The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is running a clinical trial with mesothelioma patients and their family members to explore the possibility of family predisposition to the cancer. The trial may also help researchers find potential solutions to negate predisposition.
The clinical trial is a follow-up to another study of a particular genetic mutation that makes people more susceptible to various cancers but a longer-than-normal survival rate with certain types of chemotherapy.
Researchers will be studying mutations of BAP1, a tumor-suppressing gene, as part of the clinical trial. The trial will also include children as young as two years old. Participants with the confirmed mutation will also be encouraged to ask their relatives to join the study.
Mutations of the gene have been associated with basal and renal cell carcinoma, meningioma and cutaneous melanoma.
The purpose of the trial is to learn how cancer may develop in people with certain gene mutations.
Participants will have visits once or twice per year, which will include physical exams, scans, lab tests and other tests as needed.
The study officially launched in March 2019, and the estimated completion date is July 5, 2027. The NCI is looking for 1,000 participants.
Genetic testing for mesothelioma patients may help provide a more accurate prognosis on individual survival rates, alert family members of their susceptibility to the cancer, and even help with making treatment decisions.
Previous studies have found that the loss of function of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes make patients more sensitive to immunotherapy drugs, known as PARP inhibitors.
The NCI is in the middle of another clinical trial focused on mesothelioma and olaparib. Olaparib is a PARP inhibitor that’s effective with genetic mutations linked to ovarian and breast cancers.
The BAP1 mutation is also being explored by the University of Florida for four different cancers, including mesothelioma.