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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 572609, 8 pages
Review Article

A Potential Therapeutic Strategy for Malignant Mesothelioma with Gene Medicine

1Department of Respirology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan
2Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Toho University, 6-11-1 Omori-nishi, Ota-ku, Tokyo 143-8540, Japan
3Department of Pathology, Tokyo Women's Medical University Yachiyo Medical Center, 477-96 Owada-Shinden, Yachiyo 276-8524, Japan
4Division of Pathology and Cell Therapy, Chiba Cancer Center Research Institute, 666-2 Nitona, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8717, Japan
5Department of Molecular Biology and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan

Received 12 October 2012; Revised 25 December 2012; Accepted 25 December 2012

Academic Editor: Jie Chen

Copyright © 2013 Yuji Tada et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Malignant mesothelioma, closely linked with occupational asbestos exposure, is relatively rare in the frequency, but the patient numbers are going to increase in the next few decades all over the world. The current treatment modalities are not effective in terms of the overall survival and the quality of life. Mesothelioma mainly develops in the thoracic cavity and infrequently metastasizes to extrapleural organs. A local treatment can thereby be beneficial to the patients, and gene therapy with an intrapleural administration of vectors is one of the potential therapeutics. Preclinical studies demonstrated the efficacy of gene medicine for mesothelioma, and clinical trials with adenovirus vectors showed the safety of an intrapleural injection and a possible involvement of antitumor immune responses. Nevertheless, low transduction efficiency remains the main hurdle that hinders further clinical applications. Moreover, rapid generation of antivector antibody also inhibits transgene expressions. In this paper, we review the current status of preclinical and clinical gene therapy for malignant mesothelioma and discuss potential clinical directions of gene medicine in terms of a combinatory use with anticancer agents and with immunotherapy.