Case report: Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma in two siblings

Gynecologic Oncology. 2005 Jul 25; [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Picklesimer AH, Zanagnolo V, Niemann TH, Eaton LA, Copeland LJ.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA.


Background: Mesothelioma is a rare tumor, linked with occupational asbestos exposure. This association has been used to explain clustering of cases within families. Newer evidence, however, supports a possible genetic predisposition for this tumor.

Case: Our patient’s brother was diagnosed with advanced stage malignant peritoneal mesothelioma in August 1995 at age of 42, he underwent tumor-reductive surgery followed by chemotherapy. He underwent a repeat cytoreductive surgery in September 1996 and further chemotherapy. He died of disease in December 1996. Our patient underwent cytoreductive surgery in May 1999 at age of 49 for advanced stage malignant peritoneal mesothelioma with suboptimal debulking. She received multiple chemotherapy regimens, including most recently experimental targeted agents, for slow progressing disease. She is presently alive with clinical disease 6 years from diagnosis.

Conclusion: This is the first report of two siblings of different gender with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma and only average environmental asbestos exposure. It is highly likely that the family described in this case report has some form of inherited susceptibility to malignancy cancer gene, HLA type, or tumor suppressor gene mutation.