Genetic Link Predisposes to Mesothelioma

An investigation led by scientists at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, Honolulu, and Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia has identified germline mutations in the BAP1 gene that predispose individuals to malignant mesothelioma. The research, published online yesterday in Nature Genetics, describes two U.S. families with a high incidence of mesothelioma, as well as other cancers, associated with mutations of the gene BAP1 [1].


Scientists have discovered that individuals who carry a mutation in a gene called BRCA1-associated protein 1 (BAP1) are susceptible to developing two forms of cancer — mesothelioma and melanoma of the eye. 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.