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V. Panou

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    MINI 24 - Epidemiology, Early Detection, Biology (ID 140)

    • Event: WCLC 2015
    • Type: Mini Oral
    • Track: Thymoma, Mesothelioma and Other Thoracic Malignancies
    • Presentations: 1
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      MINI24.01 - Pleural and Peritoneal Malignant Mesothelioma in Women Correlated to Occupational, Domestic and Environmental Asbestos Exposure (ID 1361)

      16:45 - 18:15  |  Author(s): V. Panou

      • Abstract
      • Presentation
      • Slides

      Malignant Mesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive neoplasm affecting the pleura and more rarely the peritoneum. Occupational exposure to asbestos is the most common cause, but domestic exposure through cohabitation with an asbestos worker and environmental exposure by living in proximity to an asbestos emitting industry are acknowledged risk factors. The Region of North Jutland in Denmark hosted two large shipyards and the only Danish asbestos cement factory in the period 1928-1986, using mainly chrysotile asbestos and resulting in high MM incidence (5/100,000 in 2011). In our patient cohort the proportion of MM cases in peritoneum (MAM) is larger for females than males, also noted by others. We examined whether this could be related to the source of asbestos exposure

      A retrospective investigation of medical records (Departments of Pathology and Medicine, Aalborg University Hospital) was performed, concerning females diagnosed with pleural MM (MPM) and MAM between January 1992 and February 2015. We focused on the correlation between the source of asbestos exposure and the development of either pleural or peritoneal disease. The asbestos exposure source was divided in two categories; primary, representing occupational asbestos exposure and secondary, including domestic and environmental exposure. Patients with unknown asbestos exposure or habitation history were excluded. We hypothesized that the site of MM development, pleura or peritoneum, is independent from primary or secondary asbestos exposure. FischerĀ“s exact test was applied to test the hypothesis.

      Out of 67 women with MM, 27 were excluded due to insufficient information about asbestos exposure or habitation (data not shown). Of the remaining 40 females, 33 were diagnosed with MPM (83%) and 7 with MAM (17%). The median age for MAM and MPM diagnosis was 60 and 72 years respectively. Among the 40 MM patients, 25% (n=10) had a history of occupational asbestos exposure, 57.5% (n=23) had domestic and 17.5% (n=7) had environmental exposure. Importantly, secondary asbestos exposure was documented for 85% of the MPM patients (n=28) while primary in only 15% of them (n=5). On the contrary for the MAM patients, secondary asbestos exposure was reported for 29% (n=2) and 71% of them had primary exposure (n=5). The correlation between the source of asbestos exposure and the MM site was significant (p= 0.006, OR= 0.078).

      The majority of female MM patients have a non-occupational asbestos exposure, with a considerable rate of environmental exposure. Furthermore, the source of asbestos exposure seems to play an important role in determining the site of MM development. Primary asbestos exposure, inferring more intense exposure through occupation, may predispose to peritoneal while secondary, lighter asbestos exposure to pleural disease. This may also be indicated by younger age at MAM diagnosis and is in line with previous reports. Anatomical, biological or other genetical differences related to the site of MM cannot be excluded, as some studies indicate that asbestos exposed women develop MAM more often than men. Our study of large Danish population cohorts is in progress and aims to elucidate these questions (updates will be presented at the conference).

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