Research Topic

Moving Beyond the Molecular Mechanisms of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: Cues for Novel Biomarkers and Drug Targets

About this Research Topic

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a relatively rare and aggressive tumor with limited therapeutic options. To date, systemic treatments, including immunotherapy, as well as surgery or radiotherapy, do not allow for a cure.

Asbestos fibers, the main etiological agent of MPM, accumulate in the lungs and induce chronic inflammation and reactive oxygen species production causing mesothelial cells transformation. Loss of tumor suppressor genes such as BAP-1, NF2 and p14/ARF frequently occurs in MPM, resulting in the dysregulation of downstream pathways involved in cell proliferation, angiogenesis and resistance to apoptosis. However, so far, trials testing biological agents targeting key oncogenic pathways of MPM did not significantly increase the clinical outcome. New therapeutic and diagnostics approaches are therefore urgently needed in order to improve the survival and the quality of life of MPM patients.

Recent efforts have provided novel extraordinary insights into the genomic landscape of MPM. The mechanistic investigation of this information bears the potential for novel targets of treatment and biomarkers for MPM. Bioinformatics strategies and dedicated data-repository will be crucial for the analysis and interpretation of the available data and the dissemination of gained knowledge. We believe that functional studies of the current genomics landscape of MPM, together with dedicated computational tools, will strongly support the development of novel clinical approaches for MPM. We, therefore, call for a special issue including articles that can lead the exploration and dissemination of the functional insights of MPM biology beyond genomics and towards novel therapeutic options.

In this Research Topic, we aim at dissecting the functional implications of the omics profile of MPM, in order to translate this knowledge in novel diagnostic, prognostic and predictive tools as well as novel targeted pharmacological approaches to improve patients’ management.

We welcome the submission of Original Research, Methods and Reviews covering, but not limited to, the following subtopics:

1. Molecular biology: this sub-topic will look for articles dedicated to the understanding of molecular mechanisms and functional/pharmacological studies inferred from the current knowledge of the genomic landscape of MPM

2. Biomarkers: this sub-topic will collect articles focused on prognostic and predictive biomarkers derived from and beyond the current knowledge of the genomic landscape, with particular attention to integrative –omics biotechnologies

3. Computational tools: this sub-topic will focus on bioinformatics workflows for data mining and mechanistic hypothesis generation from and beyond the current genomic landscape of MPM as well as data-repositories for functional information.

Note: Those consisting solely of bioinformatic investigation of publicly available genomic / transcriptomic data without experimental or in situ validation to support conclusions are not in scope for this Research Topic.


Keywords: Mesothelioma, Biomarkers, Novel Targeted Therapies, Liquid Biopsy, Omics Studies


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a relatively rare and aggressive tumor with limited therapeutic options. To date, systemic treatments, including immunotherapy, as well as surgery or radiotherapy, do not allow for a cure.

Asbestos fibers, the main etiological agent of MPM, accumulate in the lungs and induce chronic inflammation and reactive oxygen species production causing mesothelial cells transformation. Loss of tumor suppressor genes such as BAP-1, NF2 and p14/ARF frequently occurs in MPM, resulting in the dysregulation of downstream pathways involved in cell proliferation, angiogenesis and resistance to apoptosis. However, so far, trials testing biological agents targeting key oncogenic pathways of MPM did not significantly increase the clinical outcome. New therapeutic and diagnostics approaches are therefore urgently needed in order to improve the survival and the quality of life of MPM patients.

Recent efforts have provided novel extraordinary insights into the genomic landscape of MPM. The mechanistic investigation of this information bears the potential for novel targets of treatment and biomarkers for MPM. Bioinformatics strategies and dedicated data-repository will be crucial for the analysis and interpretation of the available data and the dissemination of gained knowledge. We believe that functional studies of the current genomics landscape of MPM, together with dedicated computational tools, will strongly support the development of novel clinical approaches for MPM. We, therefore, call for a special issue including articles that can lead the exploration and dissemination of the functional insights of MPM biology beyond genomics and towards novel therapeutic options.

In this Research Topic, we aim at dissecting the functional implications of the omics profile of MPM, in order to translate this knowledge in novel diagnostic, prognostic and predictive tools as well as novel targeted pharmacological approaches to improve patients’ management.

We welcome the submission of Original Research, Methods and Reviews covering, but not limited to, the following subtopics:

1. Molecular biology: this sub-topic will look for articles dedicated to the understanding of molecular mechanisms and functional/pharmacological studies inferred from the current knowledge of the genomic landscape of MPM

2. Biomarkers: this sub-topic will collect articles focused on prognostic and predictive biomarkers derived from and beyond the current knowledge of the genomic landscape, with particular attention to integrative –omics biotechnologies

3. Computational tools: this sub-topic will focus on bioinformatics workflows for data mining and mechanistic hypothesis generation from and beyond the current genomic landscape of MPM as well as data-repositories for functional information.

Note: Those consisting solely of bioinformatic investigation of publicly available genomic / transcriptomic data without experimental or in situ validation to support conclusions are not in scope for this Research Topic.


Keywords: Mesothelioma, Biomarkers, Novel Targeted Therapies, Liquid Biopsy, Omics Studies


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

10 January 2021 Abstract
10 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

10 January 2021 Abstract
10 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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