Mesothelioma May Have Genetic Causes as Well

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

The study – which was funded by the National Cancer Institute and recently had its results published online in Nature Genetics – uncovered evidence that people who possess 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 that contain individuals who have the BAP1 gene mutation. Both families also have “a high incidence of mesothelioma.”

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.”

While only a first step, the discoveries noted in this study could one day lead to bigger and better breakthroughs to come that could possibly lead to a cure for mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma and asbestosis are both deadly illnesses that are caused primarily by prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers. If you were exposed to asbestos while working for a company and have since developed one of these illnesses, it may be worth pursuing a mesothelioma lawsuit that could potentially result in a substantial asbestos settlement.

If you think that a mesothelioma attorney could help prove you illness was caused by a specific entity’s negligence, please contact Sokolove Law for a free legal consultation.