Mesothelioma is a terrible cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Hundreds of thousands of people in the UK have been exposed to asbestos and yet mesothelioma is rare with around 2,500 new cases being diagnosed each year. This is only a handful compared to the number of people who have been exposed to asbestos, so why does mesothelioma affect some people and not others?

Possible genetic link:

Researchers in Belgium have found a possible genetic link after studying a family that was exposed to asbestos.

The family had several cases of mesothelioma. The researchers studied their genetic makeup, and were able to identify new genes which may increase the risk of developing mesothelioma.

It has already been found in other studies that the BAP1 gene increases an individual’s risk of developing mesothelioma, but this new study shows other genes may also predispose someone to the disease.

They wrote; “This study strengthens the suspicion that, next to germline BAP1 alterations, other genetic factors might predispose families to the development of MM [malignant mesothelioma]”.

How can we help?

If you require assistance in pursuing an asbestos compensation claim for mesothelioma or any other asbestos disease then please contact us today on our freephone number 0800 038 6767. Alternatively, head over to the ‘Contact Us’ page, complete the form and we will be in touch.


Hylebos, M. et al. (2018, June 30). Molecular analysis of an asbestos-exposed Belgian family with a high prevalence of mesothelioma. Fam Cancer. DOI: 10.1007/s10689-018-0095-1

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