Life-saving new approaches for mesothelioma cancer recommended

University of Hawaiʻi
carbone in his lab
Michele Carbone

The University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center has published the latest research on preventive and therapeutic approaches for mesothelioma-a cancer of the membranes covering the chest and the abdomen-caused by inherited genetic mutations in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

Lead author Michele Carbone and his team found that patients with mesothelioma caused by BAP1 or other inherited genetic mutations, require a personalized, different preventive, early detection and therapeutic approach, compared to mesotheliomas not linked to genetic mutations. According to the researchers, these personalized approaches can significantly improve cancer prognosis for many years and save lives.

“The paper will help physicians in the U.S. and abroad to understand the unique aspects of mesothelioma in carriers of genetic BAP1 mutations. This will help them take better care of their patients and family members who may have inherited the defective BAP1 gene,” said Carbone.

Mutated genes can sometimes cause cancer. Germline mutations are those that people are born with. These mutations in the BAP1 gene can cause mesothelioma and other cancers. Researchers at the UH Cancer Center previously discovered that an estimated 10% of mesotheliomas are caused by inherited gene mutations such as BAP1. In this article, the authors report the clinical implications of this discovery.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently opened two separate clinical trials in Bethesda, Maryland for mesothelioma patients and their family members with germline mutations of BAP1 and other genes. The NCI covers study costs for patients and family members enrolled in these clinical trials. The goal of these trials is to improve therapy, and identify the best strategies for early detection of cancers common among these patients.

Carbone’s co-authors include Raffit Hassan, director of thoracic oncology, and David Schrump, director of thoracic surgery of the National Cancer Institute, and Harvey Pass, director of thoracic surgery of New York University and others.

This effort/work/program/research/outreach/event is an example of UH Mānoa’s goal of Excellence in Research: Advancing the Research and Creative Work Enterprise (PDF), one of four goals identified in the 2015-25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.

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