Skip to main content

Exploring Germline Genetic Variants Among Individuals Affected by Mesothelioma

 Recent Findings in JAMA Network Open Suggest Potential Benefits of Comprehensive Germline Genetic Testing for Mesothelioma Patients. While asbestos exposure remains a primary risk factor for mesothelioma, a segment of patients also carry harmful genetic variations that amplify susceptibility to solid tumors. Researchers, led by a team from the University of Chicago, investigated 161 mesothelioma patients who underwent both tumor-specific and germline next-generation sequencing. Results indicated that 16% of patients bore pathogenic or potentially pathogenic genetic variations, predominantly within a gene associated with hereditary cancer syndromes. These genetic alterations were detected at a similar frequency to other tumor types like metastatic prostate cancer, epithelial ovarian cancer, and exocrine pancreatic cancer, all of which recommend universal germline genetic testing. Given the comparable prevalence of P/LP germline variants in mesothelioma patients to other cancers where universal genetic testing is established, the researchers advocate contemplating universal germline screening as part of forthcoming mesothelioma treatment guidelines.