UH Cancer Center researcher’s mesothelioma study appears in Journal of Thoracic Oncology

May 2022

The latest edition of Journal of Thoracic Oncology features a consensus article by lead author, UH Cancer Center researcher Michele Carbone, MD, PhD, about the latest research on preventive and therapeutic approaches for mesothelioma caused by inherited genetic mutations.

Michele Carbone, MD, PhD
Michele Carbone

Dr. Carbone, along with co-authors, Raffit Hassan, MD, Chief of Thoracic Oncology, National Cancer Institute, David Schrump, MD, MBA, FACS, Head of Thoracic Surgery, National Cancer Institute and Harvey Pass, MD, Chief of Thoracic Surgery, New York University, and others, found that patients with mesothelioma—a cancer of the membranes covering the chest and the abdomen—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. 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.

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