Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rapidly spreading and aggressive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Research has been able to discover some key gene mutations that asbestos activates in a healthy cell. Past studies have been limited to smaller sets of genes until recently. Some prominent cancer researchers have come together and discovered four very specific genes that appear to be responsible for mutations of healthy cells. This research could prove to be instrumental in future treatments of mesothelioma or in diagnosing mesothelioma.
Recent studies uncovered a much more thorough picture of the alterations found in pleural mesothelioma genes. Renowned cancer centers, such as the Dana Farber, University of Hawaii and NYU Langone Medical Center, completed tests known as “whole exome sequencing” on the DNA found in blood and tumor samples of mesothelioma patients. Sequencing targets the one percent of the gene responsible for instructing proteins to be made. Moreover, protein coding allows researchers to identify gene mutations easier and is more cost efficient. The study shows that the four most common genes altered were BAF1, NF2, CDKN2A, and CUL1. Finding these specific genes may increase a more progressive mesothelioma diagnosis as well as more advanced treatment options for mesothelioma.
Although the research is promising for more effective mesothelioma treatment by stage, a sample larger than 22 patients may be needed to support the findings of this study. Having a whole perspective of the genomic base for mesothelioma is of greater benefit, but researchers claim pleural mesothelioma still remains difficult to treat because of the delay in diagnosis for many years. Pleural mesothelioma often goes undiagnosed for 15-60 years after asbestos exposure making it that much more difficult for researchers to provide effective mesothelioma treatments.
These new findings may produce better outcomes for the 2,000 to 3,000 people diagnosed with mesothelioma in the U.S. every year, and the growing number of those suffering with mesothelioma worldwide. Moreover, the more comprehensive overview may allow better treatments that do not attack healthy cells as treatments of chemotherapy tend to do.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact New Jersey mesothelioma lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler. Our asbestos lawyers understand the emotions clients experience after receiving a diagnosis of mesothelioma. We are compassionate and dedicated mesothelioma lawyers who will work hard to ensure you receive all compensation to which you are entitled. Our offices are located in Center City Philadelphia and we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us at 800-369-0899 or fill out our online contact form.