Scientists Trace Genetic Roots of Mesothelioma to 1700s Immigrant Couple, According to Surviving Mesothelioma

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Researchers say a genetic mutation that predisposes some people to mesothelioma and other malignancies may have come from a pair of German immigrants nearly 300 years ago.

BAP1 Cancer Syndrome and Mesothelioma

Genetic Mutation Raises Mesothelioma Risk

Their descendants spread throughout the country with mutation carriers affected by multiple malignancies.

A new study combining genetics and genealogy suggests that as many as 80,000 Americans may be at higher risk for mesothelioma because of a genetic mutation. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on the new research. Click here to read it now.

Preiminant mesothelioma researcher, Dr. Michele Carbone of the University of Hawaii and a team of colleagues from around the world say these high-risk individuals are probably all related to an immigrant couple that came to North American in the 1700s.

“Their descendants spread throughout the country with mutation carriers affected by multiple malignancies,” writes Carbone.

The report, published online in PLoS Genetics, says the syndrome which raises the risk for mesothelioma, uveal melanoma, and some of other cancers, is caused by a BAP1 germline mutation.

“Although this does not appear to be good news for the descendants of that first couple with BAP1 cancer syndrome, being aware of the risk for mesothelioma also opens the door for early detection strategies that may ultimately improve outcomes,” says Alex Strauss, Managing Editor of Surviving Mesothelioma.

To learn more about the new study and its potential implications for mesothelioma patients and their families, see Uncovering the Genetic Roots of Mesothelioma, now available on the Surviving Mesothelioma website.

Carbone, M et al, “Combined Genetic and Geologic Studies Uncover a Large BAP1 Cancer Syndrome Kindred Tracing Back Nine Generations to a Common Ancestor from the 1700s”, December 18, 2015, PLoS Genetics,

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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