There are multiple diseases family members can pass down from one generation to the next. Fortunately, mesothelioma is not one of them.
However, a clinical trial recently begun by The National Cancer Institute explores the potential of a familial predisposition to mesothelioma. They also consider potential ways to counteract the disease.
A hereditary gene mutation could put your loved ones at risk
Some gene mutations can occur throughout your life, affecting only specific cells in your body. But you may inherit others from a parent. A hereditary gene mutation affects every bodily cell by altering your DNA.
Most people do not suffer from disease-causing gene mutations. But those with genetic alterations might have an increased risk of developing certain illnesses. This may include mesothelioma.
What the study will entail
If you test positive for mesothelioma or have family members with a documented predisposition for cancer, such as the BAP1 gene, you might be able to contribute to the study.
Those involved in the study of gene mutations which could lead to mesothelioma will participate in:
- A physical exam
- A tumor biopsy, if applicable
- Blood tests
- Evaluation of tumor tissue, if tumors are present
People without a mesothelioma diagnosis who meet specific criteria may also participate in the genetic analysis.
Although studies may not prevent disease, the information gained can influence choices
Thorough research about hereditary probabilities related to gene mutations takes time to complete. However, such studies could unveil ways to reduce the risk of developing certain forms of cancer, including mesothelioma.
Findings may shed light on the potential susceptibility of developing disease. But it is too soon to tell whether research will find a cure for mesothelioma. However, studies may allow your family members to make more informed decisions about their line of work and lifestyle choices regarding disease prevention.