Some scientific findings provide both opportunities and risks for litigants in mass tort cases. The point is highlighted by a new paper by Panou and colleagues published in mid- August in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The paper concludes that a significant proportion (12%) of patients with malignant mesotheliomas carry inherited (germline) mutations in cancer-associated genes, especially in peritoneal mesotheliomas. Overall, 24 germline mutations were identified in 13 cancer-associated genes from a cohort of 198 persons with mesothelioma. The subjects of the study were mainly persons treated at the University of Chicago during 2016-17.
The next few weeks include multiple events at which one can expect there will be discussion of the Panou paper and other topics related to genetics, asbestos and cancers of the lung:
- One event is a September 6 HarrisMartin asbestos litigation seminar in St. Louis. For that meeting, I will be one of several speakers addressing topics involving low dose claims, genomics and mesothelioma.
- In addition, it seems likely the Panou article (and others) will receive attention at the IASLC 19th World Conference on Lung Cancer meeting in Toronto (September 23-26). Several sessions of that annual meeting will be focused on mesothelioma.
- The third event will arise when Drs. Michele Carbone and Arnold Brody speak on a panel on October 1 at the Perrin National Asbestos Litigation Conference in San Francisco.
- And, watch for ToxicoGenomica’s announcement of an October webinar focused on use of genetics in mass tort cases. See www.toxicogenomica.com