Dr. Michele Carbone

The inroads that Dr. Carbone has made in mesothelioma genetic discoveries have allowed him to create a more personalized and effective treatment program for each patient he sees while also making him one of the top mesothelioma researchers in the country.


About Dr. Carbone

Dr. Carbone made the move from Italy to Maryland in 1986 where he spent the next 8 years working for the National Institutes of Health. In 1994, he transitioned to the University of Chicago to teach pathology and worked as the Director of Thoracic Oncology for 12 years.

Today he’s based in Hawaii, where he’s currently the Director of Thoracic Oncology at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center. He works with a multidisciplinary staff that has helped with the development of a venerable research program. During the course of his celebrated career, he has worked hard to create mesothelioma research that has improved the medical community’s understanding of the rare form of cancer, and that has also improved both diagnostic and treatment practices.

Dr. Carbone focuses on learning everything he can about mesothelioma at the molecular level and his research has been an important key to creating pathways for novel mesothelioma treatments.

Medical Degree and Doctoral Degree

1984 MD, Medical School of Rome “La Sapienza,” Italy

1993 Ph.D., Medical School of Rome “La Sapienza,” Italy

Professorship

Professor of Pathology – University of Hawaii

Dr. Carbone’s Accomplishments

  • 2014 Meso Foundation Pioneer Award
  • Member of the Meso Foundation’s Science Advisory Board
  • His research detected the genetic causes of mesothelioma
  • Served on the American Cancer Society’s Board of Directors
  • In 2003, Dr. Carbone the Republic of Italy knighted Dr. Carbone in honor of his achievements in medicine and science

Dr. Carbone’s Research

Dr. Carbone is driven to know everything there is to know about the causes of mesothelioma on a genetic level. His research has made him renowned throughout the world and even earned him an Italian knighthood.

When Dr. Carbone’s research led him to the discovery of SV40, a DNA tumor virus, it was one of the biggest moments of his career. Additional research has been done on SV40 and how it impacts the odds of a patient developing mesothelioma and how the patient will respond to certain treatments. He hopes the information netted during his research will lead to the development of treatments that will block SV40.

In addition to his research of SV40, Dr. Carbone has been a key player in a multi-cancer center research effort of HMGB1, a cancer protein found in mesothelioma patients. The hope is that the research currently being done on HMGB1 will lead to new immunotherapy drugs that will aid in the treatment of the disease.


Going to Cappadocia

The extremely high number of mesothelioma cases in Cappadocia, a region in Turkey, intrigued Dr. Carbone and led him to the area that has been dubbed the “Turkish Cancer Villages” and more than 50% of all deaths are from mesothelioma. His research has caused Dr. Carbone to believe that the reason for the high number of mesothelioma cases erionite, an asbestos-like substance found naturally in the area. It is contained in the tones the villages use to make their homes and other buildings.

Dr. Carbone is currently researching to see if the villagers are genetically predisposed to develop mesothelioma. He has found signs of genetic mutations which he feels could be an important key in early mesothelioma diagnosis.

Dr. Carbone worked hard to help create two villages in Cappadocia that are free of erionite.

North Dakota has a high amount of naturally-occurring erionite which is used to create gravel roads, spread on baseball diamonds, and been used in parking lots. The research Dr. Carbone conducted in Cappadocia has prompted the EPA to take steps that prohibit the use of erionite in North Dakota with the hope that the restrictions will prevent a surge of mesothelioma in North Dakota.