• Scientists Map Genome for Peritoneal Mesothelioma
  • June 18, 2015
  • Law Firm: Waters Kraus LLP - Dallas Office
  • Scientists searching for effective treatments for peritoneal mesothelioma are excited about the recent mapping of the genome sequence for the disease. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a fatal cancer of the lining surrounding the abdominal organs. The only confirmed cause of the disease is asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma itself is a rare cancer which strikes 3,000 Americans each year. But most cases of mesothelioma affect the pleura, the lining around the lungs. Only about 10 to 30 percent of mesothelioma cases involve the peritoneum.

    Peritoneal Mesothelioma Treatment May Hinge on Genomics

    Genome sequencing helps scientists understand the molecular mutations that occur in a particular disease. To map the genome, the scientists used cells from two peritoneal mesothelioma patients. The researchers responsible for the promising new development involving peritoneal mesothelioma are from the University of British Columbia, the British Columbia Cancer Agency and Seattle’s PhenoPath Lab.

    In the cells of one patient studied, the researchers reportedly found a mutation that was previously unknown. Even though the patient’s cancer had spread to several locations in the body and was of the aggressive sarcomatoid variety, the patient responded favorably to treatment. This could mean that other patients with the same mutation will similarly have a better prognosis with treatment than those who do not have that specific mutation.

    It is hoped that having a better understanding of genomics will allow physicians to treat each mesothelioma patient’s disease in a personalized and more effective manner.