Mesothelioma often withstands chemotherapy, making the treatment ineffective for patients.
A new study may reveal just why this happens — and if there’s a way to avoid unnecessary chemotherapy.
A report in Clinical Cancer Research details how changes to the BAP1 gene block the merits of chemotherapy for mesothelioma. Patients with more alterations to BAP1 genes had worse survival after chemotherapy.
Advancements in genetic testing and research may make use of this data for treating future cases.
BAP1 and Mesothelioma
BAP1 gene alteration is linked to mesothelioma. In its original makeup, the gene is essential for preventing tumors, which are clumps of rapidly dividing cells. The gene controls cell growth and cell division, and it initiates cell death at a healthy rate.
Scientists link BAP1 alterations to mesothelioma. The loss of this gene leads to increased volume of another gene, EZH2. The genetic imbalance causes faster cell duplication, slower cell death and an abundance of cell clumps.
Chemoresistance and BAP1
The study focused on 28 people with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Of them, 17 showed noticeable variants of the BAP1 gene.
Mutations or deletions of the BAP1 gene were associated with chemotherapy resistance. Only one-third of patients seem to respond to chemotherapy, which leaves the other two-third struggling with side effects and not gaining any benefit.
Pathology findings during the diagnostic process may reveal BAP1 protein or gene alterations. Doctors noticing this could allow for shifting treatment plans for specific cases of mesothelioma.
Sources & Author
- Alterations in BAP1 are Associated with Cisplatin Resistance Through Inhibition of Apoptosis in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM). Clinical Cancer Research. Retrieved from: https://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/clincanres/early/2021/02/04/1078-0432.CCR-20-4037.full.pdf. Accessed: 03/15/2021.