Blood tube, DNA

Mesothelioma is an incurable malignant tumour of the lining of the lungs or abdomen. The principal cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos.

There is evidence of substantial genetic involvement in mesothelioma development; however, these genetic determinants remain largely unknown. There is currently no known effective treatment for mesothelioma which is uniformly fatal with a median survival time of ~12 months.

A core aim of the Genetic Understanding of Asbestos Related Diseases (GUARD) study is to establish a resource to enable new, large-scale DNA banking capacity for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. At the end of 2013 the GUARD study included over 720 cases of confirmed mesothelioma. We are investigating the genes that contribute to mesothelioma susceptibility, prognosis and response to therapy.

This project is a collaborative effort between GOHaD, the Department of Respiratory Medicine at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH) and the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases (NCARD):



  • Cadby G, Mukherjee S, Musk AW, Reid A, Garlepp M, Dick I, Robinson C, Hui J, Fiorito G, Guarrera S, Beilby J, Melton PE, Moses EK, Ugolini D, Mirabelli D, Bonassi S, Mangani C, Dianzani I, Matullo G, Robinson B, Creaney J, Palmer LJ. A genome-wide association study for malignant mesothelioma risk. Lung Cancer 2013; 8:1-8.
  • Matullo G, Guarrera S, Betti M, Fiorito G, Ferrante D, Voglino F, Cadby G, Di Gaetano C, Rosa F, Russo A, Hirvonen A, Casalone E, Tunesi S, Padoan M, Giordano M, Aspesi A, Casadio C, Ardissone F, Ruffini E, Betta PG, Libener R, Guaschino R, Piccolini E, Neri M, Musk AW, de Klerk NH, Hui J, Beilby J, James AL, Creaney J, Robinson BW, Mukherjee S, Palmer LJ, Mirabelli D, Ugolini D, Bonassi S, Magnani C, Dianzani I.Genetic variants associated with increased risk of malignant pleural mesothelioma: a genome-wide association study. PLoS One. 2013 Apr 23;8(4).
  • Mukherjee S, Cadby G, Robinson BW, Musk B, de Klerk H and Palmer LJ. A genome-wide association scan for malignant mesothelioma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2011; 183: A4813. (published abstract)

Oral presentations

  • Cadby, G., Human Genome Foundation (Turin, Italy) Malignant pleural mesothelioma and cardiovascular disease GWAS in Australian cohorts (September 2014).
  • Cadby, G., Perth Mesothelioma Group Symposium (Perth, Australia) Genetic risk factors for mesothelioma (November 2013). 
  • Cadby, G., National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases Annual Scientific Meeting (Perth, Australia) A genome wide association study for mesothelioma risk (October 2012). 

Poster presentations

  • Cadby, G., Genemappers (Barossa Valley, Australia) Survival analysis identifies novel loci associated with mesothelioma prognosis in males (May 2014).
  • Cadby, G., American Society of Human Genetics (Montreal, Canada) Genome wide association study identifies several regions associated with malignant mesothelioma susceptibility (October 2011).  


NHRMC Project Grant 2007-2009: $566,009.  A national facility to study genetic and environmental factors in mesothelioma, The Genetic Understanding of Asbestos related disorders (458520)

Relevant websites/links