Hawaii scientists help discover cancer link

HONOLULU (AP) — Research led by University of Hawaii Cancer Center scientists has found a genetic link to mesothelioma.

According to a joint announcement Sunday by the National Institutes of Health and the UH Cancer Center, scientists have found that those who carry a mutation in a gene called BAP1 are susceptible to developing mesothelioma and melanoma of the eye.

Scientists say when those with the gene mutation are exposed to asbestos or similar mineral fibers, the risk of developing mesothelioma may be increased.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer of the lining of the chest and abdomen.

UH Cancer Center Director Dr. Michele Carbone says the discovery makes it easier to identify people who are at greater risk of developing mesothelioma.

The research was funded by the National Cancer Institute.

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