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Malignant Mesothelioma – A New Genetic Revelatio

Malignant mesothelioma is a very aggressive tumor which is found resistant to most of the treatment, which is increasing in frequency throughout the world. The main causative agents for the development of Malignant mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, recently a virus, simian virus 40 (SV40) is also found to be a causative agent for development of this tumor.

Many people with malignant mesothelioma have worked or lived in places where they inhaled or swallowed asbestos. After being exposed to asbestos, it usually takes a long time for malignant mesothelioma to occur. In a report in the current issue of Lancet it is reported that mesothelioma has an unusual molecular pathology with loss of tumour suppressor genes being the predominant pattern of lesions, especially the P16INK4A, and P14ARF, and NF2 genes, rather than the more common p53 and Rb tumour suppressor genes.

In a previous report from earlier this month from the UC Davis Department of Public Health Sciences suggested that that risks from exposure to naturally occurring asbestos though low was real and was to be taken seriously. Marc Schenker, professor and chair of and the study's senior author said:"This study provides important supportive evidence that naturally occurring asbestos causes mesothelioma - and public efforts should now shift to understanding the risk and how we can protect people from this preventable malignancy."

Mesothelioma kills about the same number of Americans each year as passive smoking. About 2,500 people a year die from mesothelioma in the United States, according to National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health statistics.

Mortality in Britain from Mesethelioma rose from 153 deaths in 1968 to 1,848 in 2001 and is still increasing and according to a study reported in Feb this year from UK, the rate will begin to decline by 2015. The study predicted that the peak in mortality in UK, will come between 2011 and 2015, the highest
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