Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a tumor caused by asbestos exposure. Recently, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved immunotherapy treatment for mesothelioma. But the efficacy of available treatments is still limited. Researchers are still evaluating these new therapeutic approaches. They are also working to identify subgroups of patients who could benefit from precision medicine. Precision medicine uses information about a person’s tumor to find out how well a treatment is working. One of these groups could be represented by patients with an inherited cancer syndrome. These are caused by germline pathogenic variants (PVs) in DNA repair genes. A germline pathogenic variant is a gene variant (or mutation) that is passed from parent to child. These germline PVs are hereditary. … Continue reading Hope for Mesothelioma Patients with Genetic Predisposition (Germline PVs) for Cancer
Researchers in China say they have come up with a three-gene signature for mesothelioma. The gene signature may help doctors determine mesothelioma prognosis and plan treatment. Pleural mesothelioma is challenging to diagnose and even harder to treat. Many patients do not receive a diagnosis until the disease is in an advanced stage. The new study finds that the gene signature for mesothelioma is “significantly associated” with overall survival in people with the pleural variety. Testing a Gene Signature for Mesothelioma Genes play an important role in the development and progression of cancers like mesothelioma. The Chinese researchers started by searching for other studies on mesothelioma prognosis and genes. “The lack of relevant search results indicated that no gene prognostic signatures … Continue reading New Research Reveals Gene Signature for Mesothelioma
A mutation of the BAP1 gene may not be the only reason mesothelioma can sometimes run in families. A more complex genetic picture may also help explain why some asbestos-exposed workers get the disease and some do not. Exposure to asbestos is the number one cause of malignant mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer that starts on the membranes that surround internal organs. But only a tiny percentage of people exposed to asbestos – many of whom were construction workers, asbestos plant employees, or veterans – ever contract mesothelioma. Past studies have explained the disparity, in part, by showing that a mutation on the BAP1 gene appears to make some people more susceptible to the damaging effects of asbestos. But a new … Continue reading Could Other Gene Mutations Be Behind Mesothelioma?
Researchers in Slovenia say they may have found a method for determining which mesothelioma patients are most likely to respond to chemotherapy and which may have toxic side effects. The answers may lie in subtle genetic differences called polymorphisms. Chemotherapy with pemetrexed (Alimta) and a platinum-based drug like cisplatin is the primary first-line treatment for pleural mesothelioma. However, as the authors of the new report point out, there is great inconsistency in patient response to this treatment. The goal of their new study was to determine how polymorphisms impact the way mesothelioma patients respond to pemetrexed treatment. Mesothelioma patients treated with pemetrexed as part of a randomized clinical trial were sorted according to two types of polymorphisms – those of … Continue reading Genetic Variables Impact Mesothelioma Treatment Outcomes
A new study out of Italy suggests that a person is more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma if a sibling has the disease. That is especially true if both siblings were also exposed to asbestos. Scientists from Sapienza University and the Lazio Regional Health Service in Rome, as well as industrial disease experts from Viterbo, Italy searched a database including 10 percent of the Italian population to find familial clusters of mesothelioma cases. Among the 997 cases of mesothelioma recorded between 1980 and 2012, the team found 34 familial cases and 13 clusters. Together, these clusters accounted for 3.4% of all mesotheliomas in the database. “The most common clusters were those with affected siblings and unaffected parents,” reports Associate … Continue reading Can Mesothelioma Be Genetic?
New research from a Philadelphia cancer center suggests antioxidants may be another important tool in the fight against malignant mesothelioma. Consumers know antioxidants, such as beta carotene, as dietary supplements which can fight oxidative stress at the cellular level. Certain beans, blueberries, apples, cranberries, strawberries, cherries and plums are just some of the foods that are high in antioxidants. But there are also several antioxidant-based drugs that have a similar effect on cells and are currently being used to treat conditions such as lung disease, diabetes and malaria. Now, researchers at Thomas Jefferson Hospital’s Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia have found evidence that these drugs may also be effective against cancers, such as mesothelioma. The team showed that the loss … Continue reading Antioxidants May Help Fight Mesothelioma
Not everyone who is exposed to asbestos has the same risk of developing mesothelioma. Now, new research supports the idea that some people’s genetic inability to repair DNA damage at the cellular level may raise their risk of mesothelioma. When asbestos dust is inhaled, tiny fibers can lodge in the lungs and stay there for decades, causing irritation and inflammation that have been linked to a range of illnesses, including asbestosis, lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma. But scientists have not been able to come up with a specific genetic explanation for why different people exposed to the same amount of asbestos dust do not contract these diseases at the same rate. Now, a group of Italian researchers believe they may have found … Continue reading Faulty DNA Repair Genes May Raise Mesothelioma Risk