Mesothelioma Linked to Problems with DNA Repair
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Mesothelioma Lawyer. Mesothelioma is a deadly disease that can develop from a variety of causes, including occupations exposed to asbestos. Given the potential impact on patients who have to live with mesothelioma, a large amount of research has been done on how this cancer develops. A recent study analyzed DNA repair and its potential link to mesothelioma.
Why Does DNA Repair Matter?
Most forms of cancer develop because the cancerous cells are able to divide and replicate in an unchecked manner. The checks that regulate cell division are proteins that are transcribed, translated, and synthesized from a DNA code. If this DNA code is mutated, the checks do not work and cells are able to divide continuously, leading to cancer. When DNA is copied incorrectly, there are DNA repair proteins in place to catch these errors and fix them. Unfortunately, the DNA repair proteins can be mutated themselves. If they fail to function properly, DNA replication errors can occur at a higher rate and lead to increased rates of cancer development.
Patients with Mesothelioma were Studied
In a study recently published, researchers looked at a group of patients with pleural mesothelioma. All of these patients were from regions of the world known to have high levels of asbestos exposure, a known cause of mesothelioma and its symptoms. The researchers sequenced genes that are known to have been implicated in various other types of cancer in the past. The research team found numerous variants of these genes in the patient population that are known to be harmful. The genes that were implicated participate in the DNA repair mechanism.
The researchers then took another patient population that does not have the disease and sequenced the same genes in their bodies. The control population did not have any of the same variants as the patient population with mesothelioma. This supports the hypothesis that DNA repair mutations and defects play a role in the development of mesothelioma because the disease population had variants in these genes while the control population did not.
Future Implications for Treatment
The study is an important first step because it identifies a potential treatment target. If patients with mesothelioma have errors in their DNA repair pathways, perhaps there could be a way to repair these damaged pathways in the future. By fixing the damaged DNA repair pathways, physicians could slow the rate of mutation development and the growth of cancer itself, improving the prognosis of patients.
Contact an Experienced Sacramento Mesothelioma Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Mesothelioma Lawyer. DNA repair issues have been found to be central to numerous types of cancer, including mesothelioma. Individuals who have developed mesothelioma may call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for friendly, free legal advice.
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Image Source: via Wikimedia Commons, released into the public domain by the image author
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