Mesothelioma is a type of rare cancer that develops from the cells of the mesothelium, i.e. a cell layer derived from mesoderm that lines the body cavity of a vertebrate embryo and develops into epithelia and muscle tissue.
Most important cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. Mesothelial cells are thought to be mutated by asbestos fibers but this is one of the hypothetical mechanisms. There are three theories that are representing the mechanisms behind asbestos-induced malignant mesothelioma. These are as follows:
- The “oxidative stress theory”,
- The “chromosome tangling theory”,
- The “theory of adsorption of many specific proteins as well as carcinogenic molecules”.
You may start your research by collecting information and working on the mechanisms by which asbestos can lead to mesothelioma.
Another point of research is present in this statement by researchers, “although the uptake of asbestos fibers by mesothelial cells is recognized, methods for the quantification of the uptake have not been well established.”
Uptake of crocidolite – a type of asbestos that is fibrous purplish blue in color – by cells can be one of the points of your research. However, it is a little bit difficult to research on this because of difficulty in differentiation of intracellular fibers from extracellular fibers that are present either atop or underneath the examined cells.
Yamashita K, Nagai H, Kondo Y, Misawa N, & Toyokuni S (2013). Evaluation of two distinct methods to quantify the uptake of crocidolite fibers by mesothelial cells. Journal of clinical biochemistry and nutrition, 53 (1), 27-35 PMID: 23874067