A new clinical trial by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for mesothelioma patients and their families is open. This particular trial focuses on genetic predisposition to mesothelioma and ways to potentially alter this effect. An NCI investigator says this important, long-term study has implications not only for the patient, but for their family members. Early detection and prevention of mesothelioma is the overall goal. As far back as the 1960s, researchers realized mesothelioma may have a genetic component, as the disease was often found to run in families.
An earlier study of a genetic mutation in some mesothelioma patients showed the change made people more susceptible to developing several types of cancer, but the patients also fared better when using platinum-based chemotherapy. Besides mesothelioma, patients with the BAP1 mutation were more likely to receive a diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma, renal carcinoma, cutaneous melanoma, and meningioma.
These patients experienced much longer survival times than those without the mutation undergoing the same chemotherapy regimen. For the cancer patient without the mutation, median survival time following platinum chemotherapy was just 2.4 years. For the cancer patient with the mutation, the median survival time nearly tripled to 7.9 years. However, the NCI senior investigator said that a higher than normal number of young and/or female patients in the study may have affected the median survival time for those with the mutation. The new clinical trial is a follow-up to this study.
In the new clinical trial, participants have the option of a remote or in-person setting for monitoring. Those opting for remote participation provide the researchers with annual medical and family histories. Those preferring the more closely monitored option will have annual blood tests, physical exams, and scans. Participants with the mutation can have family members as young as two years old join the study, and all blood relatives are invited to participate.
While not all mesothelioma patients possess the BAP1 mutation, it is wise for every patient to undergo genetic testing. Not only does such testing offer more information when making treatment decisions, but the patient’s relatives can make a decision regarding their own genetic testing if the mesothelioma patient is predisposed. Such knowledge can lead to regular screening so that mesothelioma or any of the other related cancers are detected at the earliest stages. If a relative has the BAP1 mutation, they can take extra care to avoid exposure to any type of toxin or carcinogen.
If you or a loved one received a mesothelioma diagnosis, you need the services of the experienced Philadelphia mesothelioma attorneys at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler at this difficult time. Call us today for a free consultation at 215-569-4000 or contact us online. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly represent clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.