The BAP1 gene mutation responsible for kick-starting many cases of mesothelioma is obviously a bad thing. But some good may yet come from it.
An international team of researchers have determined that the BAP1 gene mutation might prove useful to oncologists as a prognostic tool.
As they see it, the BAP1 gene mutation could provide clues that yield a much more accurate picture of your mesothelioma survival chances.
Having a better sense of how much time actually is on your side would be enormously beneficial. One big benefit is that you could engage in better treatment planning.
For instance, if you know your window of opportunity is open for X-number of months, your care plan could then emphasize the treatments your doctor deems most appropriate for that particular time frame.
Researching the BAP1 Mutation in Mesothelioma and Other Cancers
The researchers published their findings in the journal Genes, Chromosomes & Cancer.
The title of their study was “Different Prognostic Roles of Tumor Suppressor Gene BAP1 in Cancer: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis.”
The authors were from a number of institutions spanning the globe. Most were based at the University and Hospital Trust of Verona, Santa Chiara Hospital, University of Padua, and Institute of Clinical Research and Education in Medicine, all in Italy.
Contributing as well were researchers from Tokyo’s National Cancer Center Research Institute and King’s College in London. There were also researchers from two U.S. centers — Indiana University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University.
“Biallelic inactivation of the tumor suppressor gene BRCA1-associated protein 1 (BAP1) has been demonstrated in several cancers, but its prognostic role has not been completely explained,” they wrote.
“We aimed to investigate the risk associated with loss of BAP1 for all-cause mortality, cancer-specific mortality and recurrence of disease in subjects with cancer.”
What they’re saying here is that their research was not confined to BAP1 mutations in mesothelioma patients, but in all types of cancers where the BAP1 mutation plays a role.
BAP1 Mutations in Mesothelioma Patients Correlate with a Better Prognosis
The researchers said they scoured two databases as they hunted for articles and studies involving BAP1. In searching, the researchers went as far back in time as each database would allow.
They retrieved a total of 261 articles and studies pertaining to BAP1 where the gene was mentioned as having prognostic properties.
Among those 261 retrievals were articles about 12 different BAP1 studies that had been conducted over time by various researchers. Those studies compared cancer patients who had a loss of the BAP1 gene against those who did not.
The 12 studies represented 13 patient cohorts made up of a combined 3,447 participants. Patients with a loss of BAP1 totaled 697. The remaining 2,750 still had their BAP1 genes in normal form.
What the researchers noted in looking at these studies was that patients with the BAP1 mutation experienced a much greater risk of seeing a recurrence of whatever type of cancer they had.
But there was one notable exception: mesothelioma. For mesothelioma patients, “BAP1 mutations correlate with a better prognosis,” the researchers concluded.
“On the basis of our meta-analysis, we have demonstrated a peculiar role of BAP1 in influencing the prognosis in cancer,” they wrote. “Thus, BAP1 could be considered as an important potential target for personalized medicine.”