Mesothelioma - Genetic Mutation increases Cancer Risk

(Best Syndication News) - Researchers believe they have found a genetic link between developing mesothelioma and Melanoma of the eye. Mutations in the BAP1 gene is associated with an increased risk for developing these two cancers. The study is in the online August 28, 2011 edition of Nature Genetics.

The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and was conducted by researchers from the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, Honolulu, and Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia.

Exposure to asbestos and erionite, which are naturally found in rock formations and volcanic ash, are usually attributed to mesothelioma. Around 3,000 people die from mesothelioma cancer in the United States every year.

The researchers found that people with the mutation in the BAP1 gene tended to have higher rates of mesothelioma. Two families that had unusually high rates of mesothelioma or melanoma of the eye had carried mutations in the BAP1 gene.

In general, the researchers found that people with mesothelioma tumors had the mutated BAP1 gene in around 25 percent of the cases. They point out in two cases, the mutation was inherited and the individuals both developed melanoma of the eye.

By: Marsha Quinn

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