The National Institutes of Health recently bestowed a five-year $2.6 million grant to researchers at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center to examine the role that certain genes may play in asbestos-related cancer and whether certain cell mutations may play a role in the survival of patients. The research team will be led by esteemed researchers Michele Cabrone and Haining Yang and look into the role of the BAP1 gene in human cancer development and cell metabolism.
“This grant adds to our two already funded NIH grants and one grant from the Department of Defense, confirming the leadership of the Hawaii team as the top federally-funded research team in the U.S. to conduct research on mesothelioma, a cancer developed frequently in those exposed to asbestos,” said Carbone.
Carbone is distinguished for his discovery of the role that genes play in mesothelioma while studying a cancer epidemic in remote villages of Turkey. He and Yang further collaborated by studying mesothelioma genetics by conducting studies of families in the United States who have a high incidence of cancer, during which time they discovered a condition the pair termed “BAP1 cancer syndrome.”
Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer directly caused by exposure to asbestos, which was once commonly used in a variety of military, construction, industrial, and even cosmetics applications for decades until federal regulations in the 1970s effectively banned its use. The disease commonly affects thin linings of tissue surrounding vital organs like the heart, lungs, and abdomen, but can also manifest itself in other tissues of the body.
Common instances of asbestos exposure include those occupied in fields such as steamfitting, gasket making, pipefitting, drywall and vinyl floor installation, and those working in the shipping industry. Unfortunately for patients, mesothelioma has a 20-year to 50-year latency period, which means that when victims discover their diagnosis, they are often left with diminished treatment options that might have otherwise been available for an earlier mesothelioma diagnosis.
Often times, patients are left with surgery as the only option to fight the disease. While new treatments are being developed by researchers around the world, such as cell and gene therapy, there still is no definitive cure for mesothelioma. Hopefully, the grant given to the University of Hawaii and the research team headed by Carbone and Yang will yield exciting new discoveries into how to treat and finally cure mesothelioma and allow patients to live long and happy lives.
Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. We can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment.