Study Finds Small Amounts of Asbestos May Trigger Mesothelioma in People with Genetic Mutation, According to Surviving Mesothelioma

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New research suggests that mesothelioma patients with the BAP1 mutation are more likely to get mesothelioma even if they have never worked in an asbestos industry.

Gene Mutation Increases Sensitivity to Asbestos

BAP1 Mutation and Mesothelioma Risk

BAP1+/- mice had a significantly higher incidence of mesothelioma after exposure to very low doses of asbestos...

Scientists at several top US cancer centers believe they now know why certain people are more susceptible to mesothelioma with even minimal asbestos exposure. Click here to read the complete story, just posted on the Surviving Mesothelioma website.

Researchers at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, and New York University exposed mice with a mutation on the tumor suppressor gene called BAP1 to small amounts of asbestos.

“BAP1+/- mice had a significantly higher incidence of mesothelioma after exposure to very low doses of asbestos, doses that rarely induced mesothelioma in wild-type [non-mutated] mice,” reports study author Andrea Napolitano, a graduate research assistant at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center.

The findings, published in the journal Oncogene, help explain why none of the mesothelioma patients they studied who had the BAP1 mutation had ever worked in a high-risk industry. The authors believe that a heightened inflammatory response at the cellular level may help explain the these peoples' higher sensitivity to the damaging effects of asbestos.

“Understanding who is at greatest risk for mesothelioma and why is a crucial first step on the road to potentially being able to prevent this devastating cancer, something medicine has not yet been able to do,” observes Alex Strauss, Managing Editor of Surviving Mesothelioma.

For a more in-depth look at the findings and their implications for present and future mesothelioma patients, see Even Minimal Asbestos Exposure May Trigger Mesothelioma in People with Gene Mutation, now available on the Surviving Mesothelioma website.

Napolitano, A, et al, “Minimal asbestos exposure in germline BAP1 heterozygous mice is associated with deregulated inflammatory response and increased risk of mesothelioma”, June 29, 2015, Oncogene, Epub ahead of print,

For nearly ten years, Surviving Mesothelioma has brought readers the most important and ground-breaking news on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. All Surviving Mesothelioma news is gathered and reported directly from the peer-reviewed medical literature. Written for patients and their loved ones, Surviving Mesothelioma news helps families make more informed decisions.

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Cancer Monthy
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