Molecular pathobiology and immunology of malignant mesothelioma

Molecular pathobiology and immunology of malignant mesothelioma

Molecular pathobiology and immunology of malignant mesothelioma

Introduction

The mesothelium, a mesodermally derived single-layer epithelium, lines the pleural, pericardial, and peritoneal cavities, where it functions as a non-adhesive surface for the internal organs and as a selective barrier that regulates the transport of molecules and cells between the circulation and the body cavities. The mesothelium is supported by a layer of connective tissue consisting of collagen and elastin fibres interspersed with fibroblasts, mononuclear phagocytes, lymphocytes, capillaries, and lymphatics. The mesothelial cells are the progenitor cells of mesothelioma, a malignant neoplasm often associated with past exposure to asbestos; this accounts for approximately 50 per cent of all cases, the remainder being of unknown aetiology.

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