From the blog

Do Your Genes Put You at a Higher Risk of Developing Mesothelioma

Published: April 14, 2016

Primary Outcome Measures

  • Creation of a consortium of investigators (6 sites) for collection of blood for germline DNA and demographic information from 1000 mesothelioma subjects. [ Time Frame: Participants will be seen on one occasion lasting 30-60 min to draw blood and elicit demographic information. It will require up to 2 years to enroll 1000 subjects with mesothelioma from the various sites. ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Demographic variables that will be collected include; date of birth, gender, age at first exposure to asbestos, type of exposure (occupational or bystander), family health history, personal past medical history, smoking history, age at diagnosis, latency, tumor location and cell type.

Secondary Outcome Measures

  • GWAS will be performed on the DNA from the 1000 subjects with mesothelioma and compared with 1000 age and asbestos exposure matched controls free of past personal history and family history of cancer. [ Time Frame: It will take up to 1 year, after the collection of the 1000 mesothelioma samples, to perform and analyze the GWAS. ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Given the significant risk for cancers other than the index mesothelioma in both subjects and their 1st degree relative (nearly 3 fold for sibs, parents and the mesothelioma subjects themselves and 7 fold for their children), the goal is to identify SNPs involved with mesothelioma and other common cancer susceptibility.

Detailed Description:
Mesothelioma is a cancer that develops from serosal surfaces usually in response to prior asbestos exposure. A history of asbestos exposure can be elicited in more than 80% of mesothelioma victims. However, asbestos exposure alone is not sufficient to cause the development of mesothelioma. Nearly 27 million individuals in the US, were exposed to asbestos in the work place between 1940 and 1979 but just 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year. Therefore, the investigators hypothesis is that genetic variation in addition to asbestos exposure, and host factors contribute to the development of mesothelioma. It is estimated, based on the investigators preliminary studies, that a population in excess of 1,000 subjects with mesothelioma is required to perform a valid GWAS.

Therefore a multicenter approach is necessary to collect data and DNA on sufficient numbers with mesothelioma to adequately evaluate genetic risk. It is the aim of this proposal to develop a consortium of mesothelioma investigators to share phenotypic data and DNA samples and to perform genome wide association scanning (GWAS).


Study Population

Subjects will be recruited from the clinics and in patient wards of the academic medical centers noted as collaborators.


Inclusion Criteria
Subjects able to provide informed consent who suffer from mesothelioma
Exclusion Criteria
Inability to provide informed consent
Absence of mesothelioma in self
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