation of the mTOR signaling pathway, resulting in decreased platinum sensitivity. Moreover, a trend towards reduced survival was observed in patients with biphasic MPM receiving postoperative platinum-based chemotherapy. These findings indicate that CD157 is implicated in multiple aspects of MPM progression and suggest that CD157 expression could be used to stratify patients into different prognostic groups or to select patients that might benefit from particular chemotherapeutic approach.