Health Discoveries in Mesothelioma

Genome scanning planned on mesothelioma

April 5, 2011
A Wake Forest University professor is attempting to learn more about the genetic risk related to developing mesothelioma.

Because mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, Dr. Jill Ohar contends that scientists and medical providers cannot assemble enough genetic samples on their own to determine the role that genetics play in the disease. Her project, with funding from the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF), will attempt to create a consortium of mesothelioma researchers to share DNA samples.

"The goal is to collect 1,000 DNA samples from patients with mesothelioma and use these samples to perform genome-wide association scanning (GWAS)," she wrote in her grant proposal. "This will help identify genetic risk factors for developing mesothelioma."

Ohar is director of clinical operations at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center as well as a professor in pulmonary, critical care, allergy and immunologic disease at the university's School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Within the Cancer Institute of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, rarer forms of cancer such as mesothelioma, are treated by a multidisciplinary team of specialists focused on individualized care plans for their patients.
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