NIH-Funded Researchers Discover Genetic Link to Mesothelioma
Monday, August 29, 2011
Scientists have found that individuals who carry a mutation in a gene called BAP1 are susceptible to developing two forms of cancer - mesothelioma and melanoma of the eye. Additionally, when these individuals are exposed to asbestos or similar mineral fibers, their risk of developing mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer of the lining of the chest and abdomen, may be markedly increased.
The study published online Aug. 28, 2011, in Nature Genetics, describes two U.S. families with a high incidence of mesothelioma, as well as other cancers, associated with mutations of the BAP1 gene. The research was funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and led by scientists at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, Honolulu, and Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia.