Mesothelioma May Develop According to Genes

A study carried out by pathologists in Japan indicate that genetics may play a role in where mesothelioma cancer cells develop in the body.

After analyzing 54 samples of mesothelioma cancer samples, consisting of both pleural and pertionial, Japanese pathologists indicate that 85% of the pleural mesothelioma cases showed an absences of the 9p21 chromosome. The 921 chromosome is a gene that has been associated with cardiovascular disease. Only 36% of the peritoneal cases showed a deletion of the 9p21 chromosome.

In addition, 14 of the peritoneal samples showed an increase in the 5p15 and 7p12 chromosomes, while no pleural mesothelioma tissues showed an increase in these chromosomes.

Dr. Maiko Takeda, the lead director of the study from Nara Medical University’s Department of Diagnostic Pathology, states that the study is a pathway that helps him see genetic differences between two types of mesothelioma.

“Our study suggests that the pathway of the genetic abnormality might vary between pleural and peritoneal malignant mesothelioma,” writes Dr. Takeda.

With the evidence of 9p21 deletions, experts are able to determine if the cancer is malignant or if it’s a benign disorder known as reactive mesothelioma hyperplasia. However, it’s important to note that Dr. Takeda states that the absence of 9p2l doesn’t necessarily mean that malignant mesothelioma is ruled out.

Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer, and although it lies latent for decades, can develop extremely quickly once the first symptoms begin. The most common types of mesothelioma are pleural and peritoneal, both of which have different symptoms.

Pleural mesothelioma symptoms include:

  • Painful coughing
  • Difficulties in breathing
  • Lumps of tissues around the skin under the chest area
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulties in swallowing
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain in the rib cage area
  • Fever
  • Night sweats

Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms include:

  • Severe abdominal swelling and pain
  • Lumps of tissues close to the abdominal area
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • A feeling of fullness even on an empty stomach
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia

There is currently no cure for mesothelioma. However, studies such as the one performed by Dr. Takeda are continuously taking place in order to understand the disease better, and in turn find the best options for treatment while working on a cure. Both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma has affected a myriad of people across the world, typically after working in jobs in which asbestos was once used for its fire resistance and insulation properties. Prior to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) strict regulations on asbestos use in 1979, companies and job sites used asbestos in a variety of products, equipment, gear, construction materials, machinery, and more.

Dr. Takeda’s study can be found in the upcoming issue of  Journal of Clinical Pathology.

Keep in mind that if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with asbestos-related illness, you may be eligible for compensation for pain, suffering, lost wages, medical costs, and much more. For more information, contact our leading mesothelioma law firm today for a free case consultation.

For more information on mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, contact our leading mesothelioma attorneys for a free, no-obligation case consultation.


Takeda, M et al, “Comparison of genomic abnormality in malignant mesothelioma by the site of origin”, September 12, 2014, Journal of Clinical Pathology


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