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Study Finds Mesothelioma May Be Caused Partly Due to Genetics

A new study financed by a section of the National Institutes of Health has made the first potential connection to an individual’s genetics and susceptibility to eventually developing deadly asbestos illnesses such as mesothelioma.

The study, which was recently published online in Nature Genetics, found evidence that people with BAP1 gene mutations may have an increased chance of developing multiple cancer types such as mesothelioma, breast, ovarian, pancreatic and renal cancers. The study highlighted two U.S. families with members who have the BAP1 gene mutation. Both families also have “a high incidence of 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,” said Dr. Michele Carbone, study co-leader and 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.”

Dr. Joseph R. Testa, another 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.”

While only a first step, the discoveries noted in this study could one day lead to fundamental progress in mesothelioma care. Thanks to Drs. Carbone and Testa and their crew for the hard work. We hope this is just the beginning of bigger breakthroughs to come.

Living with the day-to-day hardships of mesothelioma – whether it is you or a loved one who has been diagnosed with the illness – is both emotionally and financially taxing. If you feel that a company or former employer may be responsible for the asbestos exposure that led to an illness, contact a mesothelioma attorney to learn about filing amesothelioma lawsuit.

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