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26 Jun 2019 at 01:35
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Bibliography on: Mesothelioma and Asbestos


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 26 Jun 2019 at 01:35 Created: 

Mesothelioma and Asbestos

Mesothelioma is a rare, but deadly form of cancer that is often (nearly always) associated with prior exposure to asbestos. The latency between exposure and disease onset is long, usually 20-50 years, making this a difficult cause-effect system to study.

Created with PubMed® Query: asbestos AND mesothelioma NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

RevDate: 2019-06-23

Ramos-Bonilla JP, Cely-García MF, Giraldo M, et al (2019)

An asbestos contaminated town in the vicinity of an asbestos-cement facility: The case study of Sibaté, Colombia.

Environmental research, 176:108464 pii:S0013-9351(19)30247-6 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: The asbestos industry began operations in Colombia in 1942, with an asbestos-cement facility located in the municipality of Sibaté. In recent years residents from Sibaté have been complaining about what they consider is an unusually large number of people diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases in the town. A study to analyze the situation of Sibaté started in 2015, to verify if the number of asbestos related diseases being diagnosed were higher than expected, and to identify potential asbestos exposure sources in the town.

METHODS: A health and socioeconomic survey was implemented door-to-door to identify potential asbestos-related diseases. Several self-reported mesothelioma cases were identified, and for confirmation purposes, copies of the medical record with the histopathology report were obtained. A panel of six physicians analyzed the medical records. Information of validated cases was used to estimate the male and female age-adjusted incidence rate for Sibaté. Based on reports of the existence of potential asbestos-contaminated landfills, topographic maps, a digital elevation model, and current satellite images were crossed using a geographic information system to identify potential landfilled areas, and soils samples were collected in some of these areas.

RESULTS: A total of 355 surveys were completed, and 29 self-reported mesothelioma cases were identified. Twenty-five of these cases have been persons who had lived at some moment of their lives in Sibaté. It was possible to obtain copies of the medical diagnosis for 17 cases. Of these, the panel of physicians classified 15 cases as certain pleural mesothelioma, one as probable, and one as not mesothelioma. Based on this information, the estimated age-adjusted incidence rate of mesothelioma in Sibaté was 2.6 × 105 persons-year for males and 2.1 × 105 persons-year for females. These rates are high in comparison to those reported in other cities, regions, and countries of the world. Using geographic information systems, landfilled zones in the urban area of Sibaté were identified, on top of which a school and different sports facilities were built. The analysis of four soil samples collected in landfilled zones, confirmed the existence of an underground layer of friable and non-friable asbestos.

CONCLUSION: The collected evidence suggests the presence of a malignant pleural mesothelioma cluster in Sibaté.

RevDate: 2019-06-21

Marsili D, Canepa A, Mossone N, et al (2019)

Environmental Health Education for Asbestos-Contaminated Communities in Italy: The Casale Monferrato Case Study.

Annals of global health, 85(1):.

BACKGROUND: Environmental health education contributes towards increasing awareness of communities to prevent exposure to hazardous substances. Casale Monferrato, the operating site for the Eternit asbestos-cement factory from 1907 to 1986, is a prioritized asbestos-contaminated site for remediation in Italy. The area is prone to severe asbestos-related diseases. About 50 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in Casale Monferrato annually; mesothelioma has been shown to be caused by occupational, environmental and domestic asbestos exposure.

OBJECTIVES: The goal of this paper is to analyze the Casale Monferrato case study in terms of youth engagement in environmental health education initiatives on asbestos risk and health impact. The paper aims at underlining the lessons learned in order to share the success of this initiative with other communities living in asbestos-contaminated sites in different countries.

METHODS: Peer education methodology has been used through the Asbestos Classroom to involve teachers, students and other local stakeholders in training activities, in selection of the contents for educational materials and interactive tools, as well as in choosing the presentation process for the aforementioned knowledge sharing instruments.

FINDINGS: From November 2014 to June 2018, 185 high school students and teachers were trained through the Asbestos Classroom. Through December 2018, they trained 3,241 classroom visitors. The Classroom relies on an inclusive participative process in which young people play a key role in the network of relationships within their community.

CONCLUSIONS: The paper corroborates the importance of engaging the educational system in communication efforts aimed at fostering collective awareness on environmental risk and health-related impacts for communities living in industrially contaminated sites. Considering the global dimension of the asbestos contamination and disease burden, this experience might be of relevance both in countries that banned asbestos and in those where asbestos is not yet prohibited.

RevDate: 2019-06-18

Metintas M, Ak G, Metintas S, et al (2019)

Prospective Study of the Utility of Computed Tomography Triage of Pleural Biopsy Strategies in Patients With Pleural Diseases.

Journal of bronchology & interventional pulmonology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to prospectively evaluate the efficacy and reliability of a diagnostic workup, triaging pleural biopsy method according to baseline computerized tomography (CT) findings in the diagnosis of pleural diseases.

METHODS: Patients with pleural pathology were divided into 3 arms according to findings on CT scan images. Arm A: patients with pleural thickening/lesion in addition to pleural effusion. These patients underwent CT scan-guided Abrams' needle pleural biopsy. Arm B: patients with pleural effusion alone or suspected benign asbestos pleurisy. This group underwent medical thoracoscopy (MT). Arm C: patients with only pleural thickening. This group underwent ultrasonography-guided cutting needle pleural biopsy. MT was planned in patients who did not have a specific diagnosis in the CT scan-guided Abrams' needle pleural biopsy group. When patients with a histopathologic diagnosis of fibrinous pleuritis after MT were assessed in terms of the risk factors for malignant pleural diseases, we offered a further invasive procedure.

RESULTS: A total of 164 patients were enrolled in the study. Diagnostic sensitivity after the initial procedure was 90.2% in Arm A, 93.3% in Arm B, 95.2% in Arm C, and 92.4% in the entire workup. The negative predictive value of the entire workup was 90.4% for malignant pleural mesothelioma, 97.1% for metastatic malignant pleural diseases, and 100% for tuberculous pleurisy. Five cases who had a diagnosis of fibrinous pleuritis after MT were detected to have risk factors, 4 of which (80%) indicated malignant disease. Complication rates were low and acceptable.

CONCLUSION: Use of CT scans to triage an appropriate pleural biopsy method is associated with high diagnostic success. We recommend that the proposed diagnostic workup in this study may be used as a diagnostic algorithm for pleural diseases that require a histopathologic analysis. Determination of risk factors predicting malignant disease in patients where fibrinous pleuritis is reported after MT would be useful for clinical practice.

RevDate: 2019-06-18

Catino A, de Gennaro G, Di Gilio A, et al (2019)

Breath Analysis: A Systematic Review of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in Diagnostic and Therapeutic Management of Pleural Mesothelioma.

Cancers, 11(6): pii:cancers11060831.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare neoplasm related to asbestos exposure and with high mortality rate. The management of patients with MPM is complex and controversial, particularly with regard to early diagnosis. In the last few years, breath analysis has been greatly implemented with this aim. In this review the strengths of breath analysis and preliminary results in searching breath biomarkers of MPM are highlighted and discussed, respectively. Through a systematic electronic literature search, collecting papers published from 2000 until December 2018, fifteen relevant scientific papers were selected. All papers considered were prospective, comparative, observational case-control studies although every single one pilot and based on a relatively small number of samples. The identification of diagnostic VOCs pattern, through breath sample characterization and the statistical data treatment, allows to obtain a strategic information for clinical diagnostics. To date the collected data provide just preliminary information and, despite the promising results and diagnostic accuracy, conclusions cannot be generalized due to the limited number of individuals included in each cohort study. Furthermore none of studies was externally validated, although validation process is a necessary step towards clinical implementation. Breathomics-based biomarker approach should be further explored to confirm and validate preliminary findings and to evaluate its potential role in monitoring the therapeutic response.

RevDate: 2019-06-17

Alchami FS, Attanoos RL, Gibbs A, et al (2019)

Does Simian Virus 40 (SV40) Have a Role in UK Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma? No Role is Identified in a Sensitive RNA In Situ Hybridization Study on Potentially Affected Birth Cohorts.

Applied immunohistochemistry & molecular morphology : AIMM [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Simian virus 40 (SV40)-contaminated polio vaccine was accidentally administered to about one-third of the UK population receiving polio vaccines between 1956 and 1962. SV40 was subsequently demonstrated to be a carcinogenic virus in experimental and animal models. Since then, the SV40 oncogenic protein large T antigen (SV40 Tag) has been shown to cause malignant transformation of asbestos-treated human pleural mesothelial cells and malignant pleural mesotheliomas in asbestos-exposed SV40 Tag transgenic mice. The present study was designed to investigate the possible association of SV40 Tag with human malignant pleural mesothelioma samples from birth cohorts of the UK population exposed to combined peak levels of asbestos and SV40-contaminated polio vaccines.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Tumor and background lung tissue microarrays prepared from archival surgical specimens of 139 pleural mesothelioma cases, collected over a period of 8 years (1998 to 2005), were analyzed. These represented birth cohorts overlapping with the period 1950 to 1960, exposed to a high level of both asbestos and SV40-contaminated live polio vaccines. SV40 Tag mRNA expression was investigated using a highly sensitive and specific SV40 Tag RNA in situ hybridization detection method on the basis of the novel RNAscope technology.

RESULTS: SV40 Tag RNA was not detected in any of the 127 evaluable tumor cases, despite appropriate results obtained for the external positive and negative controls included.

CONCLUSION: The complete absence of SV40 Tag mRNA in this large series of cases contradicts experimental evidence suggestive of SV40 link with asbestos-exposed malignant pleural mesotheliomas in the UK population. Alternative explanations of the negative findings are discussed to exclude possible confounding factors.

RevDate: 2019-06-15

Tsim S, Paterson S, Cartwright D, et al (2019)

Baseline predictors of negative and incomplete pleural cytology in patients with suspected pleural malignancy - Data supporting 'Direct to LAT' in selected groups.

Lung cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 133:123-129.

OBJECTIVES: Negative effusion cytology is more common in certain forms of Malignant Pleural Effusion (MPE) and results in pathway delay. Local Anaesthetic Thoracoscopy (LAT) is extremely sensitive and safe but cannot be offered to all. A stratified pathway, including 'Direct to LAT' in selected cases could enhance patient experience but requires reliable baseline predictors of unhelpful cytology, including both negative (no malignant cells) and incomplete results (malignant cells identified but predictive markers failed), since pleural biopsies will be required in the latter for optimal management. This retrospective analysis of a prospective multi-centre study, sought to identify baseline features for pathway rationalization.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: 363/638 (57%) of patients recruited to the DIAPHRAGM study (ISRCTN10079972) were included. Prospective data, including final diagnoses, asbestos exposure and fluid cytology results were supplemented by retrospective Computed Tomography (CT) and predictive marker reports. Independent predictors of negative and incomplete cytology were determined by multivariable logistic regression. Contingency tables were used to assess diagnostic value of cytology in associated phenotypes.

RESULTS: 238/363 (66%) patients were diagnosed with MPE (18 tumour types). Fluid cytology was negative in 151/238 (63%) and independently associated with asbestos-exposure (Odds Ratio (OR) 5.34) and a malignant CT (OR 2.25). When both features were recorded the sensitivity and negative predictive value of fluid cytology were 19% (95% CI 11-30%) and 9% (95% CI 4-20%)), respectively. Cytology was incomplete in 34/238 (14%), i.e. 47% of positive cytology cases) but was not associated with any baseline feature. ORs for incomplete cytology in Ovarian, Breast, Renal and Lung Cancer were 83, 22, 21 and 9, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Negative cytology is extremely likely in patients with asbestos exposure and a malignant CT report. A 'Direct-to-LAT' approach may be appropriate in this setting. No baseline predictors of incomplete cytology were identified.

RevDate: 2019-06-13

Zan X, Wang Y, Shi J, et al (2019)

Biomarkers for detecting malignant pleural mesothelioma: Protocol for a reanalysis of published data based on systematic reviews of diagnostic test accuracy.

Medicine, 98(24):e16028.

BACKGROUND: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a highly invasive tumor caused primarily by asbestos exposure. In recent decades, the incidence of MPM has shown an increasing trend, posing a great threat to human health. Although there is currently no effective way to treat MPM, patients can survive for more than 5 years if the tumor is removed early. Several systematic reviews (SRs) have evaluated the diagnostic value of biomarkers for diagnosing MPM. However, no studies have been conducted to analyze the quality of these SRs and it remains unclear which biomarker is the excellent diagnostic test. This study aims to assess the methodological quality of the SRs and reanalyze the published data based on SRs to find the optimal biomarker for the early diagnosis of MPM.

METHODS: A systematic search will be performed in PubMed, Embase.com, the Cochrane Library of Systematic Reviews, and Web of Science to identify SRs reporting value of biomarkers for detecting MPM. We will evaluate the risk of bias of the included SRs according to the Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews-2 (AMSTAR-2) instrument. Standard pairwise meta-analysis and adjusted indirect comparison will be used to compare the diagnostic value of different biomarkers.

RESULTS: The results of this study will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication.

CONCLUSION: This study will reanalyze the published data based on SRs to find a biomarker with the superior diagnostic performance for the diagnosis of MPM.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethics approval and patient consent are not required as this study is an overview based on published systematic reviews.


RevDate: 2019-06-10

Taylor BH, Warnock C, A Tod (2019)

Communication of a mesothelioma diagnosis: developing recommendations to improve the patient experience.

BMJ open respiratory research, 6(1):e000413 pii:bmjresp-2019-000413.

Background: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive cancer linked to asbestos exposure and inhalation. As with other cancers, receiving a diagnosis of MPM is challenging and distressing. Particular challenges are associated with communicating a diagnosis of MPM, including explaining the disease and its prognosis, treatment options and legal and financial implications. Receiving A Diagnosis Of Mesothelioma (RADIO Meso) aimed to understand the experience of communicating a diagnosis of MPM from the perspective of patients, family carers and health professionals.

Methods: This qualitative study comprised 31 individual interviews with patients, family carers and health professionals. This was followed by two group interviews (n=42) and an electronic consultation exercise (n=39).

Results: This study provides unique insight into the mesothelioma diagnostic experience of patients, family carers and health professionals. Key findings include the importance of regarding diagnosis as a process, and provision of continuity and consistency. The clinical nurse specialist and effective multidisciplinary team working provided vital contributions to successful mesothelioma diagnostic communication. Facilitators to diagnostic communication included honesty and timeliness in communication, partnership working and maintaining a patient-centred approach. Challenges to enhancing mesothelioma diagnosis communication included accessing ongoing training, ensuring a suitable clinical environment and being able to allocate appropriate time.

Conclusion: The RADIO Meso study highlights factors that influence the communication of a diagnosis of MPM from the perspectives of individual patients and family carers. These findings provide the basis for a set of recommendations that can be used by health professionals to improve the MPM diagnostic experience.

RevDate: 2019-06-06

Louw A, Badiei A, Creaney J, et al (2019)

Advances in pathological diagnosis of mesothelioma: what pulmonologists should know.

Current opinion in pulmonary medicine, 25(4):354-361.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a universally fatal illness with a rising incidence, particularly in developing countries. The diagnosis can be challenging and require repeated investigations with implications for the patient and healthcare system.

RECENT FINDINGS: Distinguishing between benign/reactive and malignant mesothelial proliferations can be challenging. Cytological diagnosis of MPM from pleural fluid is as reliable as histological analysis of tissue biopsies in epithelioid MPM - an approach endorsed by the International Academy of Cytology. Identification of BRCA1-associated protein 1 (BAP1) and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A (CDKN2A) gene mutations in MPM have led to the development of new ancillary tests that can streamline the diagnostic pathway. The prognostic values of these molecules are being investigated. Clinicians should be aware of the recently described BAP1 tumor predisposition syndrome and offer genetic investigations in potential patients. Routine use of prophylactic radiotherapy in MPM patients after pleural interventions has been disproved in a randomized trial.

SUMMARY: Diagnosis of epithelioid MPM can be established on pleural fluid analysis in most patients. The use of BAP1 immunostaining and CDKN2A/p16 fluorescence in-situ hybridization are particularly useful in distinguishing benign from malignant mesothelial proliferations. Clinicians should ensure these investigations are available in the pathological assessment of cases to minimize invasive investigations and the associated risks.

RevDate: 2019-06-05

Santos Seoane SM, Yano Escudero R, V Arenas García (2019)

An unexpected cause of dysphagia: pleural mesothelioma.

Revista espanola de enfermedades digestivas : organo oficial de la Sociedad Espanola de Patologia Digestiva, 111:0 [Epub ahead of print].

Malignant mesothelioma usually originates from the pleura or peritoneum, and has a poor prognosis. The incidence of this type of tumor is increasing worldwide, which is probably a result of occupational or environmental exposure to asbestos. In 90% dyspnea, chest pain or a combination of both are usually the initial symptoms. Dysphagia only occurs in 1.4% and is very rare as the initial symptom. We present the case of a middle-aged patient, in whom the initial symptom was dysphagia, so an endoscopy was performed. This showed extrinsic compression of the esophagus that was demonstrated when performing the chest X-ray, in which it was revealed a posterior mediastinal mass surrounding the esophagus concentrically without mucosal invasion.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Konen T, Johnson JE, Lindgren P, et al (2019)

Cancer incidence and mortality associated with non-occupational and low dose exposure to Libby vermiculite in Minnesota.

Environmental research, 175:449-456 pii:S0013-9351(19)30209-9 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: A vermiculite processing plant in a Minneapolis, Minnesota neighborhood utilized asbestos-containing ore from Libby, Montana from the late 1930's until 1989. Multiple pathways of exposure to Libby asbestos were characterized in a cohort of over 6000 plant workers and residents living near the plant.

OBJECTIVE: We conducted a cohort linkage study to assess the impact of cumulative low dose exposure and the role of occupational history on asbestos-related mortality and cancer morbidity among cohort members residing near a vermiculite plant.

METHODS: Cohort members alive in 1988 (n = 5848) were linked to the Minnesota Cancer Surveillance System to identify incident cases of mesothelioma, lung cancer, and all-cancer diagnosed from 1988 to 2010. Proportional incidence ratios (PIRs) were calculated for mesothelioma and lung cancer. Vital status and cause of death were ascertained from Minnesota vital records and the National Death Index (1988-2011). Mortality rates of the cohort (2001-2011) for asbestos-related outcomes were compared to the Minnesota population to estimate standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) and stratified by gender, exposure, and occupational history categories.

RESULTS: We identified seven cases of mesothelioma, with elevated incidence only in females (PIR = 11.76, 95% CI: 3.17, 30.12). Lung cancer was elevated in both genders: PIR = 1.54 (95% CI: 1.19, 2.0) in males and 1.62 (95% CI: 1.21, 2.12) in females. We found elevated mortality from COPD, lung cancer, and mesothelioma among females (SMR for mesothelioma in females = 18.97, CI: 3.91, 55.45), among the 546 deaths identified. All four deaths from mesothelioma occurred in the >75th percentile of exposure (>0.0156 fiber/cc x months). The SMR for lung cancer and all respiratory cancer was elevated even after controlling for occupation.

CONCLUSIONS: Community exposure to Libby amphibole asbestos from a vermiculite processing plant is associated with increased risk of COPD, lung cancer and mesothelioma incidence and mortality, most notably among females, and is likely to remain a public health issue for years to come.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Kettunen E, Savukoski S, Salmenkivi K, et al (2019)

CDKN2A copy number and p16 expression in malignant pleural mesothelioma in relation to asbestos exposure.

BMC cancer, 19(1):507 pii:10.1186/s12885-019-5652-y.

BACKGROUND: Deletion of the CDKN2A locus is centrally involved in the development of several malignancies. In malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), it is one of the most frequently reported genomic alteration. MPM is strongly associated with a patients' asbestos exposure. However, the status of CDKN2A and the expression of the corresponding protein, p16, in relation to MPM patient's asbestos exposure is poorly known. Copy number alterations in 2p16, 9q33.1 and 19p13 have earlier been shown to accumulate in lung cancer in relation to asbestos exposure but their status in MPM is unclear.

METHODS: We studied DNA copy numbers for CDKN2A using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and p16 expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in 92 MPM patients, 75 of which with known asbestos exposure status. We also studied, in MPM, copy number alterations in 2p16, 9q33.1 and 19p13 by FISH.

RESULTS: We were unable to detect an association between p16 expression and pulmonary asbestos fiber count in MPM tumor cells. However, significantly more MPM patients with high pulmonary asbestos fiber count (> 1 million fibers per gram [f/g]) had stromal p16 immunoreactivity than MPM of patients with low exposure (≤ 0.5 million f/g) (51.4% vs 16.7%; p = 0.035, Chi-Square). We found that an abnormal copy number of CDKN2A in MPM tumor cells associated with a high pulmonary asbestos fiber count (p = 0.044, Fisher's Exact test, two-tailed). In contrast to our earlier findings in asbestos associated lung cancer, DNA copy number changes in 2p16, 9q33 and 19p13 were not frequent in MPM although single cases with variable copy numbers on those regions were seen.

CONCLUSIONS: We found two instances where the gene locus CDKN2A or its corresponding protein expression, is associated with high asbestos exposure levels. This suggests that there may be biological differences between the mesotheliomas with high pulmonary asbestos fiber count and those with low fiber count.

RevDate: 2019-06-04

Colombino E, Capella S, Casalinuovo F, et al (2019)

Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma in a boar who lived in Calabria (Italy): Wild animal as sentinel system of human health.

The Science of the total environment, 683:267-274 pii:S0048-9697(19)32295-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Mesothelioma is a tumor of the serosal membranes described both in human and veterinary medicine. While in humans the relationship between mesothelioma and exposure to asbestos and some other asbestiform minerals is well known, in animals it is still difficult to establish. In this paper a case of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma probably related to asbestos exposure in a wild boar is described. At post-mortem evaluation the peritoneum, diaphragm and serosal surface of liver and kidneys showed isolated to coalescent multiple nodular lesions. Samples from diaphragm, liver and lung were collected to perform microbiological and histological investigations. To assess the presence of asbestos and/or other asbestiform minerals, SEM-EDS investigations were performed on organs and soil samples collected from the area where the wild boar lived. Microbiological investigations were negative for Mycobacterium species. Gross and histological examination were compatible with a biphasic mesothelioma, with nodules composed of epithelioid and sarcomatoid elements with high pleomorphism. Immunohistochemistry revealed only multifocal scattered positivity for WT-1 and D2-40. Asbestos fibres were detected in all samples (organs and soil) by SEM-EDS, demonstrating a potential relationship between the neoplasia and the exposure to naturally occurring asbestos (NOA). In conclusion, the results of the present study are further confirmation that wild animals, such as the boar, are suitable sentinels to indicate the risk of environmental exposure to asbestos for human populations.

RevDate: 2019-05-23

Kamiya H, Peters S, Sodhi-Berry N, et al (2019)

Validation of an Asbestos Job-Exposure Matrix (AsbJEM) in Australia: Exposure-Response Relationships for Malignant Mesothelioma.

Annals of work exposures and health pii:5497616 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: An asbestos job-exposure matrix (AsbJEM) has been developed to systematically and cost-effectively evaluate occupational exposures in population-based studies. The primary aim of this study was to examine the accuracy of the AsbJEM in determining exposure-response relationships between asbestos exposure estimates and malignant mesothelioma (MM) incidence (indirect validation). The secondary aim was to investigate whether the assumptions used in the development of the original AsbJEM provided accurate asbestos exposure estimates.

METHODS: The study population consisted of participants in an annual health surveillance program, who had at least 3-month occupational asbestos exposure. Calculated asbestos exposure indices included cumulative asbestos exposure and the average exposure intensity, estimated using the AsbJEM and duration of employment. Asbestos and MM exposure-response relationships were compared between the original AsbJEM and its variations based on manipulations of the intensity, duration and frequency of exposure. Twenty-four exposure estimates were calculated for both cumulative asbestos exposure and the average exposure intensity using three exposure intensities (50th, 75th and 90th percentile of the range of mode exposure), four peak durations (15, 30, 60 and 120 min) and two patterns of peak frequency (original and doubled). Cox proportional hazards models were used to describe the associations between MM incidence and each of the cumulative and average intensity estimates.

RESULTS: Data were collected from 1602 male participants. Of these, 40 developed MM during the study period. There were significant associations between MM incidence and both cumulative and average exposure intensity for all estimates. The strongest association, based on the regression-coefficient from the models, was found for the 50th percentile of mode exposure, 15-min peak duration and the doubled frequency of peak exposure. Using these assumptions, the hazard ratios for mesothelioma were 1 (reference), 1.91, 3.24 and 5.37 for the quartiles of cumulative asbestos exposure and 1 (reference), 1.84, 2.31 and 4.40 for the quartiles of the average exposure intensity, respectively.

CONCLUSION: The well-known positive exposure-response relationship between MM incidence and both estimated cumulative asbestos exposure and average exposure intensity was confirmed. The strongest relationship was found when the frequency of peak exposure in the AsbJEM was doubled from the originally published estimates.

RevDate: 2019-05-23

Galani V, Varouktsi A, Papadatos SS, et al (2019)

The role of apoptosis defects in malignant mesothelioma pathogenesis with an impact on prognosis and treatment.

Cancer chemotherapy and pharmacology pii:10.1007/s00280-019-03878-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a highly aggressive tumor that is strongly related to asbestos fiber exposure. The tumorigenesis procedure in MM is complex, and many pathogenetic mechanisms including chronic inflammation, deregulation of cell death, and the genomic copy-number losses and gains may contribute to carcinogenesis. MM cells are resistant to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis due to defects in extrinsic apoptotic pathway. CAPS, a regulator of cell cycle and death, may contribute to the MM development as well. BAP1 is the most frequently inactivated gene in MPM; BAP1 deficiency triggers malignant transformation via disruption of DNA repair, transcription regulation, cell metabolism, apoptosis, and ferroptosis. In addition, bcl-2 family proteins as well as abnormal activation of PI3 K/Akt/mTOR pathway and deregulation of the Wnt signaling pathway may result in MM tumorigenesis. Finally, the Hippo pathway plays a critical role in MPM development. Mutations of NF2 and LATS lead to YAP activation in MPM. Thus, inhibition of YAP activity by YAP inhibitors could be a potentially promising treatment option for MM. In conclusion, extensive genetic alterations exist in mesotheliomas associated with the signaling of apoptotic HM cells death. The comprehension of these pathways may contribute to enhancing survival via developing new effective therapeutic strategies.

RevDate: 2019-05-21

Waqar AB, Menzies D, Casey M, et al (2019)

Paraneoplastic phenomenon in mesothelioma.

Thorax pii:thoraxjnl-2019-213176 [Epub ahead of print].

A 71-year-old man presented with breathlessness and visual disturbance. On examination of the chest, he had signs suggestive of a right-sided pleural effusion and a neurological examination yielded conjugate vertical gaze palsy. Subsequent investigations revealed pleural thickening and mesothelioma. His anti-Ma2 antibodies were positive indicating a paraneoplastic syndrome as the cause of the vertical gaze palsy.

RevDate: 2019-06-05

Milosevic V, Kopecka J, Salaroglio IC, et al (2019)

Wnt/IL-1β/IL-8 autocrine circuitries control chemoresistance in mesothelioma initiating cells by inducing ABCB5.

International journal of cancer [Epub ahead of print].

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a tumor with high chemoresistance and poor prognosis. MPM-initiating cells (ICs) are known to be drug resistant, but it is unknown if and how stemness-related pathways determine chemoresistance. Moreover, there are no predictive markers of IC-associated chemoresistance. Aim of this work is to clarify if and by which mechanisms the chemoresistant phenotype of MPM IC was due to specific stemness-related pathways. We generated MPM IC from primary MPM samples and compared the gene expression and chemo-sensitivity profile of IC and differentiated/adherent cells (AC) of the same patient. Compared to AC, IC had upregulated the drug efflux transporter ABCB5 that determined resistance to cisplatin and pemetrexed. ABCB5-knocked-out (KO) IC clones were resensitized to the drugs in vitro and in patient-derived xenografts. ABCB5 was transcriptionally activated by the Wnt/GSK3β/β-catenin/c-myc axis that also increased IL-8 and IL-1β production. IL-8 and IL-1β-KO IC clones reduced the c-myc-driven transcription of ABCB5 and reacquired chemosensitivity. ABCB5-KO clones had lower IL-8 and IL-1β secretion, and c-myc transcriptional activity, suggesting that either Wnt/GSK3β/β-catenin and IL-8/IL-1β signaling drive c-myc-mediated transcription of ABCB5. ABCB5 correlated with lower time-to-progression and overall survival in MPM patients treated with cisplatin and pemetrexed. Our work identified multiple autocrine loops linking stemness pathways and resistance to cisplatin and pemetrexed in MPM IC. ABCB5 may represent a new target to chemosensitize MPM IC and a potential biomarker to predict the response to the first-line chemotherapy in MPM patients.

RevDate: 2019-05-19

Scagliotti GV, Gaafar R, Nowak AK, et al (2019)

Nintedanib in combination with pemetrexed and cisplatin for chemotherapy-naive patients with advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma (LUME-Meso): a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled phase 3 trial.

The Lancet. Respiratory medicine pii:S2213-2600(19)30139-0 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Nintedanib targets VEGF receptors 1-3, PDGF receptors α and β, FGF receptors 1-3, and Src and Abl kinases, which are all implicated in malignant pleural mesothelioma pathogenesis. Here, we report the final results of the phase 3 part of the LUME-Meso trial, which aimed to investigate the efficacy and safety of pemetrexed plus cisplatin combined with nintedanib or placebo in unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma.

METHODS: This double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled phase 3 trial was done at 120 academic medical centres and community clinics in 27 countries across the world. Chemotherapy-naive adults (aged ≥18 years) with unresectable epithelioid malignant pleural mesothelioma and ECOG performance status 0-1 were randomly assigned 1:1 via an independently verified random number-generating system to receive up to six 21-day cycles of pemetrexed (500 mg/m2) plus cisplatin (75 mg/m2) on day 1, then nintedanib (200 mg twice daily) or matched placebo on days 2-21. Patients without disease progression after six cycles received nintedanib or placebo maintenance on days 1-21 of each cycle. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (investigator-assessed according to mRECIST) in the intention-to-treat population. Safety was assessed in all patients who received at least one dose of their assigned study drug. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01907100.

FINDINGS: Between April 14, 2016, and Jan 5, 2018, 541 patients were screened and 458 were randomly assigned to either the nintedanib group (n=229) or the placebo group (n=229). Median treatment duration was 5·3 months (IQR 2·8-7·3) in the nintedanib group and 5·1 months (2·7-7·8) in the placebo group. After 250 events, progression-free survival was not different between the nintedanib group (median 6·8 months [95% CI 6·1-7·0]) and the placebo group (7·0 months [6·7-7·2]; HR 1·01 [95% CI 0·79-1·30], p=0·91). The most frequently reported grade 3 or worse adverse event in both treatment groups was neutropenia (73 [32%] in the nintedanib group vs 54 [24%] in the placebo group). Serious adverse events were reported in 99 (44%) patients in the nintedanib group and 89 (39%) patients in the placebo group. The only serious adverse event occurring in at least 5% of patients in either group was pulmonary embolism (13 [6%] vs seven [3%]).

INTERPRETATION: The primary progression-free survival endpoint of the phase 3 part of LUME-Meso was not met and phase 2 findings were not confirmed. No unexpected safety findings were reported.

FUNDING: Boehringer Ingelheim.

RevDate: 2019-05-17

MacRae RM, Ashton M, Lauk O, et al (2019)

The role of radiation treatment in pleural mesothelioma: Highlights of the 14th International Conference of the International mesothelioma interest group.

Lung cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 132:24-27.

Radiation remains an important component of mesothelioma treatment in 2018. Its use as a treatment modality continues to evolve as the technology for planning and delivery continues to improve. Use of radiation to improve local control in the involved hemithorax has been a common adjuvant treatment post extrapleural pneumonectomy for many years. Modern treatment options with advanced planning techniques including protons and intensity modulated radiation therapy lead to new potential options for treatment post lung-sparing surgery or in the unresectable setting. Presentations and discussions on the implementation of these strategies for palliation, treatment of oligometastatic recurrence or unresectable disease were the focus of a session dedicated to the role of radiation therapy at the 14th International Conference of the International Mesothelioma Interest Group and are reviewed in this article. Preclinical data to better understand how to integrate radiation and the delivery of novel systemic therapy approached like check point inhibitors are also presented.

RevDate: 2019-06-05

Rosner D, Markowitz G, M Chowkwanyun (2019)

"Nondetected": The Politics of Measurement of Asbestos in Talc, 1971-1976.

American journal of public health, 109(7):969-974.

The recent lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson have raised the issue of what and when talcum powder manufacturers knew about the presence of asbestos in their products and what they did or did not do to protect the public. Low-level exposure to asbestos in talc is said to result in either mesothelioma or ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson has claimed that there was "no detectable asbestos" in their products and that any possible incidental presence was too small to act as a carcinogen. But what exactly does "nondetected" mean? Here, we examine the historical development of the argument that asbestos in talcum powder was "nondetected." We use a unique set of historical documents from the early 1970s, when low-level pollution of talc with asbestos consumed the cosmetics industry. We trace the debate over the Food and Drug Administration's efforts to guarantee that talc was up to 99.99% free of chrysotile and 99.9% free of amphibole asbestos. Cosmetic talc powder manufacturers, through their trade association, pressed for a less stringent methodology and adopted the term "nondetected" rather than "asbestos-free" as a term of art.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

de Boer NL, van Kooten JP, Burger JWA, et al (2019)

Adjuvant dendritic cell based immunotherapy (DCBI) after cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) for peritoneal mesothelioma, a phase II single centre open-label clinical trial: rationale and design of the MESOPEC trial.

BMJ open, 9(5):e026779 pii:bmjopen-2018-026779.

INTRODUCTION: Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPM) is an uncommon but aggressive neoplasm and has a strong association with asbestos exposure. MPM has low survival rates of approximately 1 year even after (palliative) surgery and/or systemic chemotherapy. Recent advances in treatment strategies focusing on cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) have resulted in improved median survival of 53 months and a 5 year survival of 47%. However, recurrence rates are high. Current systemic chemotherapy in the adjuvant setting is of limited efficacy, while immunotherapy with dendritic cell based immunotherapy (DCBI) has yielded promising results in murine models with peritoneal mesothelioma and in patients with pleural mesothelioma.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The MESOPEC trial is an open-label single centre phase II study. The study population are adult patients with histological/cytological confirmed diagnosis of epithelioid malignant peritoneal mesothelioma.

INTERVENTION: 4 to 6 weeks before CRS-HIPEC a leukapheresis is performed of which the monocytes are used for differentiation to dendritic cells (DCs). Autologous DCs pulsed with allogeneic tumour associated antigens (MesoPher) are re-injected 8 to 10 weeks after surgery, three times biweekly. Additional booster vaccinations are given at 3 and 6 months.Primary objective is to determine the feasibility of administering DCBI after CRS-HIPEC in patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma. Secondary objectives are to assess safety of DCBI in patients with peritoneal mesothelioma and determine whether a specific immunological response against the tumour occurs as a result of this adjuvant immunotherapy.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Permission to carry out this study protocol has been granted by the Central Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (CCMO in Dutch) and the Research Ethics Committee (METC in Dutch). The results of this trial will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NTR7060. EudraCT: 2017-000897-12; Pre-Results.

RevDate: 2019-05-23

Loomis D, Richardson DB, L Elliott (2019)

Quantitative relationships of exposure to chrysotile asbestos and mesothelioma mortality.

American journal of industrial medicine, 62(6):471-477.

BACKGROUND: While asbestos has long been known to cause mesothelioma, quantitative exposure-response data on the relation of mesothelioma risk and exposure to chrysotile asbestos are sparse.

METHODS: Quantitative relationships of mortality from mesothelioma and pleural cancer were investigated in an established cohort of 5397 asbestos textile manufacturing workers in North Carolina, USA. Eligible workers were those employed between 1950 and 1973 with mortality follow-up through 2003. Individual exposure to chrysotile fibres was estimated on the basis of 3420 air samples covering the entire study period linked to work history records. Exposure coefficients adjusted for age, race, and time-related covariates were estimated by Poisson regression.

RESULTS: Positive, statistically significant associations were observed between mortality from all pleural cancer (including mesothelioma) and time since first exposure (TSFE) to asbestos (rate ratio [RR], 1.19; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-1.34 per year), duration of exposure, and cumulative asbestos fibre exposure (RR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.04-1.28 per 100 f-years/mL; 10-year lag). Analyses of the shape of exposure-response functions suggested a linear relationship with TSFE and a less-than-linear relationship with cumulative exposure. Restricting the analysis to years when mesothelioma was coded as a unique cause of death yielded stronger but less precise associations.

CONCLUSIONS: These observations support with quantitative data the conclusion that chrysotile causes mesothelioma and encourage exposure-response analyses of mesothelioma in other cohorts exposed to chrysotile.

RevDate: 2019-05-12

Salaroglio IC, Kopecka J, Napoli F, et al (2019)

Potential diagnostic and prognostic role of micro-environment in malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Journal of thoracic oncology : official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer pii:S1556-0864(19)30357-0 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: A comprehensive analysis of the immune-cell infiltrate collected from pleural fluid and from biopsies of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) may contribute to understand the immune-evasion mechanisms related to tumor progression, aiding in differential diagnosis and potential prognostic stratification. Till now such approach has not routinely been verified.

METHODS: We enrolled in 275 patients with an initial clinical diagnosis of pleural effusion. Specimens of pleural fluids and pleural biopsies used for the pathological diagnosis and the immune-phenotype analyses were blindly investigated by multi-parametric flow cytometry. The results were analyzed by Kruskal-Wallis test. The Kaplan-Meier and log-rank tests were used to correlate immune-phenotype data with patients' outcome.

RESULTS: The cut-offs of intra-tumor T-regulatory (Treg; >1.1%) cells, M2-macrophages (>36%), granulocytic and monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC; >5.1% and 4.2%, respectively), CD4+PD1+ (>5.2%) and CD8+PD1+ (6.4%) cells, CD4+LAG-3+ (>2.8%) and CD8+LAG-3+ (>2.8%) cells, CD4+TIM-3+ (>2.5%) and CD8+TIM-3+ (>2.6%) cells discriminated MPM from pleuritis with 100% sensitivity and 89% specificity. The presence of intra-tumor MDSC contributed to the anergy of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). The immune-phenotype of pleural fluid cells had no prognostic significance. By contrast, the intra-tumor Treg and MDSC levels significantly correlated with progression-free and overall survival, the PD-1+/LAG-3+/TIM-3+ CD4+TILs correlated with overall survival.

CONCLUSIONS: A clear immune-signature of pleural fluids and tissues of MPM patients may contribute to better predict patients' outcome.

RevDate: 2019-05-12

Labrèche F, Kim J, Song C, et al (2019)

The current burden of cancer attributable to occupational exposures in Canada.

Preventive medicine, 122:128-139.

Exposure to occupational carcinogens is often overlooked as a contributor to the burden of cancer. To estimate the proportion of cancer cases attributable to occupational exposure in Canada in 2011, exposure prevalence and levels of 44 carcinogens were informed by data from the Canadian carcinogen exposure surveillance project (CAREX Canada). These were used with Canadian Census (between 1961 and 2011) and Labour Force Survey (annual surveys between 1976 and 2013) data to estimate the number of workers ever exposed to occupational carcinogens. Risk estimates of the association between each carcinogen and cancer site were selected mainly from published literature reviews. Population attributable risks were estimated using Levin's equation and applied to the 2011 cancer statistics from the Canadian Cancer Registry. It is estimated that 15.5 million Canadians alive in 2011 were exposed, during at least one year between 1961 and 2001, to at least one carcinogen in the workplace. Overall, we estimated that in 2011, between 3.9% (95% CI: 3.1%-8.1%) and 4.2% (95% CI: 3.3%-8.7%) of all incident cases of cancer were due to occupational exposure, corresponding to lower and upper numbers of 7700-21,800 cases. Five of the cancer sites - mesothelioma, non-melanoma skin cancer, lung, female breast, and urinary bladder - account for a total of 7600 to 21,200 cancers attributable to occupational exposures such as solar radiation, asbestos, diesel engine exhaust, crystalline silica, and night shift work. Our study highlights cancer sites and occupational exposures that need recognition and efforts by all stakeholders to avoid preventable cancers in the future.

RevDate: 2019-05-09

Fitzgerald RC, JM Rhodes (2019)

Ingested asbestos in filtered beer, in addition to occupational exposure, as a causative factor in oesophageal adenocarcinoma.

British journal of cancer pii:10.1038/s41416-019-0467-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Oesophageal adenocarcinoma has become much more common over the past 50 years, particularly in Britain, with an unexplained male to female ratio of > 4:1. Given the use of asbestos filtration in commercial brewing and reports of its unregulated use in British public houses in the 1970's to clear draught beer "slops", we have assessed the hypothesis that ingested asbestos could be a causative factor for this increased incidence. Importantly, occupational asbestos exposure increases the risk of adenocarcinoma but not squamous cell carcinoma of the oesophagus. The presence of asbestos fibres was consistently reported in filtered beverages including beers in the 1970s and asbestos bodies have been found in gastrointestinal tissue, particularly oesophageal tissue, at autopsy. There is no reported association between the intake of alcohol and oesophageal adenocarcinoma but studies would mostly have missed exposure from draught beer before 1980. Oesophageal adenocarcinoma has some molecular similarities to pleural mesothelioma, a condition that is largely due to inhalation of asbestos fibres, including predominant loss of tumour suppressor genes rather than an increase of classical oncogenic drivers. Trends in incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma and mesothelioma are similar, rising rapidly over the past 50 years but now plateauing. Asbestos ingestion, either from beer consumed before around 1980, or from occupational exposure, seems a plausible causative factor for oesophageal adenocarcinoma. If this is indeed the case, its incidence should fall back to a low baseline by around 2050.

RevDate: 2019-05-22

Barsky AR, Cengel KA, Katz SI, et al (2019)

First-ever Abscopal Effect after Palliative Radiotherapy and Immuno-gene Therapy for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.

Cureus, 11(2):e4102.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a highly aggressive disease, with few, if any, curative interventions. While there is growing interest in using immunotherapy and immuno-gene therapy to treat MPM, very limited data currently exist for combining these modalities with radiotherapy. Preclinical data suggest that radiotherapy may be combined with immunotherapy to produce disease regression, with abscopal effects in mice with MPM. We report the first-ever case of abscopal effect in a patient with MPM, following radiotherapy and immuno-gene therapy. The patient was a 67-year-old male with prior asbestos exposure who presented with progressive dyspnea and thoracic pain. He underwent partial right pleurectomy, pleural biopsy, and talc pleurodesis, with pathology revealing epithelioid MPM. A subsequent chest computed tomography (CT) scan and fluoro-deoxyglucose positron-emission tomography (FDG-PET) CT scan showed extensive, right-sided, fluoro-deoxyglucose (FDG) avid mass-like pleural thickening encasing the right lung, with likely mediastinal extension, nodal metastases, and vascular compression. He enrolled in a clinical trial in which he received intrapleural interferon-alpha gene therapy but needed to discontinue therapy due to supraventricular tachycardia and superior vena cava syndrome induced from tumor burden. He was emergently treated with palliative radiotherapy to 30 Gy in 10 fractions. He was then started on pemetrexed and cisplatin chemotherapy. His subsequent chest CT scan two months after radiotherapy completion showed a dramatic treatment response within, as well as outside of, the irradiated field. After completion of radiotherapy, he did experience radiation esophagitis requiring nasogastric tube placement. Herein, we highlight the feasibility and efficacy of combining immuno-gene therapy with palliative radiotherapy to produce a substantial treatment response and an abscopal effect in a patient with unresectable MPM.

RevDate: 2019-05-05

Cui Y, Zha Y, Li T, et al (2019)

Oxidative effects of lungs in Wistar rats caused by long-term exposure to four kinds of China representative chrysotile.

Environmental science and pollution research international pii:10.1007/s11356-019-04978-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Chrysotile accounts for some 90% to 95% of all the asbestos used worldwide. Scientific evidences have shown that asbestos (including chrysotile) exposure is associated with increased rates of lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. However, molecular mechanisms underlying the toxicity effects of chrysotile are not clear. This study evaluated the oxidative stress in chronic lung toxicity caused by the intratracheal instillation (IT) of four kinds China representative chrysotile once a month for 12 months in Wistar rats. These results indicated that chrysotile exposure led to an obvious increase in lung mass and slowed the growth of body mass. Inflammation and fibrosis were observed by hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining. Exposure to chrysotile significantly increased the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the level of lipid peroxidation and decreased antioxidant capacity in lung tissues. Furthermore, 1-6-month chrysotile exposure activated heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) expression, whereas 12-month exposure caused significant decreases of two-factor expression levels in XK and MN groups when compared to negative control group. Therefore, our results suggested that chronic chrysotile pulmonary injury in Wistar rats is triggered by oxidative damage. Meanwhile, the oxidative damage of MN and XK was stronger than that of SSX and AKS, and the difference of oxidative damage in four chrysotile could have been brought by its properties, morphology, chemical composition, and particle size. With all the above mentioned in view, we hope that the revealed data in the experiment could contribute to the progress of further researches on the toxicity and mechanism of chrysotile.

RevDate: 2019-05-03

Nowak AK, McDonnell A, A Cook (2019)

Immune checkpoint inhibition for the treatment of mesothelioma.

Expert opinion on biological therapy [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Combination chemotherapy is currently standard care for advanced mesothelioma. Checkpoint blockade is a promising new treatment. Areas covered: This review covers clinical use and biomarkers of checkpoint blockade. Medline search used keywords 'mesothelioma' combined with 'checkpoint blockade' OR 'PD-L1' OR 'PD1' OR 'anti-CTLA4'; the search terms AND 'clinical trial' or AND 'biomarker*' were added. Handsearching covered abstracts from relevant meetings from 2016 to 2018 and reference lists. Data informed a narrative review. Expert Opinion: Single agent anti-CTLA4 blockade is inactive in mesothelioma. Single agent PD-1 blockade as second or subsequent treatment gives 20-29% partial responses; no randomized comparisons against placebo or chemotherapy are available. Biomarkers of response have been difficult to identify. There is no consensus as to whether tumor PD-L1 expression predicts outcomes. Combination checkpoint inhibitors (CTLA4 and PD1 blockade) provide a small incremental increase in response rates and progression-free survival. Chemoimmunotherapy is the next frontier.

RevDate: 2019-05-23

Macedo RF, Cerqueira EMFP, Algranti E, et al (2019)

High frequency and severity of pleural changes in former workers exposed to anthophyllite associated with other contaminating amphibole asbestos in Brazil.

American journal of industrial medicine, 62(6):503-510.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the frequency and severity of pleuropulmonary alterations in anthophyllite-exposed former workers in Itapira, São Paulo, Brazil. The amphibole anthophyllite, a magnesium-iron silicate, had its mining, marketing, and use forbidden in Brazil in 1995.

METHODS: Former workers were followed from 1999 to 2011. All completed chest X-ray interpreted using the International Labour Office (ILO) classification. High-resolution computed tomography was used at the final evaluation. Spirometry assessed forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1), and FEV1/FVC throughout the follow-up period. Samples from the mined ore were analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy coupled to energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS).

RESULTS: XRD and SEM-EDS confirmed the presence in ore of anthophyllite at a concentration of 75%, in addition to tremolite and other amphiboles in lower concentrations. Twenty-eight subjects were evaluated. Median time of exposure was 3 years (minimum = 1; maximum = 18; interquartile interval = 1-4). Twenty cases of pleural abnormalities were diagnosed in 26 evaluated (77%). The average latency time was 25.6 ± 7.4 years. Two individuals (7.7%) showed progressive worsening of diffuse pleural thickening (DPT) and exhibited an annual FVC decrease of 85 mL and 150 mL, respectively.

CONCLUSION: This small sample showed a very high index of nonmalignant pleural abnormalities in anthophyllite-exposed workers compared with workers exposed to other kinds of fibers. Rapidly progressive DPT, defined by the severity of pleural compromise, was possibly secondary to the presence of other amphibole types in the inhaled dust. No significant loss of FVC was found in the studied group as a whole. No cases of asbestosis, lung carcinoma, and mesothelioma were diagnosed in this cohort.

RevDate: 2019-04-30

Oey H, Daniels M, Relan V, et al (2019)

Whole-genome sequencing of human malignant mesothelioma tumours and cell lines.

Carcinogenesis pii:5479857 [Epub ahead of print].

Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of serosal surfaces caused by environmental exposure to asbestos. Clinical outcome remains poor and while trials of new treatments are ongoing it remains an understudied cancer. Mesothelioma cell lines can readily be grown from primary tumour and from tumour cells shed into pleural effusion with the latter representing a particularly valuable source of DNA in clinical settings, procurable without the need for additional invasive procedures. However, it is not well understood how accurately patient-derived cultured tumour cells represent the molecular characteristics of their primary tumour. We used whole-genome sequencing of primary tumour and matched cultured cells to comprehensively characterize mutations and structural alterations. Most cases had complex rearranged genomes with evidence of chromoanagenesis and rearrangements reminiscent of chromoplexy. Many of the identified driver mutations were structural, indicating that mesothelioma is often caused by structural alterations and catastrophic genomic events, rather than point mutations. Because the majority of genomic changes detected in tumours were also displayed by the genomes of cultured tumour cells, we conclude that low-passage cultured tumour cells are generally suitable for molecular characterization of mesothelioma and may be particularly useful where tissue samples with high tumour cell content are not available. However, the subclonal compositions of the cell lines did not fully recapitulate the subclonal diversity of the primary tumours. Furthermore, longitudinal acquisition of major alterations in subclonal cell populations was observed after long-term passaging. These two factors define limitations of tumour-derived cell lines as genomic substrate for clinical purposes.

RevDate: 2019-04-29

Shih AR, RL Kradin (2019)

Malignant mesothelioma in Lynch syndrome: A report of two cases and a review of the literature.

American journal of industrial medicine, 62(5):448-452.

Malignant mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer most typically associated with prior asbestos exposure. The nature of the relationship between asbestos exposure and hereditary familial syndromes predisposing to malignancy has not been determined. We report two Lynch syndrome patients with paraoccupational asbestos exposure who developed diffuse malignant mesothelioma of the pleura or peritoneum. Interestingly, one showed a separate focus of pleural well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma. It is likely that Lynch syndrome patients are at increased risk for the development of mesothelioma in the setting of exposure to asbestos, even at what is generally considered to be low levels. In the presence of a documented history of low-level asbestos exposure, patients with genetic predisposition disorders (including Lynch syndrome) should be considered to have an independent risk factor modifying the effects of asbestos exposure.

RevDate: 2019-05-01

Rakhra A, Munir A, Chilukuri RS, et al (2019)

A Rare Case of Malignant Mesothelioma Presenting with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Seropositivity: A Case Report and Review of Literature.

Cureus, 11(2):e4092.

While malignant mesothelioma may initially present in a variety of ways, it is uncommon to present with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) seropositivity and thus obscuring its diagnosis. Our case involves a 75-year-old Caucasian male with a past medical history of essential hypertension, remote prostate cancer status post prostatectomy, and lifetime nontobacco use presenting with progressive shortness of breath over one month. After a negative cardiac assessment, a postcardiac catheterization chest X-ray (CXR) revealed a right-sided moderate-to-large pleural effusion that, on further workup, was found to be exudative. Effusion studies were negative for malignancy and bacterial growth. Recurrent accumulation of fluid after a thoracentesis one week prior prompted an autoimmune work up. Positive markers included antinuclear antibodies, anti-double stranded DNA antibodies, and anti-histone antibodies, while anti-Smith antibodies were negative. Although SLE was initially suspected based on serologies, no clinical signs or symptoms were present to fulfill the diagnosis criteria. A trial of oral prednisone resulted in decreased pleural effusion size with no further recurrence. Additional studies included a CT scan of the chest that showed pleural masses confirmed with biopsy to be epithelioid mesothelioma. Given the patient's age and new diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma, we hypothesized that the presence of autoantibodies was likely false positives due to acquired autoantibodies with age, hyperactivity of the immune system from malignancy, and possible prior asbestos exposure.

RevDate: 2019-05-20

Zona A, Fazzo L, Minelli G, et al (2019)

Peritoneal mesothelioma mortality in Italy: Spatial analysis and search for asbestos exposure sources.

Cancer epidemiology, 60:162-167.

BACKGROUND: This study is part of a national plan of epidemiological surveillance of malignant mesothelioma (MM) mortality in Italy. The paper shows the results of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPeM) mortality study in Italian Regions and municipalities.

METHODS: National Bureau of Statistics data for MPeM municipal mortality (ICD-10, Code C45.1) were analyzed in the time-window 2003-2014: mortality standardized rates (reference Italian population, census 2011), temporal trends of the annual national rates, Standardized Mortality Ratios and a municipal clustering analysis were performed.

RESULTS: 747 deaths for MPeM were recorded (0.10/100,000): 464 in men (0.14/100,000) and in 283 women (0.07/100,000). No significant MPeM mortality temporal trend was found. Seventeen municipalities showed excesses of mortality for MPeM in at least one gender and/or overall population. Four clusters in male population, and one in women were identified.

CONCLUSIONS: The study identifies some areas where remediation activities and/or health care actions may be warranted.

RevDate: 2019-05-05

Nagamatsu Y, Oze I, Aoe K, et al (2019)

Physician requests by patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma in Japan.

BMC cancer, 19(1):383 pii:10.1186/s12885-019-5591-7.

BACKGROUND: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a fatal and rare disease that is caused by the inhalation of asbestos. Treatment and care requests made by MPM patients to their physicians were collected and analyzed.

METHODS: This cross-sectional survey was part of a larger study (N = 133) regarding the quality of life of MPM patients. Specific responses to two open-ended questions related to patients' requests regarding treatment and care were quantified, analyzed and divided into categories based on content.

RESULTS: Responses (N = 217) from MPM patients (N = 73) were categorized into 24 subcategories and then abstracted into 6 categories. The majority of requests were related to patient-physician communication. Patients wanted clear and understandable explanations about MPM and wanted their physician to deliver treatment based on the patient's perspective by accepting and empathizing with their anxiety and pain. Patients expected physicians to be dedicated to their care and establish an improved medical support system for MPM patients.

CONCLUSION: Patients with MPM had a variety of unmet needs from their physicians. Physicians who provide care to MPM patients should receive training in both communication skills and stress management. A multidisciplinary care system that includes respiratory and palliative care for MPM patients should be established.

RevDate: 2019-05-31

Christofidou-Solomidou M, Pietrofesa RA, Park K, et al (2019)

Synthetic secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (LGM2605) inhibits Libby amphibole fiber-induced acute inflammation in mice.

Toxicology and applied pharmacology, 375:81-93.

BACKGROUND: Exposure to the Libby amphibole (LA) asbestos-like fibers found in Libby, Montana, is associated with inflammatory responses in mice and humans, and an increased risk of developing mesothelioma, asbestosis, pleural disease, and systemic autoimmune disease. Flaxseed-derived secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG) has anti-inflammatory, anti-fibrotic, and antioxidant properties. We have previously identified potent protective properties of SDG against crocidolite asbestos exposure modeled in mice. The current studies aimed to extend those findings by evaluating the immunomodulatory effects of synthetic SDG (LGM2605) on LA-exposed mice.

METHODS: Male and female C57BL/6 mice were given LGM2605 via gavage initiated 3 days prior to and continued for 3 days after a single intraperitoneal dose of LA fibers (200 μg) and evaluated on day 3 for inflammatory cell influx in the peritoneal cavity using flow cytometry.

RESULTS: LA exposure induced a significant increase (p < 0.0001) in spleen weight and peritoneal influx of white blood cells, all of which were reduced with LGM2605 with similar trends among males and females. Levels of peritoneal PMN cells were significantly (p < 0.0001) elevated post LA exposure, and were significantly (p < 0.0001) blunted by LGM2605. Importantly, LGM2605 significantly ameliorated the LA-induced mobilization of peritoneal B1a B cells.

CONCLUSIONS: LGM2605 reduced LA-induced acute inflammation and WBC trafficking supporting its possible use in mitigating downstream LA fiber-associated diseases.

SUMMARY: Following acute exposure to Libby amphibole (LA) asbestos-like fibers, synthetic SDG (LGM2605), a small synthetic molecule, significantly reduced the LA-induced increase in spleen weight and peritoneal inflammation in C57BL/6 male and female mice. Our findings highlight that LGM2605 has immunomodulatory properties and may, thus, likely be a chemopreventive agent for LA-induced diseases.

RevDate: 2019-04-17

Boffetta P, Donato F, Pira E, et al (2019)

Risk of mesothelioma after cessation of asbestos exposure: a systematic review and meta-regression.

International archives of occupational and environmental health pii:10.1007/s00420-019-01433-4 [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: A 'risk reversal' has been observed for several human carcinogens following cessation of exposure, but it is unclear whether it also exists for asbestos-related mesothelioma.

METHODS: We conducted a systematic review of the literature and identified nine studies that reported information on risk of mesothelioma after cessation of asbestos exposure, and performed a meta-regression based on random effects models. As comparison we analyzed results on lung cancer risk from four of these studies.

RESULTS: A total of six risk estimates from five studies were included in the meta-analysis. The summary relative risk (RR) of mesothelioma for 10-year interval since cessation of exposure was 1.02 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.87-1.19; p-heterogeneity 0.01]. The corresponding RR of lung cancer was 0.91 (95% CI 0.84-0.98).

CONCLUSIONS: This analysis provides evidence that the risk of mesothelioma does not decrease after cessation of asbestos exposure, while lung cancer risk does.

RevDate: 2019-04-10

Marsili D, Magnani C, Canepa A, et al (2019)

Communication and health education in communities experiencing asbestos risk and health impacts in Italy.

Annali dell'Istituto superiore di sanita, 55(1):70-79.

INTRODUCTION: Numerous municipalities in Italy currently experience asbestos health impact, in particular excesses of pleural mesothelioma incidence and mortality. This paper presents an integrated analysis of epidemiological studies and communication actions in affected municipalities to highlight how communication has been implemented depending on health impact evidence and involvement of local stakeholders.

METHODOLOGY: Four case studies are identified concerning industrial and natural sources of asbestos exposure having different diseases burden. This integrated analysis benefited from multidisciplinary skills.

DISCUSSION: Evidence of different stakeholders engagement is presented to emphasize their role in the communication process. Similarities and differences among case studies allowed us to identify lessons-learned to be transferred in other asbestos contaminated sites.

CONCLUSIONS: The adoption of communication strategies and practices, since the very early evidence of asbestos health impact, represents a relevant contribution for epidemiological and health surveillance, particularly for those communities where asbestos health impact has only been recently reported.

RevDate: 2019-04-22

Finkelstein MM (2019)

A comparison of asbestos fiber potency and elongate mineral particle (EMP) potency for mesothelioma in humans.

Toxicology and applied pharmacology, 371:1-2.

Dr. Garabrant presented a paper concerning a comparison of asbestos fiber potency and elongate mineral particle (EMP) potency for mesothelioma in humans at the Elongate Mineral Particles Conference in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. I was a participant at the Conference. Following Dr. Garabrant's talk, I rose in question period to point out that he had not considered information about the occurrence of mesothelioma in several cohorts that was published after the studies that he cited. These additional data were still not addressed in the paper published in your Journal. I believe that your readers would be interested in these, so this letter is written to draw the additional data to their attention.

RevDate: 2019-04-04

Warby A, Dhillon HM, Kao S, et al (2019)

A survey of patient and caregiver experience with malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer pii:10.1007/s00520-019-04760-x [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare cancer with poor prognosis. As there is little information on the lived experience of MPM, our aim was to document the experience of MPM patients and their caregivers.

METHODS: Surveys for MPM patients and caregivers were developed from previous interviews with patients, caregivers, and health professionals, about treatments and decision-making. Participants were recruited from two hospitals, government compensation body, and support groups.

RESULTS: Survey responses were received from 78 MPM patients and 106 caregivers from January to September 2014.

PATIENTS: 85% male, median age 69 years, median time since diagnosis 15 months. Caregivers: median age 68, 91% female, 90% spouse of MPM patient, 95% bereaved. Most participants felt informed about treatment options but only 69% thought all treatment options were discussed. Chemotherapy was discussed most frequently (92-95%); ~80% had sufficient information for decision-making. Decision regarding chemotherapy was made by patient considering doctor's opinion (24%), doctor and patient equally (18%), and doctor (17%). Participants 'agreed'/'strongly agreed' that they made the right decision about chemotherapy (patients 81%, caregivers 60%), but 5% and 16%, respectively, regretted the decision. Most participants received 'sufficient' support (71%). A quarter reported seeing cancer nurse specialists. Palliative care referral: 31% patients, 85% caregivers. Caregivers would have liked to talk to someone by themselves (41%), more time with doctors (30%), psychological support (29%), and clearer information (31%). Bereaved caregivers requested grief counselling (39%) and post-death consultation with specialists (23-25%).

CONCLUSIONS: Satisfaction with treatment was high, but participants identified need for improved communication and quality information, discussion about all treatments, end-of-life assistance, and caregiver support after the patient's death.

RevDate: 2019-05-20

Lococo F, Di Stefano T, Rapicetta C, et al (2019)

Thoracic Hyper-IgG4-Related Disease Mimicking Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.

Lung, 197(3):387-390.

We report a rare case of a IgG4-related disease presenting with recurrent pleural effusion, pleural thickness and multiple mediastinal lymphadenopathies and no involvement of other extrathoracic organs. A 65-year-old man with a previous asbestos exposure presented with cough and pain discomfort. A large right pleural effusion was detected and evacuated (siero-haematic liquid). With the suspicious of a pleural mesothelioma, a CT-scan before and a 18F-FDG PET/CT-scan later were performed revealing multiple pleural thickenings and multiple mediastinal lymphadenopathies with radiotracer uptake. EBUS-TBNA EBUS-TBNA did not result in a formal pathological diagnosis; thus, multiple pleural biopsy were performed via right thoracoscopy. At pathology the pleura was markedly thickened by a chronic fibroinflammatory process with scattered lymphoid follicles and a large number of mature plasma cells. Immunohistochemistry shows a mixed B (CD20+) and T (CD3+) population of lymphocytes, without light chain restriction and an increased number of IgG4-positive plasma cells. A presumptive diagnosis of IgG4-related disease was formulated. Total body CT-scan excluded other organ involvement. Blood test showed elevated serum IgG4 concentrations (253 mg/dL) and mild elevation of acute-phase reactants (C-reactive protein 10.7 mg/L). Autoimmune profile was negative. A diagnosis of definite IgG4-related disease was made, and treatment with prednisone 50 mg/day was started.

RevDate: 2019-04-04

Haygarth M, Zaw KK, Yachmenikova V, et al (2019)

Bilateral diffuse pulmonary infiltrates secondary to malignant peritoneal mesothelioma - A rare clinical presentation.

Respiratory medicine case reports, 26:326-327 pii:S2213-0071(19)30018-8.

Diffuse pulmonary metastasis secondary to primary peritoneal malignant mesothelioma is rarely reported in the literature. In this report we describe a 59-year-old Caucasian women with no known previous asbestos exposure presenting with bilateral diffuse pulmonary opacities in association with primary malignant peritoneal mesothelioma. The diagnosis was confirmed by ultrasound guided abdominal and bronchoscopy, trans-bronchial lung biopsy. The biopsy demonstrated positive staining with AE1/3, CK7, CK5/6, WT1, calretinin and D2 40. The cells were negative for BerEP4, PAX8, CA125, ER, CD34, ERG, P63, P40, Melan A, Gata3 and mammaglobin. The morphology and immunohistochemical profile supported a diagnosis of epithelioid malignant mesothelioma.

RevDate: 2019-04-02

Muralidhar V, Raghav P, Das P, et al (2019)

A case from India of pleural malignant mesothelioma probably due to domestic and environmental asbestos exposure: a posthumous report.

BMJ case reports, 12(3): pii:12/3/e227882.

India is the largest consumer of asbestos in the world. There is no report from India of mesothelioma related to asbestos. The case is a 42-year-old man who died of pleural mesothelioma. He was exposed to asbestos domestically and from the environment since birth. Two of his close family members worked in a factory that used asbestos. The living quarter of the family was within the premises of the factory. Asbestos waste was strewn on the grounds surrounding the quarters. After decades of legal battles by workers and families exposed to asbestos, Indian courts have ordered remedial measures and compensation to people, who are exposed to asbestos at work and the environment. Mesothelioma, currently in epidemic proportions in the west where asbestos production was banned in the 1990s, could rise to alarming levels in the next decades in India if the legal remedial measures are not implemented soon.

RevDate: 2019-04-12

Reid A, Franklin P, Berry G, et al (2019)

Response to letter by Farioli et al.

Occupational and environmental medicine, 76(5):356.

RevDate: 2019-03-30

Koutros S, Lubin JH, Graubard BI, et al (2019)

Extended Mortality Follow-up of a Cohort of 25,460 Workers Exposed to Acrylonitrile.

American journal of epidemiology pii:5423749 [Epub ahead of print].

We extended the mortality follow-up of a cohort of 25,460 workers employed at eight acrylonitrile (AN)-producing facilities in the United States by 21 years. Based on 8,124 deaths and 1,023,922 person-years of follow-up, we evaluated the relationship between occupational AN exposure and mortality. Standardized mortality ratios (SMR) based on deaths through December 31, 2011 were calculated. Work histories and monitoring data were used to develop quantitative estimates of AN exposure. Hazard ratios (HR) were estimated by Cox proportional hazards regression. All-cause mortality and mortality from total cancer were less than expected compared with the U.S. population. We observed an excess of death due to mesothelioma (SMR=2.24,95%CI:1.39, 3.42); no other SMRs were elevated overall. Cox regression analyses revealed an elevated risk of lung and bronchial cancer (N=808 deaths), with an HR>12.1 ppm-year vs Unexposed=1.43 (95%CI:1.13-1.81, p-trend=0.05), lagged 10-yrs, that was robust in sensitivity analyses adjusting for smoking and co-exposures including asbestos. Mortality from bladder cancer (HR, lagged 10 years>2.56 ppm vs Unexposed=2.96 (95%CI:1.38-6.34,p-trend=0.02) and pneumonitis (HR>3.12 ppm-year vs Unexposed=4.73 (95%CI:1.42-15.76,p-trend=0.007) was also associated with AN exposure. This study provides additional evidence of an association between AN exposure and lung cancer, as well as possible increased mortality from bladder cancer and pneumonitis.

RevDate: 2019-03-30

Kennedy JM (2019)

The forensic significance of pseudomesotheliomatous adenocarcinoma of the lung.

Forensic science, medicine, and pathology pii:10.1007/s12024-019-00110-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Pseudomesotheliomatous carcinomas (PMC) are rare tumors that clinically, macroscopically, and sometimes histologically resemble malignant pleural mesotheliomas. We report a case of a 91 year woman who was found to have diffuse nodular pleural thickening and a lung mass during a workup for persistent cough. She declined rapidly and died before a histologic diagnosis could be made. Postmortem examination revealed a tumor that diffusely involved the pleural surface with local extension into the chest wall, pericardium, and diaphragm along with a concurrent lung mass. Histologic examination showed poorly-differentiated cells predominantly arranged in sheets, cords, and nests with focal glandular differentiation. An immunohistochemical panel of calretinin, WT1, BEREP4, MOC31, and TTF1 confirmed the diagnosis of primary lung adenocarcinoma. The macroscopic, histologic, and immunohistochemical features used to distinguish metastatic and primary lung adenocarcinoma from epithelioid malignant mesothelioma are discussed. The distinction of malignant mesothelioma from pseudomesotheliomatous carcinoma is important for medicolegal reasons regarding asbestos related compensation claims.

RevDate: 2019-03-29

Algranti E, Ramos-Bonilla JP, Terracini B, et al (2019)

Prevention of Asbestos Exposure in Latin America within a Global Public Health Perspective.

Annals of global health, 85(1):.

BACKGROUND: Asbestos consumption in Latin America (LA) amounts to 10% of yearly global production. Little is known about the impact of asbestos exposure in the region.

OBJECTIVE: To discuss scientific and socio-economic issues and conflicts of interest and to summarize epidemiological data of asbestos health effects in LA.

DISCUSSION: Recent data on chrysotile strengthened the evidence of its carcinogenicity and showed an excessive risk of lung cancer at cumulative exposure levels as low as 1.5 fibre-years/ml. Technology for substitution is available for all asbestos-containing products and ceasing asbestos production and manufacturing will not result in unemployment and loss of income, except for the mining industry. The flawed arguments used by the industry to maintain its market, both to the public and in courtrooms, strongly relies on the lack of local evidence of the ill effects and on the invisibility of asbestos-related diseases in LA, due to the limited number of studies and the exposed workers' difficulty accessing health services. The few epidemiological studies available show clear evidence of clusters of mesothelioma in municipalities with a history of asbestos consumption and a forecasted rise in its incidence in Argentina and Brazil for the next decade. In Brazil, non-governmental organizations of asbestos workers were pivotal to counterbalance misinformation and inequities, ending recently in a Supreme Court decision backing an asbestos ban. In parallel, continuous efforts should be made to stimulate the growth of competent and ethical researchers to convey adequate information to the scientific community and to the general public.

RevDate: 2019-03-28

Linton A, Blinman P, Kao S, et al (2019)

Patterns of care and survival of older patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Journal of geriatric oncology pii:S1879-4068(18)30425-9 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a cancer that primarily affects older adults. However this patient population is frequently under-represented in clinical studies. Therefore, we studied the impact of advancing age on treatment utilisation and clinical outcomes in an extensive series of minimally selected MPM patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with MPM receiving compensation from the New South Wales (NSW) Dust Diseases Authority (2002-2009) were assessed. They were categorised by age (<70 years, 70-80 years or > 80 years) and chi-square testing was used to assess the relationship between clinical and demographic variables, age, treatment and overall survival (OS).

RESULTS: We identified 910 patients; 41% were aged <70 years, 40% were aged 70-80 years, and 19% were aged >80 years old. Median OS decreased with increasing age: 13.5 months in <70 years, 9.5 months in 70-80 years and 7.1 months in >80 years as did chemotherapy use (66%, 35% and 8% respectively). Radical surgical intervention, adjuvant, and palliative radiotherapy were less frequently used with advanced age. A Kaplan Meier analysis revealed that there was a significant survival advantage (p < .001) for patients <70 and 70-80 years receiving chemotherapy (16.8 vs 7.0 months; 13.9 vs 5.8 months respectively), but not for patients >80 years.

CONCLUSION: Advancing age group of NSW patients with MPM was associated with reduced treatment utilisation and a decline in OS. Prospective studies are warranted to verify if current treatment guidelines are relevant for the older adults with MPM.

RevDate: 2019-03-27

Grosso F, Croce A, Libener R, et al (2019)

Asbestos fiber identification in liver from cholangiocarcinoma patients living in an asbestos polluted area: a preliminary study.

Tumori [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE:: To assess whether asbestos fibers may be observed in liver tissue of patients with cholangiocarcinoma (CC) with environmental or working asbestos exposure.

METHODS:: Detection of fibers was performed directly on histologic sections of liver from 7 patients with CC using optical microscope and variable pressure scanning electron microscopy equipped with energy-dispersive spectroscopy (VP-SEM/EDS). All patients were from Casale Monferrato, Italy, a highly asbestos-polluted town. Due to ethical constraints, observers were blinded to patients' clinical features.

RESULTS:: Fibers/bundles of fibers of chrysotile were detected in 5 out of 7 patients (71%). The boundary between healthy and neoplastic tissue or the fibrocollagen tissue produced by the neoplasia were identified as areas of fiber incorporation.

CONCLUSIONS:: This study is the first report about the detection of chrysotile asbestos fibers in the liver of patients with CC. Further studies on larger cohorts are needed to corroborate our preliminary findings.

RevDate: 2019-03-29

Robalino Gonzaga ES, Guzman Rojas P, V Vanar (2019)

Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma Mimicking Recurrent Diverticulitis.

Cureus, 11(1):e3906.

Mesothelioma is an uncommon type of cancer arising from the mesothelial cells that form the lining of several cavities in the body. Exposure to asbestos is the leading known cause of mesothelioma. We present a 73-year-old male with a significant asbestos exposure and a recent history of recurrent diverticulitis who reported persistent left lower quadrant (LLQ) pain despite several courses of empiric antibiotic therapy. A recent computed tomography (CT) performed due to nonresolving symptoms showed possible nodularity of the mesentery and subsequent positron emission tomography (PET) scan demonstrated multiple hypermetabolic mesenteric lesions, notably in the left paracolic gutter. A colonoscopy was subsequently performed which demonstrated severe diverticulosis, but no obvious luminal lesions. The patient underwent an exploratory laparoscopy showing extensive peritoneal carcinomatosis involving all mesenteric surfaces and partial involvement of the right diaphragm. Final pathology revealed malignant epithelial mesothelioma with peritoneal seeding. The patient was referred to oncology and was started on hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) and cytoreductive surgery (CRS). Our case highlights a challenging presentation of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPM), which is often initially misdiagnosed due to vague symptoms. Physicians should consider further diagnostic workup for unrelenting LLQ abdominal pain after diverticulitis has been treated.

RevDate: 2019-03-22

Punatar CB, Jadhav KK, Kumar V, et al (2019)

Malignant mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis without any risk factors: An uncommon case.

Journal of cancer research and therapeutics, 15(Supplement):S167-S169.

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) of the tunica vaginalis (TV) is a rare tumor. It is seen in elderly patients, with painless scrotal swelling being the most common presentation. The exact etiology is unknown; a few risk factors have been suggested. Here, we present an uncommon case of MM of TV without any known predisposing factors. We also discuss the possible risk factors, clinical presentation, pathological features and the difficulties in diagnosis, and management of this rare malignancy.

RevDate: 2019-03-20

Levpuscek K, Goricar K, Kovac V, et al (2019)

The influence of genetic variability of DNA repair mechanisms on the risk of malignant mesothelioma.

Radiology and oncology pii:/j/raon.ahead-of-print/raon-2019-0016/raon-2019-0016.xml [Epub ahead of print].

Background Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a rare aggressive tumour of mesothelium caused by asbestos exposure. It has been suggested that the genetic variability of proteins involved in DNA repair mechanisms affects the risk of MM. This study investigated the influence of functional polymorphisms in ERCC1 and XRCC1 genes, the interactions between these polymorphisms as well as the interactions between these polymorphisms and asbestos exposure on MM risk. Patients and methods In total, 237 cases with MM and 193 controls with no asbestos-related disease were genotyped for ERCC1 and XRCC1 polymorphisms. Results ERCC1 rs3212986 polymorphism was significantly associated with a decreased risk of MM (odds ratio [OR] = 0.61; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.41-0.91; p = 0.014). No associations were observed between other genetic polymorphisms and MM risk. Interactions between polymorphisms did not significantly influence MM risk. Interaction between ERCC1 rs11615 and asbestos exposure significantly influenced MM risk (OR = 3.61; 95% CI = 1.12-11.66; p = 0.032). Carriers of polymorphic ERCC1 rs11615 allele who were exposed to low level of asbestos had a decreased risk of MM (OR = 0.40; 95% CI = 0.19-0.84; p = 0.016). Interactions between other polymorphisms and asbestos exposure did not significantly influence MM risk. Conclusions Our findings suggest that the genetic variability of DNA repair mechanisms could contribute to the risk of developing MM.

RevDate: 2019-05-15

Dragani TA, Colombo F, Pavlisko EN, et al (2019)

Corrigendum: Malignant mesothelioma diagnosed at a younger age is associated with heavier asbestos exposure.

Carcinogenesis, 40(3):492.

RevDate: 2019-03-29

Wang Y, Jiang Z, Yan J, et al (2019)

HMGB1 as a Potential Biomarker and Therapeutic Target for Malignant Mesothelioma.

Disease markers, 2019:4183157.

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a rare, aggressive, and highly lethal cancer that is substantially induced by exposure to asbestos fibers. High-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is an intriguing proinflammatory molecule involved in MM. In this review, we describe the possible crucial roles of HMGB1 in carcinogenic mechanisms based on in vivo and in vitro experimental evidence and outline the clinical findings of epidemiological investigations regarding the possible roles of HMGB1 as a biomarker for MM. We conclude that novel strategies targeting HMGB1 may suppress MM cells and interfere with asbestos-induced inflammation.

RevDate: 2019-05-17
CmpDate: 2019-05-17

Hino O, Abe M, Han B, et al (2019)

In commemoration of the 2018 Mataro Nagayo Prize: A road to early diagnosis and monitoring of asbestos-related mesothelioma.

Cancer science, 110(5):1518-1524.

Primarily caused by exposure to asbestos, mesothelioma is a typical occupational disease. The latency of mesothelioma is as long as 20-40 years, and the cancer initially progresses mainly along the surfaces of pleura or peritoneum without forming masses. As symptoms do not develop until late stages, it has been challenging to diagnose this disease in its early stages and to carry out complete surgical removal. In responding to Japan's asbestos crisis in the mid-2000s, we have developed and improved ERC/MSLN-based serum and radiological markers and pioneered the use of an N-ERC ELISA kit for screening populations at risk for asbestos exposure. In the present article, we review our research toward early diagnosis of asbestos-related mesothelioma before symptoms develop and share our clinical experience of screening, diagnosing and monitoring of this disease. This paper is dedicated to the author (Dr Okio Hino) to commemorate the honor bestowed upon him as the recipient of the Mataro Nagayo Prize in 2018.

RevDate: 2019-03-19

Jeffery E, Lee YCG, Newton RU, et al (2019)

Body composition and nutritional status in malignant pleural mesothelioma: implications for activity levels and quality of life.

European journal of clinical nutrition pii:10.1038/s41430-019-0418-9 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an incurable cancer and optimizing daily physical activity and quality of life are key goals of patient management. Little is known about the prevalence of pre-sarcopenia and malnutrition in MPM or their associations with patient outcomes. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of pre-sarcopenia and malnutrition in MPM and investigate if activity levels and quality of life differed according to body composition and nutritional status.

SUBJECTS/METHODS: Patients with a diagnosis of MPM were recruited. Pre-sarcopenia was defined as low appendicular skeletal muscle mass (≤ 7.26 kg/m2 for men and ≤ 5.45 kg/m2 for women), measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Malnutrition was defined as a rating of B or C on the Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment. Outcome measures included objective activity levels (Actigraph GT3X) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL; Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy General).

RESULTS: Sixty-one people participated (79% male, median age 69 [IQR 62-74] years and median BMI 25.8 [IQR 24.3-28.4] kg/m2). Fifty-four percent were pre-sarcopenic and 38% were malnourished. Percent of time spent in light activity/day was lower in participants with pre-sarcopenia compared with non-sarcopenic participants (median 25.4 [IQR 19.8-32.1]% vs. 32.3 [27.1-35.6]%; p = 0.008). Participants with malnutrition had poorer HRQoL than well-nourished participants (mean 69.0 (16.3) vs. 84.4 (13.3); p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Participants with MPM had high rates of pre-sarcopenia and malnutrition. Pre-sarcopenia was associated with poorer activity levels, whilst malnutrition was associated with poorer quality of life. Interventions that aim to address reduced muscle mass and weight loss, should be tested in MPM to assess their impact on patient outcomes.

RevDate: 2019-03-19

Ahmadzada T, Lee K, Clarke C, et al (2019)

High BIN1 expression has a favorable prognosis in malignant pleural mesothelioma and is associated with tumor infiltrating lymphocytes.

Lung cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 130:35-41.

OBJECTIVES: A number of key immune regulators show prognostic value in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), but the association between Bridging integrator 1 (BIN1), indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) and patient outcome has not been investigated. We aimed to determine the expression of BIN1 and IDO1, their association with other markers and impact on overall survival (OS) in MPM.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The expression of BIN1, IDO1, CD3, CD20 and CD68 were evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 67 patients who underwent pleurectomy/decortication. Survival analyses were performed using the Kaplan Meier method and significant biomarkers were entered into a Cox Regression multivariate model, accounting for known prognostic factors such as age, gender, histological subtype, PD-L1 expression and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio.

RESULTS: Immune markers were variably expressed in tumor cells, ranging from 0% to 100% for BIN1 (median: 89%), and 0% to 77.5% for IDO1 (median: 0%). Expression of markers of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and macrophages ranged from 0% to more than 50%. BIN1 expression was high in 35 patients (51%) and was associated with increased OS (median: 12 vs 6 months for high and low BIN1 respectively,p = 0.03). Multivariate analysis showed BIN1 remained an independent prognostic indicator (HR 0.39; 95% CI: 0.18-0.82, p = 0.01). The majority of patients had immune inflamed tumors (77%) and there was a significant association between TILs and BIN1 (p = 0 < 0.01), PD-L1 (p=0.04) and CD68+ macrophages in the tumor (p < 0.01). There were no significant associations between PD-L1 and BIN1 or IDO1.

CONCLUSION: High BIN1 expression is a favorable prognostic biomarker and is associated with TILs in MPM.

RevDate: 2019-05-29

Nakai T, Matsumoto Y, Sasada S, et al (2019)

Cryobiopsy during flex-rigid pleuroscopy: an emerging alternative biopsy method in malignant pleural mesothelioma. A comparative study of pathology.

Japanese journal of clinical oncology, 49(6):559-566.

BACKGROUND: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is rarely an asbestos-related cancer with a poor prognosis that is difficult to distinguish from some benign conditions by using conventional biopsy techniques. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the utility of a novel biopsy technique using a cryoprobe during flex-rigid pleuroscopy for diagnosing MPM.

METHODS: Consecutive patients who underwent pleural cryobiopsy during flex-rigid pleuroscopy from June through November 2017 to diagnose the cause of pleural effusion were collected. From these, cases ultimately diagnosed as MPM were selected. Pleural biopsies were performed by using conventional instruments followed by a cryoprobe. The obtained samples were histologically examined and compared with regard to the quality (sample size, tissue depth, and crush rate), immunohistochemical (IHC) staining, and p16 by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH).

RESULTS: In total, five patients ultimately diagnosed as MPM were enrolled. The sample collected was significantly larger for cryobiopsy than conventional biopsy (18.9 mm2 vs. 6.7 mm2, P < 0.001). Full-thickness biopsies were achieved in four cases by using cryobiopsy compared with one case by conventional biopsy. Moreover, the crush rate was significantly less for cryobiopsy than conventional biopsy (9% vs. 35%, P < 0.001). The results of IHC staining and p16 by FISH were similar between biopsy techniques. Cryobiopsy successfully led to accurate diagnosis of MPM in all cases, whereas conventional biopsy was diagnostic in one case. No severe complications developed after either biopsy technique.

CONCLUSION: Cryobiopsy during flex-rigid pleuroscopy is a feasible and convenient biopsy technique that supports precise diagnosis of MPM.

RevDate: 2019-03-29

Miyata T, Fujiwara Y, Nishijima K, et al (2019)

Localized multiple malignant epithelioid peritoneal mesotheliomas arising from the hepatoduodenal ligament and diaphragm: a case report.

Journal of medical case reports, 13(1):66 pii:10.1186/s13256-019-2008-9.

BACKGROUND: Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare aggressive tumor of the peritoneum. We report a rare case of resection of multiple localized malignant peritoneal mesotheliomas.

CASE PRESENTATION: A 55-year-old Japanese woman was admitted to our hospital because liver tumors were detected by abdominal ultrasonography during a screening examination. Blood examination findings, including tumor makers, were within normal ranges. She had no evidence of exposure to asbestos. Computed tomography showed four hypervascular, round liver tumors, one in the lateral liver segment adjacent to the hepatic hilus, and the other three on the liver surface. Computed tomography angiography revealed that the tumor in the lateral segment had strong enhancement and was fed from the left gastric artery. In contrast, the other tumors showed no enhancement, and were fed from the right inferior phrenic artery. Abnormal accumulation was identified in the four tumors only with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography. It was very difficult to obtain a definitive preoperative diagnosis, but surgical resection was performed because we considered potential malignancy. Laparotomy revealed the principal site of the tumor in the lateral segment was on the hepatoduodenal ligament, and all other tumors were on the diaphragm. A left lobectomy and partial diaphragmatic resection were performed. The final pathological diagnosis was multiple malignant epithelioid mesotheliomas. Our patient has had no recurrence for 20 months postoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS: In general, malignant peritoneal mesotheliomas are classified as diffuse tumors, which are often unresectable and have a poor prognosis. However, early diagnosis and treatment, particularly with the localized type, as in our patient, could lead to long-term survival of the patient. We recommend that multiple malignant epithelioid mesotheliomas be included in the differential diagnosis for patients with subcapsular hepatic tumors.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Hutter HP, Waldhoer T, Müller K, et al (2019)

Cancer incidence in an Austrian alpine valley 1983-2012 : A descriptive study.

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift, 131(9-10):200-204.

After one of Austria's largest environmental scandals in 2014, which involved the release of hexachlorobenzene (HCB) in the Carinthian valley Görtschitztal, concerns about increased cancer rates have arísen in the affected local population. A descriptive study was conducted to examine the cancer incidence rates between 1983 and 2012. Data from the affected area (Görtschitztal, district St. Veit) were compared to data from the neighboring area within the same district and Carinthia excluding St. Veit, considering incidence rates of liver, lung, kidney, thyroid cancer and mesothelioma. Prostate cancer and carcinoma in situ were both included and excluded from overall cancer incidents in order to prevent potential bias due to screening programs. Considering the observed variability at an overall level, no conspicuous differences in cancer incidences could be found (Carinthia: 495, St. Veit West: 408, St. Veit East: 572 cases per 100,000 person-years in 2012). For some cancer types, e. g. liver, thyroid cancer and mesothelioma, the affected region showed a higher increase in rates than the neighboring area or Carinthia overall; however, these increased rates date back to a time prior to the HCB exposure, suggesting other carcinogenic influences, such as asbestos exposure from antecedent years.

RevDate: 2019-03-15

Poland CA, R Duffin (2019)

The toxicology of chrysotile-containing brake debris: implications for mesothelioma.

Critical reviews in toxicology [Epub ahead of print].

The global use of "asbestos" in various commercial products has led to a wide range and pervasive legacy of disease. One such use of chrysotile asbestos was brake pads and was utilized commonly in automobiles and heavy vehicles. The result of incorporation of chrysotile into brake pads is associated with the exposure of mechanics fitting and servicing vehicles to liberated chrysotile fibers. Despite the proven exposure, the relative risk of malignant mesothelioma (MM) in this occupational population is broadly seen as low. The toxicity of particulates, including fibers such as chrysotile, is driven by a combination of dose and physicochemical properties. As such, it is plausible that chrysotile released from brake pads may have undergone modification, thereby altering the pathogenicity profile. The impact of high sheer stress causing shortening of long fibers, heat modification, binding of resin matrix to the fiber surface on the relative toxicity of brake debris with regards to MM is considered. It is apparent that released chrysotile can undergo significant modification, reducing the long fiber dose although not all modifications may lead to reduced toxicity.

RevDate: 2019-03-29

Baqui AA, Boire NA, Baqui TT, et al (2019)

Malignant Mesothelioma of the Tunica Vaginalis Testis-A Malignancy Associated With Asbestos Exposure and Trauma: A Case Report and Literature Review.

Journal of investigative medicine high impact case reports, 7:2324709619827335.

In this article, we report an unusual case of a malignant mesothelioma of the testis, presenting as hydrocele. The patient has a known medical history of trauma and occupational exposure to asbestos. The clinical features of this injury are discussed together with its immunohistochemistry. Surgical intervention is discussed due to the nature of this pathology.

RevDate: 2019-03-14

Cuccaro F, Nannavecchia AM, Silvestri S, et al (2019)

Mortality for Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer in a Cohort of Asbestos Cement Workers in BARI (Italy): Time Related Aspects of Exposure.

Journal of occupational and environmental medicine [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: In this cohort mortality study we used an exposure index to evaluate individual cumulative exposure as proxy of asbestos dose and we evaluated change in cancer mortality pattern after long time since the end of exposure.

METHODS: We calculated SMRs for several causes of death stratified by latency, cumulative exposure and time since last exposure (TSLE).

RESULTS: Latency: we observed a peak and then a decrease in SMR for lung, pleural and peritoneal cancer. CUMULATIVE EXPOSURE:: we observed a peak and then a decrease in SMR for lung and pleural cancer, not for peritoneal cancer. TSLE:: pleural cancer SMR peaked at 20-29 years, then decreased, peritoneal cancer SMR reached a plateau after 20 years and lung cancer mortality was in excess in each class.

CONCLUSIONS: We found different patterns in mortality in the main asbestos-related tumours.

RevDate: 2019-03-29

Liang Y, Zheng G, Yin W, et al (2019)

Significance of EGFR and PTEN Expression and PLR and NLR for Predicting the Prognosis of Epithelioid Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma.

Gastroenterology research and practice, 2019:7103915.

Objective: The aim of our study was to investigate the expression of EGFR and PTEN in tissues and measure the serum platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) to evaluate the prognostic factors of patients with epithelioid malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPeM).

Methods: 33 patients of pathologically diagnosed epithelioid MPeM tissues were analyzed using immunohistochemistry to detect EGFR and PTEN; the PLR and NLR were determined by using a routine blood test. We analyzed the relationships of these markers to age, sex, asbestos exposure, elevated platelet count, ascites, and clinical stage.

Results: EGFR and PTEN expressions were positive in 22 (66.67%) and 7 (21.21%) epithelioid MPeM patients, respectively. However, these two markers as well as PLR and NLR were not significantly associated with age, sex, asbestos exposure, elevated platelet counts, ascites, and clinical stage (P > 0.05). The correlation between EGFR and PTEN was negative (r = -0.577, P < 0.001), but the correlation between NLR and PLR was positive (r = 0.456, P = 0.008). The median survival of all patients was 6 months. In univariate analysis, PTEN (P < 0.001), PLR (P = 0.014), and NLR (P = 0.015) affected the overall survival. Multivariate analysis revealed that PTEN and PLR were validated as predictive for overall survival of epithelioid MPeM (HR = 0.070, P = 0.001, and HR = 3.379, P = 0.007, respectively).

Conclusion: On the basis of these results, it is suggested that PTEN and PLR are risk factors for the prognosis of epithelioid MPeM, which may be targets for selective therapies and improve the outcomes of patients with epithelioid MPeM.

RevDate: 2019-03-29

Baird AM, Easty D, Jarzabek M, et al (2019)

When RON MET TAM in Mesothelioma: All Druggable for One, and One Drug for All?.

Frontiers in endocrinology, 10:89.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive inflammatory cancer with a poor survival rate. Treatment options are limited at best and drug resistance is common. Thus, there is an urgent need to identify novel therapeutic targets in this disease in order to improve patient outcomes and survival times. MST1R (RON) is a trans-membrane receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK), which is part of the c-MET proto-oncogene family. The only ligand recognized to bind MST1R (RON) is Macrophage Stimulating 1 (MST1), also known as Macrophage Stimulating Protein (MSP) or Hepatocyte Growth Factor-Like Protein (HGFL). In this study, we demonstrate that the MST1-MST1R (RON) signaling axis is active in MPM. Targeting this pathway with a small molecule inhibitor, LCRF-0004, resulted in decreased proliferation with a concomitant increase in apoptosis. Cell cycle progression was also affected. Recombinant MST1 treatment was unable to overcome the effect of LCRF-0004 in terms of either proliferation or apoptosis. Subsequently, the effect of an additional small molecular inhibitor, BMS-777607 (which targets MST1R (RON), MET, Tyro3, and Axl) also resulted in a decreased proliferative capacity of MPM cells. In a cohort of MPM patient samples, high positivity for total MST1R by IHC was an independent predictor of favorable prognosis. Additionally, elevated expression levels of MST1 also correlated with better survival. This study also determined the efficacy of LCRF-0004 and BMS-777607 in xenograft MPM models. Both LCRF-0004 and BMS-777607 demonstrated significant anti-tumor efficacy in vitro, however BMS-777607 was far superior to LCRF-0004. The in vivo and in vitro data generated by this study indicates that a multi-TKI, targeting the MST1R/MET/TAM signaling pathways, may provide a more effective therapeutic strategy for the treatment of MPM as opposed to targeting MST1R alone.

RevDate: 2019-03-29

Wallen T, Jagan N, Krishnan M, et al (2019)

A 75 year old male with recurrent unilateral pleural effusion and positive ANA.

Respiratory medicine case reports, 26:301-303 pii:S2213-0071(19)30016-4.

This case report describes the clinical course and diagnostic challenges arising in a 75 year old man who initially presented with progressive shortness of breath. Imaging revealed a pleural effusion, which was recurrent following thoracentesis. While his initial workup suggested an autoimmune etiology, further diagnostic testing revealed a diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Curiously, the patient had no known asbestos exposure, which is classically associated with acquired mesothelioma. There are a small number of similar cases with a possible overlap between positive autoimmune serologies and mesothelioma; however, the underlying pathophysiology remains elusive. It is the authors' goal to contribute this case to the few cases describing such overlap syndromes.

RevDate: 2019-04-08

Mandel JH, Odo NU, BH Alexander (2019)

Potential Problems with Determining Elongate Mineral Particle (EMP) Potency (Comments on article entitled, "A Comparison of Asbestos Fiber Potency and Elongate Mineral Particle (EMP) Potency for Mesothelioma in Humans").

Toxicology and applied pharmacology, 370:131-132.

RevDate: 2019-03-29

Senk B, Goricar K, Kovac V, et al (2019)

Genetic polymorphisms in aquaporin 1 as risk factors for malignant mesothelioma and biomarkers of response to cisplatin treatment.

Radiology and oncology, 53(1):96-104 pii:/j/raon.2019.53.issue-1/raon-2019-0009/raon-2019-0009.xml.

Background Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an asbestos related aggressive tumor with poor prognosis. The aim of this study was to investigate if aquaporin 1 (AQP1) genetic polymorphisms influence the risk of MM and the response to cisplatin based MM treatment. Patients and methods The case-control study included 231 patients with MM and a control group of 316 healthy blood donors. All subjects were genotyped for three AQP1polymorphisms (rs1049305, rs1476597 and rs28362731). Logistic and Cox regression were used in statistical analysis. Results AQP1 rs1049305 polymorphism was significantly associated with MM risk in dominant model adjusted for gender and age (OR = 0.60, 95% CI = 0.37-0.96, Padj = 0.033). This polymorphism was also significantly associated with cisplatin based treatment related anaemia (unadjusted: OR = 0.49, 95% CI = 0.27-0.90, P = 0.021; adjusted: for CRP: OR = 0.52, 95% CI = 0.27-0.99, P = 0.046), with leukopenia (OR = 2.09, 95% CI = 1.00-4.35, P = 0.049) in dominant model and with thrombocytopenia (OR = 3.06, 95% CI = 1.01-9.28, P = 0.048) and alopecia (OR = 2.92, 95% CI = 1.00-8.46, P = 0.049) in additive model. AQP1 rs28362731 was significantly associated with thrombocytopenia (unadjusted: OR = 3.73, 95% CI = 1.00-13.84, P = 0.049; adjusted for pain: OR = 4.63, 95% CI = 1.13-19.05, P = 0.034) in additive model. Conclusions AQP1 may play a role in the risk of MM. Furthermore, AQP1 genotype information could improve the prediction of MM patients at increased risk for cisplatin toxicity.

RevDate: 2019-03-07

Abbas H, Rodriguez JC, Tariq H, et al (2019)

Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma Without Asbestos Exposure.

Gastroenterology research, 12(1):48-51.

Malignant mesothelioma is a rare neoplasm of the serosal linings. Mesothelioma has been linked to asbestos exposure, with prior asbestos exposure linked to 33-50% of malignant peritoneal mesotheliomas. We describe a case of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPM) without any prior exposure to asbestos in a 40-year-old Hispanic female who presented to the emergency department with worsening abdominal pain and distension. She had a history of beta thalassemia trait and iron deficiency anemia. Examination revealed a distended abdomen with protruding umbilicus and positive shifting dullness. Laboratory tests showed anemia. Computed tomography (CT) of the abdomen revealed massive complex ascites suspicious of a malignant process. Ascitic fluid analysis showed serum ascites albumin gradient (SAAG) of 1.1 g/dL with a total protein of 5.2 g/dL. She underwent laparoscopic peritoneal biopsy which yielded epithelioid type malignant mesothelioma. She was started on chemotherapy with cisplatin and pemetrexed. The last follow-up was 27 months after the diagnosis. MPM is a rare and life-threatening malignancy. Frequently, the symptoms are non-specific. This poses a diagnostic challenge for physicians and probably the reason why the diagnosis is often delayed, especially in the absence of risk factors.

RevDate: 2019-02-28

Pasetto R, Zona A, Fazzo L, et al (2019)

Proportion of mesothelioma attributable to living in industrially contaminated areas in Italy.

Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health pii:3809 [Epub ahead of print].

Objectives The aim of this study was to estimate the attributable proportion (AP) of mesothelioma resulting from living in or close to major Italian industrially contaminated areas. Methods For populations living close to 39 sites of "national priority for remediation", incident mesothelioma cases were extracted from the Italian National Mesothelioma Registry (ReNaM) in the period 2000‒2011. Each site was classified in one of seven asbestos risk groups (RG) on the basis of the type of industrial plants. RG were ranked by the a priori evidence on asbestos risk. The AP for each RG was calculated as the meta-analytic estimate of AP of sites of the same group by gender and age class (0-64, 65-74, ≥75 years). The sex ratio (men/women) was computed for each RG. Results Among men, the AP by age class had the same gradient in each RG, with the highest values in the age class 0-64 years and the lowest in the ≥75 class; in the age class 0-64 years, the AP was positive in each RG, >90% in the presence of asbestos cement factories and harbors with shipyards. Among women, the overall AP decreased by RG, with negative values in the last two ranked RG; the AP by age class was variable without a definite gradient. The sex ratio was close to one only in the RG "only asbestos-cement factories"; the highest value (9.6) was observed in the age class 0-64 years in the RG "harbors with shipyard". Conclusions The integration of a geographic- and case-based approach provides valuable insights into occupational and environmental determinants of mesothelioma risk in industrially contaminated sites.

RevDate: 2019-03-03

Biersack B (2018)

Relations between approved platinum drugs and non-coding RNAs in mesothelioma.

Non-coding RNA research, 3(4):161-173 pii:S2468-0540(18)30076-3.

Malignant mesothelioma diseases feature an increasing risk due to their severe forms and their association with asbestos exposure. Platinum(II) complexes such as cisplatin and carboplatin are clinically approved for the therapy of mesothelioma often in combination with antimetabolites such as pemetrexed or gemcitabine. It was observed that pathogenic properties of mesothelioma cells and the response of mesothelioma tumors towards platinum-based drugs are strongly influenced by non-coding RNAs, in particular, by small microRNAs (miRNAs) and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). These non-coding RNAs controlled drug sensitivity and the development of tumor resistance towards platinum drugs. An overview of the interactions between platinum drugs and non-coding RNAs is given and the influence of non-coding RNAs on platinum drug efficacy in mesothelioma is discussed. Suitable non-coding RNA-modulating agents with potentially beneficial effects on cisplatin treatment of mesothelioma diseases are mentioned. The understanding of mesothelioma diseases concerning the interactions of non-coding RNAs and platinum drugs will optimize existing therapy schemes and pave the way to new treatment options in future.

RevDate: 2019-04-12

Farioli A, Boffetta P, Curti S, et al (2019)

Response to: 'Are children more vulnerable to mesothelioma than adults? A comparison of mesothelioma risk among children and adults exposed non-occupationally to blue asbestos at Wittenoom' by Reid et al.

Occupational and environmental medicine, 76(5):355.

RevDate: 2019-05-15

Dalsgaard SB, Würtz ET, Hansen J, et al (2019)

Environmental asbestos exposure in childhood and risk of mesothelioma later in life: a long-term follow-up register-based cohort study.

Occupational and environmental medicine, 76(6):407-413.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the risk of malignant mesothelioma (MM) in former pupils who attended primary school near an asbestos cement plant.

METHODS: A cohort of 12 111 former pupils, born 1940-1970, was established from individual historical records from four primary schools located at a distance of 100-750 m in the prevailing wind direction from an asbestos cement plant operating from 1928 to 1984 in Aalborg, Denmark. The school cohort and a comparison cohort consisting of 108 987 gender and 5-year frequency-matched subjects were followed up (2015) for MM in the Danish Cancer Registry. Using Cox regression, HRs were estimated for the incidence of MM. Adjustments for occupational and familial asbestos exposure were made with a job exposure matrix. An SIR analysis including latency periods testing the cancer incidence rate was performed with the comparison cohort as the reference rate.

RESULTS: The median person-years of follow-up were 62.5 years in the school cohort and 62.2 years in the comparison cohort. There were 32 males and 6 females of the former pupils who developed MM during the follow-up: HRmale 7.01 (95% CI 4.24 to 11.57), HRfemale 7.43 (95% CI 2.50 to 22.13). Those who attended school 250 m north of the plant had the highest HR for MM, 10.65 (95% Cl 5.82 to 19.48). No significant trend between school distance and risk of MM was established (p=0.35).

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that boys and girls who attended schools and lived in the neighbourhood of an asbestos cement plant later in life have a significantly increased risk of MM.

RevDate: 2019-06-10
CmpDate: 2019-06-05

Kim M, HS Kim (2019)

Clinicopathological Characteristics of Well-differentiated Papillary Mesothelioma of The Peritoneum: A Single-institutional Experience of 12 Cases.

In vivo (Athens, Greece), 33(2):633-642.

BACKGROUND/AIM: Well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma (WDPM) is histologically characterized by papillary architecture with fibrovascular cores, lined by bland mesothelial cells. We recently experienced a case of WDPM associated with multiple peritoneal inclusion cysts, which prompted us to initiate a comprehensive review of previously diagnosed WDPM cases.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The clinicopathological characteristics and immunophenotype of 12 cases of peritoneal WDPM were investigated using a review of electronic medical records, pathological examination, and immunostaining.

RESULTS: The patients' ages ranged from 23 to 75 years. No patient had endometriosis or a previous history of asbestos exposure. Ten tumors were detected incidentally during surgery for other causes. Most tumors appeared as a small, single nodule on the peritoneal surface, but in three cases, WDPM presented as multiple lesions. All but one patient had no symptoms. All the patients examined are still well without postoperative recurrence. Histologically, all cases demonstrated typical papillary architecture with fibrovascular cores. The mesothelial cells lining the papillae consisted mostly of single row of cells, although areas of proliferation to multiple layers were observed in a few cases. Their nuclei appeared bland, but two cases exhibited mild nuclear atypia and prominent nucleoli. Immunostaining revealed that the mesothelial cells were positive for D2-40, cytokeratin 5/6, cytokeratin 7, and Wilms' tumor 1.

CONCLUSION: We herein demonstrated the clinicopathological characteristics of peritoneal WDPMs. WDPM has distinct pathological features. Although all cases we examined were uneventful after surgery, further surveillance is recommended since the biological behavior of WDPM is still uncertain.

RevDate: 2019-02-19

Wang F, Chen Y, Wang Y, et al (2019)

Ultra-long silver nanowires induced mitotic abnormalities and cytokinetic failure in A549 cells.

Nanotoxicology [Epub ahead of print].

Asbestos fiber has been associated with mesothelioma and lung cancer. However, the carcinogenic risks of other fiber nanomaterials with morphological similarities to asbestos have not been fully studied. Ultra-long silver nanowires (AgNWs) are increasingly used fiber-shaped nanomaterials with a high aspect ratio, but very few studies have investigated their health risks. Here, proliferation abnormalities of lung epithelial cells induced by ultra-long AgNWs were investigated. Ultra-long AgNW treatment induced dose- and diameter-dependent increase in the ratio of multinucleated cells. Further, proteins involved in mitosis and cytokinesis, including Aurora A, p-Histone 3 (ser10), RhoA, p-MLC, and myosin IIb, were significantly upregulated after an ultra-long AgNW treatment, leading to mitotic abnormalities and cytokinetic failure. Meanwhile, exposure to ultra-long AgNWs induced cell cycle arrest. Interestingly, a series of experiments demonstrated that ROS generation and Ag+ release were not responsible for the multinucleation induced by ultra-long AgNWs, but ultra-long AgNWs in the intercellular bridge might obstruct the contractile ring and inhibit abscission of the cytokinetic furrow by direct physical contact. Altogether, our findings indicate that ultra-long AgNWs can induce chromosomal instability, which has important consequences for the safety of ultra-long AgNWs to human health.

RevDate: 2019-03-18
CmpDate: 2019-03-18

Cova E, Pandolfi L, Colombo M, et al (2019)

Pemetrexed-loaded nanoparticles targeted to malignant pleural mesothelioma cells: an in vitro study.

International journal of nanomedicine, 14:773-785 pii:ijn-14-773.

Purpose: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive tumor characterized by poor prognosis. Its incidence is steadily increasing due to widespread asbestos exposure. There is still no effective therapy for MPM. Pemetrexed (Pe) is one of the few chemotherapeutic agents approved for advanced-stage disease, although the objective response to the drug is limited. The use of gold nanoparticles (GNPs) as a drug delivery system promises several advantages, including specific targeting of malignant cells, with increased intracellular drug accumulation and reduced systemic toxicity, and, in the case of MPM, direct treatment administration into the pleural space. This study aims at exploring CD146 as a potential MPM cell-specific target for engineered Pe-loaded GNPs and to assess their effectiveness in inhibiting MPM cell line growth.

Methods: MPM cell lines and primary cultures obtained by pleural effusions from MPM patients were assayed for CD146 expression by flow cytometry. Internalization by MPM cell lines of fluorescent dye-marked GNPs decorated with a monoclonal anti CD146 coated GNPs (GNP-HC) was proven by confocal microscopy. The effects of anti CD146 coated GNPs loaded with Pe (GNP-HCPe) on MPM cell lines were evaluated by cell cycle (flow cytometry), viability (MTT test), clonogenic capacity (soft agar assay), ROS production (electric paramagnetic resonance), motility (wound healing assay), and apoptosis (flow cytometry).

Results: GNP-HC were selectively uptaken by MPM cells within 1 hour. MPM cell lines were blocked in the S cell cycle phase in the presence of GNP-HCPe. Both cell viability and motility were significantly affected by nanoparticle treatment compared to Pe. Apoptotic rate and ROS production were significantly higher in the presence of nanoparticles. Clonogenic capacity was completely inhibited following nanoparticle internalization.

Conclusion: GNP-HCPe treatment displays in vitro antineoplastic action and is more effective than Pe alone in inhibiting MPM cell line malignant phenotype. The innovative use of specifically targeted GNPs opens the perspective of local intrapleural administration to avoid normal cell toxicity and enhance chemotherapy efficacy.

RevDate: 2019-04-28

Douglas T, L Van den Borre (2019)

Asbestos neglect: Why asbestos exposure deserves greater policy attention.

Health policy (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 123(5):516-519.

While many public health threats are now widely appreciated by the public, the risks from asbestos exposure remain poorly understood, even in high-risk groups. This article makes the case that asbestos exposure is an important, ongoing global health threat, and argues for greater policy efforts to raise awareness of this threat. It also proposes the extension of asbestos bans to developing countries and increased public subsidies for asbestos testing and abatement.

RevDate: 2019-04-10

Bertrand P, Blanquart C, V Héroguez (2019)

The ROMP: A Powerful Approach to Synthesize Novel pH-Sensitive Nanoparticles for Tumor Therapy.

Biomolecules, 9(2): pii:biom9020060.

Fast clearance, metabolism, and systemic toxicity are major limits for the clinical use of anti-cancer drugs. Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) present these defects, despite displaying promising anti-tumor properties on tumor cells in vitro and in in vivo models of cancer. The specific delivery of anti-cancer drugs into the tumor should improve their clinical benefit by limiting systemic toxicity and by increasing the anti-tumor effect. This paper deals with the synthesis of the polymeric nanoparticle platform, which was produced by Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization (ROMP), able to release anti-cancer drugs in dispersion, such as histone deacetylase inhibitors, into mesothelioma tumors. The core-shell nanoparticles (NPs) have stealth properties due to their poly(ethylene oxide) shell and can be viewed as universal nano-carriers on which any alkyne-modified anti-cancer molecule can be grafted by click chemistry. A cleavage reaction of the chemical bond between NPs and drugs through the contact of NPs with a medium presenting an acidic pH, which is typically a cancer tumor environment or an acidic intracellular compartment, induces a controlled release of the bioactive molecule in its native form. In our in vivo syngeneic model of mesothelioma, a highly selective accumulation of the particles in the tumor was obtained. The release of the drugs led to an 80% reduction of tumor weight for the best compound without toxicity. Our work demonstrates that the use of theranostic nanovectors leads to an optimized delivery of epigenetic inhibitors in tumors, which improves their anti-tumor properties in vivo.

RevDate: 2019-04-22
CmpDate: 2019-04-22

Pelclová D (2018)

Diagnostics and acknowledgement of occupational diseases - topics and challenges in the Czech Republic.

Casopis lekaru ceskych, 157(8):396-399.

The causes of occupational diseases are changing, thats why a regular update of Czech List of Occupational Diseases is needed. New compensable occupational diseases, such as cancer of the larynx and ovarian cancer due to asbestos, and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases due to black coal dust were included in the last two updates of the Czech List. The need of an early examination at the Centers of Occupational Diseases is stressed in this article, especially before a surgery or other treatment of epicondylitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. These treatments may suppress the diagnostic hallmarks requested for acknowledgements of these disorders. Extrinsic allergic alveolitis, allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma are underdiagnosed, and isocyanates belong among the key factors. Only about 10 % patients with mesotheliomas due to asbestos are compensated. The latency in cancers due to asbestos may reach more than 50 years.

RevDate: 2019-05-21
CmpDate: 2019-05-21

Weber DG, Brik A, Casjens S, et al (2019)

Are circulating microRNAs suitable for the early detection of malignant mesothelioma? Results from a nested case-control study.

BMC research notes, 12(1):77 pii:10.1186/s13104-019-4113-7.

OBJECTIVE: Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer of the serous membranes. For the detection of the tumor at early stages non- or minimally-invasive biomarkers are needed. The circulating biomarkers miR-132-3p, miR-126-3p, and miR-103a-3p were analyzed in a nested case-control study using plasma samples from 17 prediagnostic mesothelioma cases and 34 matched asbestos-exposed controls without a malignant disease.

RESULTS: Using prediagnostic plasma samples collected in median 8.9 months prior the clinical diagnosis miR-132-3p, miR-126-3p, and miR-103a-3p revealed 0% sensitivity on a defined specificity of 98%. Thus, the analyzed miRNAs failed to detect the cancer in prediagnostic samples, showing that they are not feasible for the early detection of malignant mesothelioma. However, the miRNAs might still serve as possible markers for prognosis and response to therapy, but this needs to be analyzed in appropriate studies.

RevDate: 2019-03-23

García-Ibáñez J, Cayuelas-Rubio C, Durán-Rivera A, et al (2019)

[Report of two cases of malignant mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis.].

Archivos espanoles de urologia, 72(1):85-88.

OBJECTIVE: Paratesticular mesothelioma isan infrequent tumor and only 250 cases have been published.It originates in the scrotal tunica vaginalis. It represents0.3-1.4% of mesotheliomas and it predominates inpatients with history of asbestos exposure and old age. Itsdiagnosis is usually casual. Our objective is to present thecases that occurred in our service with malignant paratesticularmesothelioma and to carry out a review of the currentliterature on this pathology.

METHODS: We report two cases diagnosed with malignantparatesticular mesothelioma that happened in the lasttwo years.

RESULT: The first case was a 73-year-old male with asymptomatichydrocele. The second was a 57-year-oldmale who had testicular pain and hydrocele. Both werediagnosed of mesothelioma after hydrocelectomy. The firsttreatment was radical orchiectomy in both cases. The firstpatient did not need more treatments. The second patientpresented pulmonary nodules, lymphadenopathy and localrelapse, which was treated with chemotherapy and localresection.

CONCLUSION: Paratesticular mesothelioma is an infrequenttumor. Scrotal mass associated with hydrocele is thetypical form of presentation. Surgical treatment consists ofradical orchiectomy. They have poor prognosis because inmost cases there is rapid local and dissemination.

RevDate: 2019-02-26

Guo X, Watanabe J, Takahashi K, et al (2019)

Localized malignant pleural mesothelioma arising in the interlobar fissure: a unique surgical case masquerading clinicopathologically as primary lung adenocarcinoma.

SAGE open medical case reports, 7:2050313X18824802 pii:10.1177_2050313X18824802.

An 80-year-old male with previous workplace exposure to asbestos presented with a history of an increase in the pulmonary-to-hilar mass, measuring more than 50 mm in diameter, likely in the right lower lobe. We first interpreted it as suspicious of primary lung adenocarcinoma with direct invasion to the right hilar lymph node. A right middle and lower lobectomy with partial resection of upper lobe was performed, and gross examination showed a hilar tumor lesion, involving the middle/lower lobe to hilar lymph node and looking whitish to yellow-grayish, partly adjacent to the right pulmonary artery. On microscopic examination, the tumor was located on the extrapulmonary, interlobar pleural fissure, predominantly composed of a proliferation of atypical epithelioid cells, often arranged in an irregular and fused tubular growth pattern with an involvement of pulmonary artery. Immunohistochemically, these atypical cells are positive for several mesothelial markers, including calretinin, cytokeratin 5/6, and WT-1, whereas negative for thyroid transcription factor 1. Furthermore, p16 deletions were specifically detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization, and electron microscopy showed numerous, significantly elongated microvilli. Taken together, we finally made a diagnosis of localized malignant pleural mesothelioma, epithelioid-type, arising in the right interlobar fissure between lower and middle lobes. We should be aware that, owing to its characteristic features, clinicians and pathologists might be able to raise interlobar fissure localized malignant pleural mesothelioma as one of the differential diagnoses, based on careful clinicopathological examinations.

RevDate: 2019-03-20
CmpDate: 2019-02-20

Salo SAS, Ilonen I, Laaksonen S, et al (2019)

Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma: Treatment Options and Survival.

Anticancer research, 39(2):839-845.

BACKGROUND: Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPeM) is a rare type of cancer with a poor prognosis. Cytoreductive surgery (CRS) with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) have been shown to improve survival. Treatment and survival of patients with MPeM have not been previously studied in Finland.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The data consisted of all patients diagnosed with MPeM during years 2000-2012 in Finland, including cancer notifications, death certificates and information about asbestos exposure.

RESULTS: Among 50/94 (53.2%) patients treated for MPeM, 44/50 (88.0%) were treated palliatively, 4/50 (8.0%) with radical surgery and chemotherapy, and 2/50 (4.0%) with CRS plus HIPEC. Five-year survival was 50.0% for those treated with CRS plus HIPEC and 75.0% for those treated with radical surgery and chemotherapy. Radical surgery with chemotherapy was associated with significantly longer survival compared to radiation (p=0.008), chemotherapy and radiation (p=0.043), surgery, chemotherapy and radiation (p=0.039), and palliative surgery (p=0.009).

CONCLUSION: Treatment of MPeM is heterogenic in Finland. CRS plus HIPEC, and radical surgery with chemotherapy seem to increase the survival. Patients considered candidates for radical surgery should be sent to specialized centers for further assessment.

RevDate: 2019-03-05

Rojas L, Cardona AF, Trejo-Rosales R, et al (2019)

Characteristics and long-term outcomes of advanced pleural mesothelioma in Latin America (MeSO-CLICaP).

Thoracic cancer, 10(3):508-518.

BACKGROUND: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive tumor, associated with poor prognosis. There is a lack of information about the clinical and pathological features related with survival in the Latin American population.

METHODS: The MeSO-CLICaP registry identified 302 patients with advanced MPM diagnosed and treated between January 2008 and March 2016. The Cox model was applied to determine the variables associated with survival. A random forest tree model was built to predict the response to first-line chemotherapy among Latin American patients.

RESULTS: The median age was 61.1 years (SD 10.6 years), 191 (63.2%) were men, 65.9% were ever smokers, and 38.7% had previous exposure to asbestos. A total of 237 (78.5%) had epithelioid tumors, and 188 (62.3%) and 114 (37.7%) cases had stage III or IV MPM, respectively. A total of 49 patients (16.2%) underwent pleurectomy, 57 (18.9%) received radiotherapy, and 279 patients received first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. The overall response rate to first-line chemotherapy was 40.4%, progression-free survival to first-line treatment was 5.7 months (95% CI 4.9-6.5), and 63 (20.8%) patients had pemetrexed maintenance. The median overall survival was 16.8 months (95% CI 13.0-20.5), and multivariate analysis found that stage (P = 0.013), and pleurodesis (P = 0.048), were independent prognostic factors for first-line overall survival. The model to predict response to first-line chemotherapy obtained a 0.98 area under the curve, a sensitivity of 93%, and a specificity of 95% for detecting responders and non-responders.

CONCLUSION: This study identifies factors associated with clinical benefit from chemotherapy among advanced MPM Latin American patients, emphasizing the impact of histology and the clinical benefit of chemotherapy on outcomes.

RevDate: 2019-03-08

Sun H (2019)

North-south gradient of mesothelioma and asbestos consumption-production in the United States-Progresses since the 1st asbestos partial ban in 1973.

American journal of industrial medicine, 62(4):337-346.

BACKGROUND: Temporal trends and broad geographical distributions of asbestos use and the incidence of malignant mesothelioma (MM) in the US still need to be studied.

METHODS: Data on asbestos consumption and production between 1900 and 2015 and MM mortality and incidence rates between 1975 and 2015 in the US were examined. Spatial distributions of MM mortality and incidence rates and their association with climate zone were analyzed.

RESULTS: Decline of MM incidence and mortality rates in the US occurred about 20 years after the peak of asbestos consumption-production in 1973. There are apparent north-south (N-S) gradients in MM mortality and incidence rates in the US.

CONCLUSION: Recent decline of MM incidence and mortality rates in the US may be associated with reduced US asbestos consumption. N-S MM gradients between 1999 and 2015 were likely related to larger asbestos requirements in building materials in the northern states.

RevDate: 2019-01-31

Germine M, JH Puffer (2019)

Analytical transmission electron microscopy of amosite asbestos from South Africa.

Archives of environmental & occupational health [Epub ahead of print].

Using the recognized amosite standard, we have performed transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and chemical analyses. We use high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and zone-axis selected area electron diffraction (SAED) to describe the molecular structure of the fibers. We find that both microscopic observational evidence and statistical dimensional characteristics indicate that the amosite fibers are formed by longitudinal splitting, with surfaces produced by fine twinning and lateral boundaries formed by parting parallel to the planes of double and triple sheets of amphibole chain structures. Our findings indicate that amosite would not be regulated under current asbestos regulations, which define amphibole asbestos as whole crystals that are not split and that form fibril bundles, not found in our standard. However, it is fully documented that amosite causes mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis.

RevDate: 2019-01-30

Visonà SD, Villani S, Manzoni F, et al (2018)

Impact of asbestos on public health: a retrospective study on a series of subjects with occupational and non-occupational exposure to asbestos during the activity of Fibronit plant (Broni, Italy).

Journal of public health research, 7(3):1519.

The goal of this study is to understand more about the role of asbestos in causing human diseases, first of all mesothelioma, by investigating a large series of deaths due to asbestos-related diseases (ARDs). The main aim is to clarify if even very low amounts of asbestos can cause mesothelioma and other ARDs, as well as to find out if a different individual vulnerability can be important. This retrospective study included 188 subjects who died from asbestos related diseases in 2000-2017 in the area around Broni, Italy, where an important asbestos cement factory had been active from 1932 until 1993. In each case, a forensic autopsy has been performed. In order to perform the present study, the records were retrieved, including the clinical files, the autopsy, and the histological report. The statistical analysis performed showed that there was a significant relation between the cause of death (mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis) and the kind of exposure (occupational, neighborhood or household), showing that all the subjects not exposed occupationally (and, therefore, exposed to lower amounts of asbestos) died from mesothelioma, whereas the individuals who used to work at the plant died also from other caused (asbestosis, lung cancer). Significant differences were highlighted examining the distribution of the causes of death according to the smoking habits. Moreover, among the mesothelioma patients, the survival time was shorter in the subjects with a neighborhood or household exposure than in the occupationally exposed individuals. The study provided meaningful data about the role of asbestos in causing human pathologies. In particular, the present data appear to support the hypothesis that even an exposure to a very little amount of asbestos can cause mesothelioma in hypersusceptible subjects (probably, on a genetic basis).

RevDate: 2019-03-06

Matthews C, Freeman C, Sharples LD, et al (2019)

MesoTRAP: a feasibility study that includes a pilot clinical trial comparing video-assisted thoracoscopic partial pleurectomy decortication with indwelling pleural catheter in patients with trapped lung due to malignant pleural mesothelioma designed to address recruitment and randomisation uncertainties and sample size requirements for a phase III trial.

BMJ open respiratory research, 6(1):e000368 pii:bmjresp-2018-000368.

Introduction: One of the most debilitating symptoms of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is dyspnoea caused by pleural effusion. MPM can be complicated by the presence of tumour on the visceral pleura preventing the lung from re-expanding, known as trapped lung (TL). There is currently no consensus on the best way to manage TL. One approach is insertion of an indwelling pleural catheter (IPC) under local anaesthesia. Another is video-assisted thoracoscopic partial pleurectomy/decortication (VAT-PD). Performed under general anaesthesia, VAT-PD permits surgical removal of the rind of tumour from the visceral pleura thereby allowing the lung to fully re-expand.

Methods and analysis: MesoTRAP is a feasibility study that includes a pilot multicentre, randomised controlled clinical trial comparing VAT-PD with IPC in patients with TL and pleural effusion due to MPM. The primary objective is to measure the SD of visual analogue scale scores for dyspnoea following randomisation and examine the patterns of change over time in each treatment group. Secondary objectives include documenting survival and adverse events, estimating the incidence and prevalence of TL in patients with MPM, examining completion of alternative forms of data capture for economic evaluation and determining the ability to randomise 38 patients in 18 months.

Ethics and dissemination: This study was approved by the East of England-Cambridge Central Research Ethics Committee and the Health Research Authority (reference number 16/EE/0370). We aim to publish the outputs of this work in international peer-reviewed journals compliant with an Open Access policy.

Trial registration: NCT03412357.

RevDate: 2019-03-15

Neviere Z, Berthet P, Polycarpe F, et al (2019)

[Malignant mesothelioma and constitutional BAP1 gene mutations].

Revue des maladies respiratoires, 36(2):241-248.

Malignant mesothelioma is a rare tumour, usually the result of asbestos exposure. Several cases of familial aggregation have been reported and recently shown to be associated with constitutional mutations of the BAP1 gene. BAP1 is a deubiquitinating enzyme implicated in several different cellular mechanisms such as the repair or differentiation of DNA. About a half of malignant mesotheliomas present a somatic, bi-allelic inactivation of BAP1, demonstrated by nuclear extinction on histochemistry. Constitutional alterations of BAP1 are extremely rare. Present in the heterozygous state they are transmitted as an autosomal dominant. They are associated with a risk of developing other tumours such as uveal and cutaneous melanomas, benign melanocytic tumours (melanocytic BAP1-mutated atypical intradermal tumour or MBAITS) and clear cell renal carcinomas. The causal link between mesothelioma and germinal mutations of BAP1 has still not been clearly identified. At present there is, in France, no consensus on recommendations for the management of patients with these mutations. This article is a synthesis of the literature on the functions of the BAP1 gene, the tumour risks related to its alteration and the follow up of patients bearing a constitutional mutation.

RevDate: 2019-02-09

Abayasiriwardana KS, Wood MK, Prêle CM, et al (2019)

Inhibition of collagen production delays malignant mesothelioma tumor growth in a murine model.

Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 510(2):198-204.

Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive fibrous tumor, predominantly of the pleura, with a very poor prognosis. Cell-matrix interactions are recognized important determinants of tumor growth and invasiveness but the role of the extracellular matrix in mesothelioma is unknown. Mesothelioma cells synthesize collagen as well as transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β), a key regulator of collagen production. This study examined the effect of inhibiting collagen production on mesothelioma cell proliferation in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. Collagen production by mesothelioma cells was inhibited by incubating cells in vitro with the proline analogue thiaproline (thiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid) or by oral administration of thiaproline in a murine tumor model. Cell cytotoxicity was measured using neutral red uptake and lactate dehydrogenase assays. Proliferation was measured by tritiated thymidine incorporation, and inflammatory cell influx, proliferation, apoptosis and angiogenesis in tumors examined by immunohistochemical labelling. Tumor size was determined by tumor weight and collagen production was measured by HPLC. Thiaproline at non-toxic doses significantly reduced basal and TGF-β-induced collagen production by over 50% and cell proliferation by over 65%. In vivo thiaproline administration inhibited tumor growth at 10 days, decreasing the median tumor weight by 80%. The mean concentration of collagen was 50% lower in the thiaproline-treated tumors compared with the controls. There were no significant differences in vasculature or inflammatory cell infiltration but apoptosis was increased in thiaproline treated tumors at day 10. In conclusion, these observations strongly support a role for collagen in mesothelioma growth and establish the potential for inhibitors of collagen synthesis in mesothelioma treatment.

RevDate: 2019-01-26

Warby A, Dhillon HM, Kao S, et al (2019)

Managing malignant pleural mesothelioma: experience and perceptions of health care professionals caring for people with mesothelioma.

Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer pii:10.1007/s00520-019-4648-0 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) has a poor prognosis and heavy symptom burden. Here, we investigate health professionals' attitudes to management and decision-making in people with MPM.

METHODS: Survey questions were based on previous interviews with health professionals, MPM patients, and caregivers. Surveys were sent to specialist doctors and nurses who treat MPM.

RESULTS: Surveys were completed by 107 doctors and 19 nurses from January-September 2014. Most doctors were respiratory physicians (50%) or medical oncologists (35%). Overall, 90% of doctors estimated > 10% of eligible MPM patients did not receive chemotherapy; 43% estimated the rate was > 20%. Doctors believed clinical barriers to chemotherapy were clinician nihilism (70%); non-referral to medical oncology (49%); and lack of specialists in rural/regional areas (44%). Nurses perceived barriers as follows: delayed diagnosis (74%); non-referral to medical oncology (63%); lack of clinician knowledge (58%). Patient-related barriers were negative perception of chemotherapy (83%) and belief survival benefit not worthwhile (63%). Doctors' preference in decision-making was for the patient to make the decision while strongly considering the doctor's opinion (33%); equally with the doctor (29%); and using knowledge gained (23%). Nurses described their roles as providing patient support (100%); information (95%); intermediary (74%); and link to palliative care (74%). Overall, 95% believed they enabled better resource allocation and provided patients with holistic care (95%); clearer communication (89%); more time (89%); additional information (89%); timely referrals (89%).

CONCLUSIONS: Caring for patients with MPM is challenging and complex. Health care professionals believe under-utilisation of chemotherapy is occurring, primarily due to clinician nihilism and lack of medical oncology referral.

RevDate: 2019-04-09

Wang QQ, Zheng GQ, Yang DL, et al (2018)

Pretreatment Controlling Nutritional Status Score and Lactate Dehydrogenase as Predictive Markers of Survival in Patients with Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma.

Nutrition and cancer, 70(8):1264-1274.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationships between the Controlling Nutritional Status (CONUT) score and ascites fluid lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level, and prognosis in patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPeM).

METHODS: A total of 125 patients with MPeM were selected for the study using a pathological screening method. Once the diagnosis is established, before the treatment their clinical characteristics and nutritional evaluations were recorded including CONUT score and ascites LDH level. The associations between CONUT, ascites LDH, and other clinicopathological features including body mass index, asbestos exposure, pathological type, and treatment method were analyzed. Prognostic parameters predicting overall survival (OS) were analyzed by Cox regression.

RESULTS: High CONUT score, high ascites LDH level were positively associated with poor prognosis in patients with MPeM according to univariate analyses (P < 0.001, P < 0.001, respectively), and CONUT score and ascites LDH were independent predictors of a poor prognosis according to multivariate analysis. When the CONUT score is greater than 3 and the ascites LHD is greater than 474 IU/l, it indicates a poor prognosis.

CONCLUSIONS: CONUT score and ascites LDH are important factors influencing the prognosis of MPeM patients and should thus be considered in clinical applications.

RevDate: 2019-04-16
CmpDate: 2019-04-16

Villanova T, Gesmundo I, Audrito V, et al (2019)

Antagonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) inhibit the growth of human malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(6):2226-2231.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive malignancy associated with exposure to asbestos, with poor prognosis and no effective therapies. The strong inhibitory activities of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) antagonists have been demonstrated in different experimental human cancers, including lung cancer; however, their role in MPM remains unknown. We assessed the effects of the GHRH antagonists MIA-602 and MIA-690 in vitro in MPM cell lines and in primary MPM cells, and in vivo in MPM xenografts. GHRH, GHRH receptor, and its main splice variant SV1 were found in all the MPM cell types examined. In vitro, MIA-602 and MIA-690 reduced survival and proliferation in both MPM cell lines and primary cells and showed synergistic inhibitory activity with the chemotherapy drug pemetrexed. In MPM cells, GHRH antagonists also regulated activity and expression of apoptotic molecules, inhibited cell migration, and reduced the expression of matrix metalloproteinases. These effects were accompanied by impairment of mitochondrial activity and increased production of reactive oxygen species. In vivo, s.c. administration of MIA-602 and MIA-690 at the dose of 5 μg/d for 4 wk strongly inhibited the growth of MPM xenografts in mice, along with reduction of tumor insulin-like growth factor-I and vascular endothelial growth factor. Overall, these results suggest that treatment with GHRH antagonists, alone or in association with chemotherapy, may offer an approach for the treatment of MPM.

RevDate: 2019-05-21
CmpDate: 2019-05-21

Sépult C, Bellefroid M, Rocks N, et al (2019)

ADAM10 mediates malignant pleural mesothelioma invasiveness.

Oncogene, 38(18):3521-3534.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive cancer with limited therapeutic options and treatment efficiency. Even if the latency period between asbestos exposure, the main risk factor, and mesothelioma development is very long, the local invasion of mesothelioma is very rapid leading to a mean survival of one year after diagnosis. ADAM10 (A Disintegrin And Metalloprotease) sheddase targets membrane-bound substrates and its overexpression is associated with progression in several cancers. However, nothing is known about ADAM10 implication in MPM. In this study, we demonstrated higher ADAM10 expression levels in human MPM as compared to control pleural samples and in human MPM cell line. This ADAM10 overexpression was also observed in murine MPM samples. Two mouse mesothelioma cell lines were used in this study including one primary cell line obtained by repeated asbestos fibre injections. We show, in vitro, that ADAM10 targeting through shRNA and pharmacological (GI254023X) approaches reduced drastically mesothelioma cell migration and invasion, as well as for human mesothelioma cells treated with siRNA targeting ADAM10. Moreover, ADAM10 downregulation in murine mesothelioma cells significantly impairs MPM progression in vivo after intrapleural cell injection. We also demonstrate that ADAM10 sheddase downregulation decreases the production of a soluble N-cadherin fragment through membrane N-cadherin, which stimulated mesothelioma cell migration. Taken together, we demonstrate that ADAM10 is overexpressed in MPM and takes part to MPM progression through the generation of N-cadherin fragment that stimulates mesothelioma cell migration. ADAM10 inhibition is worth considering as a therapeutic perspective in mesothelioma context.

RevDate: 2019-02-13

Harris EJA, Musk A, de Klerk N, et al (2019)

Diagnosis of asbestos-related lung diseases.

Expert review of respiratory medicine, 13(3):241-249.

INTRODUCTION: The diagnosis of lung disease in asbestos-exposed individuals is a process that not only requires a detailed occupational and tobacco smoking history, but the correlation with physical signs, appropriate imaging, detailed lung function assessment and histology/cytology when required. Worldwide, the total quantity of asbestos mined is static, having decreased dramatically in developed countries but increased in countries where there is no restriction on mining: for example, Russia, China, Brazil, and Kazakhstan. The predominant diagnostic challenge in most cases of possible asbestos-related disease is the significant interval between exposure and development of the disease. Also challenging is the estimation of an individual's risk of disease, not least because asbestos-induced malignancy can be rapidly fatal, and, in the case of lung cancer, early detection can lead to treatment with curative intent. Areas covered: Discussion of quantitative asbestos exposure estimation and risk assessment, selection of the most appropriate imaging modality and frequency of imaging. Expert commentary: Consideration of the future for asbestos-related lung disease includes screening those at highest risk particularly in relation to ongoing mining operations and the management of in-situ asbestos. In the future, screening programs designed with estimation of risk of malignancy, based on quantitative estimates of asbestos exposure, and smoking history are indicated.

RevDate: 2019-01-15

Wu L, Dell'Anno I, Lapidot M, et al (2019)

Progress of malignant mesothelioma research in basic science: A review of the 14th international conference of the international mesothelioma interest group (iMig2018).

Lung cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 127:138-145.

Here we summarize the most recent update of mesothelioma research in basic science presented at the 14th iMig2018 international conference. The symposium of basic science track mainly focused on the drivers of mesothelioma initiation and progression, molecular pathogenesis, and perspectives on potential therapeutic approaches. This review covers several promising fields including strategies efficiently inhibiting YAP/TAZ functions or their critical downstream targets, heparanase inhibitors, RAN depletion, and MIF/CD74 inhibitors that may be developed as novel therapeutic approaches. In addition, targeting mesothelioma stem cells by depleting M2-polarized macrophages in tumor microenvironment or blocking Tnfsf18 (GITRL)-GITR signalling might be translated into therapeutic modalities in mesothelioma treatment.

RevDate: 2019-02-03

Chicco D, C Rovelli (2019)

Computational prediction of diagnosis and feature selection on mesothelioma patient health records.

PloS one, 14(1):e0208737 pii:PONE-D-18-17601.

BACKGROUND: Mesothelioma is a lung cancer that kills thousands of people worldwide annually, especially those with exposure to asbestos. Diagnosis of mesothelioma in patients often requires time-consuming imaging techniques and biopsies. Machine learning can provide for a more effective, cheaper, and faster patient diagnosis and feature selection from clinical data in patient records.

METHODS AND FINDINGS: We analyzed a dataset of health records of 324 patients having mesothelioma symptoms from Turkey. The patients had prior asbestos exposure and displayed symptoms consistent with mesothelioma. We compared probabilistic neural network, perceptron-based neural network, random forest, one rule, and decision tree classifiers to predict diagnosis of the patient records. We measured classifiers' performance through standard confusion matrix scores such as Matthews correlation coefficient (MCC). Random forest outperformed all models tried, obtaining MCC = +0.37 on the complete imbalanced dataset and MCC = +0.64 on the under-sampled balanced dataset. We then employed random forest feature selection to identify the two most relevant dataset traits associated with mesothelioma: lung side and platelet count. These two risk factors resulted so predictive, that decision tree focusing on them achieved the second top accuracy on the complete dataset diagnosis prediction (MCC = +0.28), outperforming all other methods and even decision tree itself applied to all features.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that machine learning can predict diagnoses of patients having mesothelioma symptoms with high accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity, in few minutes. Additionally, random forest can efficiently select the most important features of this clinical dataset (lung side and platelet count) in few seconds. The importance of pleural plaques in lung sides and blood platelets in mesothelioma diagnosis indicates that physicians should focus on these two features when reading records of patients with mesothelioma symptoms. Moreover, doctors can exploit our machinery to predict patient diagnosis when only lung side and platelet data are available.

RevDate: 2019-04-25
CmpDate: 2019-04-25

Taghizadeh F, Jafari AJ, Gholami M, et al (2019)

Monitoring of airborne asbestos fibers in an urban ambient air of Shahryar City, Iran: levels, spatial distribution, seasonal variations, and health risk assessment.

Environmental science and pollution research international, 26(7):6450-6459.

Asbestos, as with other pollutants in the air, has adverse effects on the health of human beings and animals. Today, the relationship between presence of asbestos fibers in the air breathed by humans and developing serious diseases such as lung cancer (asbestosis) and mesothelioma has been proven. This study was designed and conducted within the time period of August 2017 and June 2018 to determine the concentration of asbestos fiber in the ambient air of Shahryar City and to evaluate their health effects for the general population of the city. For this purpose, samples were taken from four points, and overall 32 air samples were taken along the year. The samples were then analyzed by the phase contrast microscopy (PCM) method. Also, to investigate the type of asbestos and for more accurate counting of fibers, SEM analysis was utilized. Finally, based on the EPA IRIS method, the health effects resulting from asbestos risks were also evaluated. The results of this study indicated that the mean annual concentration of asbestos fiber in the ambient air of Shahryar City was obtained as 0.0019 f/ml PCM and 0.0072 f/ml SEM. Furthermore, the most polluted point was S1 point (0.0119 -0.0026 f/ml, PCM), while the lowest concentration was related to S4 point (0.001 f/ml PCM-0.0021 f/ml SEM). The mean annual risk resulting from airborne asbestos fiber in the ambient air of Shahryar City for all samples was obtained as 1.72 × 10-6 to 2.2 × 10-4, which was higher than the recommended risk range in some points.

RevDate: 2019-01-11

Lo Russo G, Tessari A, Capece M, et al (2018)

MicroRNAs for the Diagnosis and Management of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: A Literature Review.

Frontiers in oncology, 8:650.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare and aggressive tumor with a variable incidence among different countries. Occupational asbestos exposure is the most important etiological factor and a very long latency period is widely reported. In the early phase of the disease, clinical signs are absent or not specific. For this reason, the diagnosis is frequently achieved only in the advanced stages. The histopathological diagnosis per se is also very complex, and no known factor can predict the prognosis with certainty. Nonetheless, current survival rates remain very low, despite the use of standard treatments, which include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The identification of new prognostic and/or diagnostic biomarkers, and the discovery of therapeutic targets is a priority and could lead to a real significant impact on the management of malignant pleural mesothelioma. In this scenario, the role of microRNAs is becoming increasingly relevant, with the promise of a quick translation in the current clinical practice. Despite the relative novelty of this field, the number of works and candidate microRNAs that are present in literature is striking. Unfortunately, to date the microRNAs with the most clinical relevance for MPM are still matter of debate, probably due to the variety of approaches, techniques, and collected samples. Although specific microRNAs (e.g., let-7, miR-15 and miR-16, miR-21, miR-34a, and the miR-200 family) have been reported several times from different groups, the heterogeneity of published data reinforces the need of more comprehensive and unified studies on this topic. In this review we collect and discuss the studies focused on the involvement of microRNAs in different aspects of MPM, from their biological role in tumorigenesis and progression, to their possible application as diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarkers. Lastly, we examine their potential value as for the design of therapeutic approaches that could benefit MPM patients.

RevDate: 2019-03-29
CmpDate: 2019-03-08

Zha L, Kitamura Y, Kitamura T, et al (2019)

Population-based cohort study on health effects of asbestos exposure in Japan.

Cancer science, 110(3):1076-1084.

Occupational asbestos exposure occurs in many workplaces and is a well-known cause of mesothelioma and lung cancer. However, the association between nonoccupational asbestos exposure and those diseases is not clearly described. The aim of this study was to investigate cause-specific mortality among the residents of Amagasaki, a city in Japan with many asbestos factories, and evaluate the potential excess mortality due to established and suspected asbestos-related diseases. The study population consisted of 143 929 residents in Amagasaki City before 1975 until 2002, aged 40 years or older on January 1, 2002. Follow-up was carried out from 2002 to 2015. Standardized mortality ratio (SMR) with its 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated by sex, using the mortality rate of the Japanese population as reference. A total of 38 546 deaths (including 303 from mesothelioma and 2683 from lung cancer) were observed. The SMRs in the long-term residents' cohort were as follows: death due to all causes, 1.12 (95% CI, 1.10-1.13) in men and 1.07 (95% CI, 1.06-1.09) in women; lung cancer, 1.28 (95% CI, 1.23-1.34) in men and 1.23 (95% CI, 1.14-1.32) in women; and mesothelioma, 6.75 (95% CI, 5.83-7.78) in men and 14.99 (95% CI, 12.34-18.06) in women. These SMRs were significantly higher than expected. The increased SMR of mesothelioma suggests the impact of occupational asbestos exposure among men and nonoccupational asbestos exposure among women in the long-term residents' cohort. In addition, the high level of excess mortality from mesothelioma has persisted, despite the mixture of crocidolite and chrysotile no longer being used for three or four decades.

RevDate: 2019-04-11
CmpDate: 2019-04-11

Turini S, Bergandi L, Gazzano E, et al (2019)

Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition in Human Mesothelial Cells Exposed to Asbestos Fibers: Role of TGF-β as Mediator of Malignant Mesothelioma Development or Metastasis via EMT Event.

International journal of molecular sciences, 20(1): pii:ijms20010150.

Asbestos exposure increases the risk of asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma (MM). Both fibrosis and cancer have been correlated with the Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition (EMT)-an event involved in fibrotic development and cancer progression. During EMT, epithelial cells acquire a mesenchymal phenotype by modulating some proteins. Different factors can induce EMT, but Transforming Growth Factor β (TGF-β) plays a crucial role in promoting EMT. In this work, we verified if EMT could be associated with MM development. We explored EMT in human mesothelial cells (MeT-5A) exposed to chrysotile asbestos: we demonstrated that asbestos induces EMT in MeT-5A cells by downregulating epithelial markers E-cadherin, β-catenin, and occludin, and contemporarily, by upregulating mesenchymal markers fibronectin, α-SMA, and vimentin, thus promoting EMT. In these cells, this mechanism is mediated by increased TGF-β secretion, which in turn downregulates E-cadherin and increases fibronectin. These events are reverted in the presence of TGF-β antibody, via a Small Mother Against Decapentaplegic (SMAD)-dependent pathway and its downstream effectors, such as Zinc finger protein SNAI1 (SNAIL-1), Twist-related protein (Twist), and Zinc Finger E-Box Binding Homeobox 1 (ZEB-1), which downregulate the E-cadherin gene. Since SNAIL-1, Twist, and ZEB-1 have been shown to be overexpressed in MM, these genes could be considered possible predictive or diagnostic markers of MM development.


RJR Experience and Expertise


Robbins holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in the life sciences. He served as a tenured faculty member in the Zoology and Biological Science departments at Michigan State University. He is currently exploring the intersection between genomics, microbial ecology, and biodiversity — an area that promises to transform our understanding of the biosphere.


Robbins has extensive experience in college-level education: At MSU he taught introductory biology, genetics, and population genetics. At JHU, he was an instructor for a special course on biological database design. At FHCRC, he team-taught a graduate-level course on the history of genetics. At Bellevue College he taught medical informatics.


Robbins has been involved in science administration at both the federal and the institutional levels. At NSF he was a program officer for database activities in the life sciences, at DOE he was a program officer for information infrastructure in the human genome project. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he served as a vice president for fifteen years.


Robbins has been involved with information technology since writing his first Fortran program as a college student. At NSF he was the first program officer for database activities in the life sciences. At JHU he held an appointment in the CS department and served as director of the informatics core for the Genome Data Base. At the FHCRC he was VP for Information Technology.


While still at Michigan State, Robbins started his first publishing venture, founding a small company that addressed the short-run publishing needs of instructors in very large undergraduate classes. For more than 20 years, Robbins has been operating The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, a web site dedicated to the digital publishing of critical works in science, especially classical genetics.


Robbins is well-known for his speaking abilities and is often called upon to provide keynote or plenary addresses at international meetings. For example, in July, 2012, he gave a well-received keynote address at the Global Biodiversity Informatics Congress, sponsored by GBIF and held in Copenhagen. The slides from that talk can be seen HERE.


Robbins is a skilled meeting facilitator. He prefers a participatory approach, with part of the meeting involving dynamic breakout groups, created by the participants in real time: (1) individuals propose breakout groups; (2) everyone signs up for one (or more) groups; (3) the groups with the most interested parties then meet, with reports from each group presented and discussed in a subsequent plenary session.


Robbins has been engaged with photography and design since the 1960s, when he worked for a professional photography laboratory. He now prefers digital photography and tools for their precision and reproducibility. He designed his first web site more than 20 years ago and he personally designed and implemented this web site. He engages in graphic design as a hobby.

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E-mail: RJR8222@gmail.com

Collection of publications by R J Robbins

Reprints and preprints of publications, slide presentations, instructional materials, and data compilations written or prepared by Robert Robbins. Most papers deal with computational biology, genome informatics, using information technology to support biomedical research, and related matters.

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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