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Mesothelioma May Be Caused in Part by Gene Mutations

A new study from the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute has made a new connection between genetic mutations and an individual’s susceptibility to developing mesothelioma at some point in their life.

The study – which was recently published online in Nature Genetics – uncovered evidence that people who contained BAP1 gene mutations may have an increased chance of developing multiple cancer types such as mesothelioma, breast, ovarian, pancreatic and renal cancers.

Dr. Joseph R. Testa, a study co-leader and the Carol and Kenneth E. Weg chairman in Human Genetics at Fox Chase Cancer Center, said the study was the first to “demonstrate that individual genetic makeup can greatly influence susceptibility to mesothelioma.”

“This discovery is a first step in understanding the role of the BAP1 gene and its potential utility when screening for mutations in those at high risk,” added Dr. Michele Carbone, another study co-leader and the director of the University of Hawaii Cancer Center. “Identifying people at greatest risk for developing mesothelioma, especially those exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos and erionite worldwide, is a task made easier by virtue of this discovery.”

For those who have previously served in any branch of the U.S. military and are now suffering from mesothelioma cancer, asbestos law dictates that some may be entitled to financial compensation from companies that manufactured or sold asbestos products and may be at fault for the illness.

Contact a mesothelioma attorney if you have any questions about pursuing a mesothelioma lawsuit and/or would like to take action.

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