Ghena Krdi

Characterizing Primary Mesothelioma Cell Lines by Exome Sequencing

Presented by Ghena Krdi, University of Arizona (Graduate Student)

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive type of lung cancer. Currently, its main cause is asbestos exposure. It is usually discovered at an advanced stage which makes treatment harder as there is no cure. This is due to the lack of knowledge about early symptoms of the disease. Although tumor development takes a long time, there has not been enough research about reliable early disease biomarkers to look for in patients who are at risk. Along with that, mesothelioma in vitro research is usually conducted on commercial cell lines which do not yield accurate results due to the difference in the environment and metabolism of the cells. Primary cell lines are proven to yield more reliable in vitro results in mesothelioma research because the cells come from real patients. Although research is still conducted in vitro, primary cell lines are considered a better representation of mesothelioma because they show more accurate cell metabolic profiles and responses to drugs tested.

Besides using primary cell lines, DNA exome sequencing, a time efficient and inexpensive technique, is used for identifying specific DNA mutations which are important for identifying possible disease biomarkers including the expression of certain genes or transcription factors that are common for mesothelioma tumor cells. Computational analysis of exome sequencing data can be used to make conclusions about copy number variation and genes associated with tumor progression.