Genetic-susceptibility factor and malignant mesothelioma in the Cappadocian region of Turkey

Lancet. 2001 Feb 10;357(9254):444-5. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(00)04013-7.


Erionite present in stones used to build the villages of Karain and Tuzköy, Turkey, mined from nearby caves, is purported to cause mesothelioma in half of the villagers. We constructed genetic epidemiology maps to test whether some villagers were genetically predisposed to mesothelioma. Analysis of a six-generation extended pedigree of 526 individuals showed that mesothelioma was genetically transmitted, probably in an autosomal dominant way. This finding should lead to preventive strategies to lower the incidence of mesothelioma in future generations, and close monitoring of high-risk individuals might allow early detection and cure.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chromosome Aberrations / genetics
  • Chromosome Disorders
  • Female
  • Founder Effect
  • Genes, Dominant / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Genetics, Population
  • Humans
  • Inbreeding
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma / genetics*
  • Mesothelioma / mortality
  • Middle Aged
  • Mining*
  • Pedigree
  • Pleural Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Pleural Neoplasms / mortality
  • Survival Rate
  • Turkey
  • Zeolites / adverse effects*


  • erionite
  • Zeolites