Pulmonary Malignancies (2): Mesothelioma—What Are the Roles of Genetic Factors in the Pathogenesis of Mesothelioma?

  • Takashi NakanoEmail author
  • Eisuke Shibata
  • Kozo Kuribayashi
  • Yoshie Yoshikawa
  • Masaki Ohmuraya
Part of the Respiratory Disease Series: Diagnostic Tools and Disease Managements book series (RDSDTDM)


Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a highly lethal and aggressive tumor, and its incidence is increasing because of widespread asbestos exposure in the last 50 years. Malignant mesothelioma is characterized by a long latency period of 40 years between initial exposure to asbestos and tumor development, indicating that multiple somatic genetic alterations contribute to its carcinogenesis. Molecular genetic studies have identified multiple chromosomal alterations in most mesothelioma tumor tissues and cell lines. In addition, these studies have identified several key genetic alterations. Mutation rates in CDKN2A, NF2, and BAP1, which are cancer suppressor genes, are high in mesothelioma cells. Moreover, diagnosis of a new familial cancer predisposition syndrome associated with germline BAP1 mutation indicates the importance of genetic factors in mesothelioma susceptibility. In this chapter, we have summarized the clinicopathological aspects of mesothelioma and have discussed the roles of genetic factors in the development of malignant pleural mesothelioma.


Mesothelioma Asbestos BAP1 NF2 Genetic susceptibility Cancer predisposition syndrome 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takashi Nakano
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eisuke Shibata
    • 2
  • Kozo Kuribayashi
    • 2
  • Yoshie Yoshikawa
    • 3
  • Masaki Ohmuraya
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Respiratory MedicineOtemae HospitalOsakaJapan
  2. 2.Division of Respiratory Diseases, Department of Internal MedicineHyogo College of MedicineNishinomiyaJapan
  3. 3.Department of GeneticsHyogo College of MedicineNishinomiyaJapan

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