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Bibliography on: Mesothelioma and Asbestos

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 02 Aug 2021 at 01:36 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: 2021-07-29

Scopa P (2021)

Reconstruction of asbestos exposure in workers suffering from pleural neoplasms and employed in sectors not generally associated with high exposure levels: the importance of an accurate standardized assessment of occupational medicine.

Journal of preventive medicine and hygiene, 62(1):E148-E151.

Introduction: Malignant pleural mesothelioma onset in workers exposed to asbestos is well known with reference to multiple working sectors. In some cases, occurring among workers of sectors characterized by a presumed lower relevance of asbestos exposure, the absence of a well-defined correlation can prevent their emergence and compensation. To improve definition of these cases, this article underlines the importance of a standardized approach to occupational anamnesis.

Methods: Thorough standardized occupational health assessment method application in a case of pleural malignant neoplasm occurred in a hauler, a job generally not associated with high levels of exposure to asbestos fibres.

Results: Assessment of malignant pleural mesothelioma diagnosis and dual mode relevant occupational exposure to asbestos during both truck driving and loading and unloading operations of asbestos-containing goods.

Conclusions: Systematic occupational medicine assessment with accurate standardized approach is essential for reconstruction of asbestos exposure, in order to highlight every aspect useful to establish causal link between cases of pleural mesothelioma and possible occupational and non-occupational exposure to the mineral, even in cases where the first-level occupational history does not appear to be suggestive.

RevDate: 2021-07-27

Brustugun OT, Nilssen Y, IJZ Eide (2021)

Epidemiology and outcome of peritoneal and pleural mesothelioma subtypes in Norway. A 20 year nation-wide study.

Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Mesothelioma of the pleural or peritoneal cavities is one of the deadliest cancer types. The incidence of pleural subtypes has decreased over time due to decrease in asbestos exposure, and the current treatment landscape is changing due to introduction of novel therapies. In this study we have analysed contemporary epidemiological data of mesothelioma on a national level before the advent of immunotherapy.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Complete national data on 1509 pleural and peritoneal malignant mesothelioma from the Cancer Registry of Norway from 2000 to 2019 are presented. Age standardised incidence and median survival were calculated.

RESULTS: The age-standardised incidence of pleural mesothelioma among males has decreased from 1.7 per 100 000 in 2000-2004 to 1.1 in 2015-2019, whereas the incidence for females has been stable, lower than 0.3 per 100 000 throughout the period. Incidence of peritoneal mesotheliomas remained low, below 0.08 per 100 000. The female to male ratio among pleural mesotheliomas was 1:7 with no differences among morphological subtypes, whereas this ratio was 1:1.2 in peritoneal mesotheliomas. Median age at diagnosis for pleural mesothelioma was 73 years and 76 years for females and males respectively in the last 5-year period, and 67 years for peritoneal mesotheliomas of both sexes. Median survival among pleural mesotheliomas has been stable, with significantly worse prognosis among sarcomatoid subtype (5.4 months) compared to epithelioid subtype (15.8 months). Peritoneal mesothelioma of the epithelioid subtype, representing 38% of cases, had a median survival of 43.3 months, contrasting the non-epithelioid subtype of 5.1 months.

DISCUSSION: Mesothelioma is still a significant disease with a dismal prognosis. Improvement in treatment is warranted.

RevDate: 2021-07-26

Fang YJ, Chuang HY, Pan CH, et al (2021)

Increased Risk of Gastric Cancer in Asbestos-Exposed Workers: A Retrospective Cohort Study Based on Taiwan Cancer Registry 1980-2015.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(14): pii:ijerph18147521.

Asbestos has been recognized as a human carcinogen associated with malignant mesothelioma, cancers of lung, larynx, and ovary. However, a putative association between gastric cancer and asbestos exposure remains controversial. In this study, we aimed to explore gastric cancer risk of workers potentially exposed to asbestos in Taiwan. The asbestos occupational cohort was established from 1950 to 2015 based on the Taiwan Labor Insurance Database, and Taiwan Environmental Protection Agency regulatory datasets, followed by the Taiwan Cancer Registry for the period 1980-2015. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) for cancer were computed for the whole cohort using reference rates of the general population, and also reference labor population. Compared with the general population, SIR of the asbestos occupational cohort for the gastric cancer increased both in males (1.05, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.02-1.09) and females (1.10, 95% CI: 1.01-1.18). A total of 123 worksites were identified to have cases of malignant mesothelioma, where increased risk for gastric cancer was found with a relative risk of 1.76 (95% CI: 1.63-1.90). This 35-year retrospective cohort study of asbestos-exposed workers in Taiwan may provide support for an association between occupational exposure to asbestos and gastric cancer.

RevDate: 2021-07-26

Yuan L, Sun B, Xu L, et al (2021)

The Updating of Biological Functions of Methyltransferase SETDB1 and Its Relevance in Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(14): pii:ijms22147416.

SET domain bifurcated 1 (SETDB1) is a histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9) methyltransferase that exerts important effects on epigenetic gene regulation. SETDB1 complexes (SETDB1-KRAB-KAP1, SETDB1-DNMT3A, SETDB1-PML, SETDB1-ATF7IP-MBD1) play crucial roles in the processes of histone methylation, transcriptional suppression and chromatin remodelling. Therefore, aberrant trimethylation at H3K9 due to amplification, mutation or deletion of SETDB1 may lead to transcriptional repression of various tumour-suppressing genes and other related genes in cancer cells. Lung cancer is the most common type of cancer worldwide in which SETDB1 amplification and H3K9 hypermethylation have been indicated as potential tumourigenesis markers. In contrast, frequent inactivation mutations of SETDB1 have been revealed in mesothelioma, an asbestos-associated, locally aggressive, highly lethal, and notoriously chemotherapy-resistant cancer. Above all, the different statuses of SETDB1 indicate that it may have different biological functions and be a potential diagnostic biomarker and therapeutic target in lung cancer and mesothelioma.

RevDate: 2021-07-26

Pouliquen DL, J Kopecka (2021)

Malignant Mesothelioma.

Cancers, 13(14): pii:cancers13143447.

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a rare and aggressive cancer, related to chronic inflammation and oxidative stress caused mainly by exposure to asbestos [...].

RevDate: 2021-07-24

Menis J, Pasello G, J Remon (2021)

Immunotherapy in malignant pleural mesothelioma: a review of literature data.

Translational lung cancer research, 10(6):2988-3000.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare, aggressive cancer of the pleural surface, associated with asbestos exposure, whose incidence is still growing in some areas of the world. MPM is still considered a rare and an orphan disease with an unchanged median overall survival (OS) ranging from 8 to 14 months and no treatment advances in the last 15 years both in local and advanced disease. In the recent years, chronic inflammation of the mesothelium together with local tumor suppression plays a major role in the malignant transformation. Also, significant heterogeneity in both tumor and the microenvironment is at the basis of MPM biology. Preclinical data have demonstrated the immunogenicity and the lack of an effective antitumor response by the immune system in MPM thus paving the way to the development of immune therapeutics in this disease. Still there is no clear evidence of any predictive biomarker so that, given the close interaction between the immune infiltrate and mesothelial cells, a number of trials are ongoing to investigate the role and prognostic value of the immune microenvironment. In this review we summarize the rationale for immune therapeutics development in MPM, as well as, the relevant literature and ongoing trials of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) and vaccines used as both first-line treatment and beyond.

RevDate: 2021-07-24

Gu R, Jiang L, Duan T, et al (2021)

A Case of Pulmonary Embolism with Sarcomatoid Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma with Long-Term Pleural Effusion.

OncoTargets and therapy, 14:4231-4237.

Background: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a highly aggressive tumor that originates from pleural mesothelial cells. In recent years, with the development of asbestos-related industries and the increase in air pollution, its incidence has been increased. The incidence of pulmonary embolism combined with sarcomatoid MPM is very low and the prognosis is extremely poor. We here report a case of a patient with long term of pleural effusion and finally diagnosed as pulmonary embolism with sarcomatoid MPM.

Case: A 75-year-old male with a 30-year history of asbestos exposure was admitted to our hospital due to chest pain and difficulty in breathing after exercise. Radiologic examination revealed pleural effusion, computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) suggests pulmonary embolism, and we consider pleural effusion caused by pulmonary embolism. After anticoagulant therapy for pulmonary embolism and pleural puncture to reduce pleural effusion, the patient's symptoms improved. However, after that, the patient was still admitted to the hospital several times because of recurrent chest pain and dyspnea symptoms, and radiologic examination always showed unexplained pleural effusion. Finally, pathological and immunohistochemical examinations of the pleural biopsy specimens were performed, and the diagnosis was confirmed as sarcomatoid MPM.

Conclusion: In summary, sarcomatoid MPM with pulmonary embolism is relatively rare, and the prognosis is poor. Clinicians need to be alert to its occurrence. When the first diagnosis is confirmed and the effect of targeted treatment is still not good, the possibility of other diseases should be considered. In clinical practice, pleural biopsy guided by PET-CT is a good choice for patients with sarcomatoid MPM who cannot tolerate open pleural biopsies or thoracoscopy. And patients should undergo pleural morphology and immunohistochemistry as soon as possible, which are helpful for timely diagnosis.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Santana VS, Salvi L, Cavalcante F, et al (2021)

Underreporting of mesothelioma, asbestosis and pleural plaques in Brazil.

Occupational medicine (Oxford, England) pii:6325429 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Brazil has a long history of heavy asbestos consumption. However, the number of asbestos-related diseases (ARDs) falls far below the one expected compared with other asbestos consumer countries.

AIMS: To examine underreporting of ARDs, that is mesothelioma, asbestosis and pleural plaques, in Brazil's Mortality Information System (SIM).

METHODS: Health information systems (HIS) were mapped, datasets retrieved and records of ARD deaths extracted. Records were pair-matched using anonymous linkage to create a single database. ARD-reported cases missing in SIM were considered unreported. The study's period ranged from 2008 to 2014, when every HIS contributed to the ARD records pool.

RESULTS: A total of 1298 registered ARD deaths were found, 996 cases of mesothelioma (77%) and 302 (23%) of asbestosis and pleural plaques. SIM was the major single data source of ARD but 335 mesothelioma deaths were missing, an average underreporting of 33%, with no clear time trend. For asbestosis and pleural plaques, underreporting of ARD oscillated from 55% in 2010 to 25% in 2014, a declining trend. ARD underreporting was not associated with sex or age.

CONCLUSIONS: One-third of underreported ARD deaths in the universal SIM is unacceptably high and, apparently, it has not been improving substantially over time. After recoveries from multiple databases, the number of cases is still below, which could be expected based on asbestos consumption. Interoperability of multiple information systems could enhance case detection and improve the precision of mortality estimates, which are crucial for surveillance and for evaluation of remedial policies.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

Broggi G, Angelico G, Filetti V, et al (2021)

Immunohistochemical Expression of Serine and Arginine-Rich Splicing Factor 1 (SRSF1) in Fluoro-Edenite-Induced Malignant Mesothelioma: A Preliminary Study.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(12): pii:ijerph18126249.

The Serine and Arginine-Rich Splicing Factor 1 (SRSF1) has a proto-oncogenic function, being associated with angiogenesis and frequently overexpressed in many human malignant neoplasms. Its immunohistochemical expression has never been investigated in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). We evaluated SRSF1 immunoexpression and its possible relation to angiogenesis in a selected cohort of 10 fluoro-edenite(FE)-induced MPM cases.

METHODS: Immunohistochemical analyses with an anti-SRSF1 antibody were performed. We interpreted the cases as positive if tumor cell nuclei were stained; a semi-quantitative analysis of the cases was performed by evaluating the intensity of staining and the percentage of tumor positive cells. A microvessel density (MVD) count was also performed.

RESULTS: High and low immunoexpressions of SRSF1 were seen in six and four MPMs, respectively. A trend of shorter overall survival was found in FE-induced MPM patients with SRSF1 overexpression. In addition, a significant association between high-MVD and high SRSF1 immunoexpression (p = 0.0476) was found.

CONCLUSIONS: SRSF1 appears to be involved in MPM pathogenesis and its immunoexpression may represent a prognostic biomarker capable of identifying subgroups of patients with different prognosis. However, given the preliminary nature of the present study, further investigations on larger series, and additional in vitro studies, are required to validate our findings.

RevDate: 2021-07-20

Oddone E, Bollon J, Nava CR, et al (2021)

Effect of Asbestos Consumption on Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma in Italy: Forecasts of Mortality up to 2040.

Cancers, 13(13): pii:cancers13133338.

Statistical models used to forecast malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) trends often do not take into account historical asbestos consumption, possibly resulting in less accurate predictions of the future MPM death toll. We used the distributed lag non-linear model (DLNM) approach to predict future MPM cases in Italy until 2040, based on past asbestos consumption figures. Analyses were conducted using data on male MPM deaths (1970-2014) and annual asbestos consumption using data on domestic production, importation, and exportation. According to our model, the peak of MPM deaths is expected to occur in 2021 (1122 expected cases), with a subsequent decrease in mortality (344 MPM deaths in 2039). The exposure-response curve shows that relative risk (RR) of MPM increased almost linearly for lower levels of exposure but flattened at higher levels. The lag-specific RR grew until 30 years since exposure and decreased thereafter, suggesting that the most relevant contributions to the risk come from exposures which occurred 20-40 years before death. Our results show that the Italian MPM epidemic is approaching its peak and underline that the association between temporal trends of MPM and time since exposure to asbestos is not monotonic, suggesting a lesser role of remote exposures in the development of MPM than previously assumed.

RevDate: 2021-07-20

Visonà SD, Capella S, Bodini S, et al (2021)

Reply to Mirabelli et al. Is Mesothelioma Unrelated to the Lung Asbestos Burden? Comment on "Visonà et al. Inorganic Fiber Lung Burden in Subjects with Occupational and/or Anthropogenic Environmental Asbestos Exposure in Broni (Pavia, Northern Italy): An SEM-EDS Study on Autoptic Samples. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 2053".

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(13): pii:ijerph18137181.

We appreciate very much the interest of Mirabelli et al. [...].

RevDate: 2021-07-20

Mirabelli D, Angelini A, Barbieri PG, et al (2021)

Is Mesothelioma Unrelated to the Lung Asbestos Burden? Comment on Visonà et al. Inorganic Fiber Lung Burden in Subjects with Occupational and/or Anthropogenic Environmental Asbestos Exposure in Broni (Pavia, Northern Italy): An SEM-EDS Study on Autoptic Samples. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 2053.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(13): pii:ijerph18137177.

We read with interest the report by Visonà and coworkers on the lung asbestos fiber burden in an autopsy series of decedents from mesothelioma (MM: 59 cases) and individuals who "suffered from asbestosis and died of its complications" (13 cases) [...].

RevDate: 2021-07-19

Freudenberger DC, RD Shah (2021)

A narrative review of the health disparities associated with malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Journal of thoracic disease, 13(6):3809-3815.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a cancer of the mesothelial lining of the pleura that has traditionally been associated with asbestos exposure in an industrial setting. Asbestos usage has fortunately been banned or phased out in most industrialized countries resulting in its decline in countries such as the United States. Despite this, MPM continues to place significant burden on its affected patients resulting in overall poor prognosis and survival. Questions arise as to what factors, especially what health disparities, contribute to the disease's dismal prognosis. This article will present a narrative review of recent literature that identifies the impact age, sex, race, access to medical centers, and economics have on the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of MPM. As will be discussed, research has shown that factors including younger age, female sex, non-white race, private insurance, Medicare, and higher income have been associated with better survival in MPM. Whereas older age, male sex, white race, lack of insurance, and lower income are associated with worse survival. The identification of these and other health disparities related to MPM may allow for future research, clinical guidelines, and policies to be implemented to decrease the burden health disparities create in the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of patients with MPM.

RevDate: 2021-07-13

Hiltbrunner S, Mannarino L, Kirschner MB, et al (2021)

Tumor Immune Microenvironment and Genetic Alterations in Mesothelioma.

Frontiers in oncology, 11:660039.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare and fatal disease of the pleural lining. Up to 80% of the MPM cases are linked to asbestos exposure. Even though its use has been banned in the industrialized countries, the cases continue to increase. MPM is a lethal cancer, with very little survival improvements in the last years, mirroring very limited therapeutic advances. Platinum-based chemotherapy in combination with pemetrexed and surgery are the standard of care, but prognosis is still unacceptably poor with median overall survival of approximately 12 months. The genomic landscape of MPM has been widely characterized showing a low mutational burden and the impairment of tumor suppressor genes. Among them, BAP1 and BLM are present as a germline inactivation in a small subset of patients and increases predisposition to tumorigenesis. Other studies have demonstrated a high frequency of mutations in DNA repair genes. Many therapy approaches targeting these alterations have emerged and are under evaluation in the clinic. High-throughput technologies have allowed the detection of more complex molecular events, like chromotripsis and revealed different transcriptional programs for each histological subtype. Transcriptional analysis has also paved the way to the study of tumor-infiltrating cells, thus shedding lights on the crosstalk between tumor cells and the microenvironment. The tumor microenvironment of MPM is indeed crucial for the pathogenesis and outcome of this disease; it is characterized by an inflammatory response to asbestos exposure, involving a variety of chemokines and suppressive immune cells such as M2-like macrophages and regulatory T cells. Another important feature of MPM is the dysregulation of microRNA expression, being frequently linked to cancer development and drug resistance. This review will give a detailed overview of all the above mentioned features of MPM in order to improve the understanding of this disease and the development of new therapeutic strategies.

RevDate: 2021-07-10

Thomsen RW, Riis AH, Flachs EM, et al (2021)

Risk of asbestosis, mesothelioma, other lung disease or death among motor vehicle mechanics: a 45-year Danish cohort study.

Thorax pii:thoraxjnl-2020-215041 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: The risk of asbestosis, malignant mesothelioma and lung cancer among motor vehicle mechanics is of concern because of potential exposure to chrysotile asbestos during brake, clutch and gasket repair and maintenance. Asbestos has also been used in insulation and exhaust systems.

METHODS: We examined the long-term risk of incident mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and other lung diseases and mortality due to mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and other lung diseases in a nationwide cohort of all men registered as motor vehicle mechanics since 1970 in Denmark. This was compared with the corresponding risk in a cohort of male workers matched 10:1 by age and calendar year, with similar socioeconomic status (instrument makers, dairymen, upholsterers, glaziers, butchers, bakers, drivers, farmers and workers in the food industry, trade or public services).

RESULTS: Our study included 138 559 motor vehicle mechanics (median age 24 years; median follow-up 20 years (maximum 45 years)) and 1 385 590 comparison workers (median age 25 years; median follow-up 19 years (maximum 45 years)). Compared with other workers, vehicle mechanics had a lower risk of morbidity due to mesothelioma/pleural cancer (n=47 cases) (age-adjusted and calendar-year-adjusted HR=0.74 (95% CI 0.55 to 0.99)), a slightly increased risk of lung cancer (HR=1.09 (95% CI 1.03 to 1.14)), increased risk of asbestosis (HR=1.50 (95% CI 1.10 to 2.03)) and a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease risk close to unity (HR=1.02 (95% CI 0.99 to 1.05)). Corresponding HRs for mortality were 0.86 (95% CI 0.64 to 1.15) for mesothelioma/pleural cancer, 1.06 (95% CI 1.01 to 1.12) for lung cancer, 1.79 (95% CI 1.10 to 2.92) for asbestosis, 1.06 (95% CI 0.86 to 1.30) for other lung diseases caused by external agents and 1.00 (95% CI 0.98 to 1.01) for death due to all causes.

CONCLUSIONS: We found that the risk of asbestosis was increased among vehicle mechanics. The risk of malignant mesothelioma/pleural cancers was not increased among vehicle mechanics.

RevDate: 2021-07-09

Golka K, Böthig R, Jungmann O, et al (2021)

[Occupational cancers in urology].

Der Urologe. Ausg. A [Epub ahead of print].

Cancers can be triggered by occupational causes. In the field of urology, bladder cancer is by far the most frequent occupationally induced tumor disease. Causes are particularly carcinogenic aromatic amines and carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The frequency of this disease has shifted over the last decades from the classical hazard in the chemical industry to the users. Among a variety of hazardous occupations, hairdressers and painters are the best known. Rarely, renal cell carcinoma can be triggered by high trichloroethylene exposure and mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis testis by asbestos. If a disease that can be caused by occupational activities has been confirmed (e.g. urinary bladder cancer), the risk factors must be recorded by a complete occupational history from the first employment on in order to be able to report a suspected occupational disease. In addition, spinal cord injury due to occupational and commuting accidents can lead to urinary bladder cancer over the long term.

RevDate: 2021-07-09

Hiroshima K, Wu D, Koh E, et al (2021)

Membranous HEG1 expression is a useful marker in the differential diagnosis of epithelioid and biphasic malignant mesothelioma versus carcinomas.

Pathology international [Epub ahead of print].

Sialylated HEG1 has been reported as a highly specific and sensitive mesothelioma marker but a comprehensive evaluation of its expression in carcinomas in different organs, various sarcomas and reactive mesothelial proliferations has not been reported. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical applicability of HEG1 as a marker in the diagnosis of mesothelioma. HEG1 immunoreactivity was evaluated in whole sections of 122 mesotheliomas, 75 pulmonary carcinomas, 55 other carcinomas, 16 mesenchymal tumors, and 24 reactive mesothelial proliferations and in tissue microarrays containing 70 epithelioid (EM), 36 biphasic (BM), and 2 sarcomatoid mesotheliomas (SM). In whole sections and tissue microarrays, respectively, membranous HEG1 was expressed in 93.0% and 85.5% of EM, 81.3% and 69.4% of BM, 0% and 0% of SM. HEG1 was not expressed in pulmonary adenocarcinomas. HEG1 was expressed as cytoplasmic immunoreactivity in pulmonary squamous cell carcinomas (21.7%). Membranous HEG1 staining was seen in ovarian carcinomas (66.7%), thyroid carcinomas (100%), reactive conditions (16.7%), and mesenchymal tumors (18.8%). The sensitivity of membranous HEG1 expression to distinguish EM/BM from all carcinomas was 88.8%. The specificity for the differential diagnosis between EM/BM and all carcinomas and pulmonary carcinomas was 92.3% and 98.7%, respectively.

RevDate: 2021-07-09

Behrouzfar K, Burton K, Mutsaers SE, et al (2021)

How to Better Understand the Influence of Host Genetics on Developing an Effective Immune Response to Thoracic Cancers.

Frontiers in oncology, 11:679609.

Thoracic cancers pose a significant global health burden. Immune checkpoint blockade therapies have improved treatment outcomes, but durable responses remain limited. Understanding how the host immune system interacts with a developing tumor is essential for the rational development of improved treatments for thoracic malignancies. Recent technical advances have improved our understanding of the mutational burden of cancer cells and changes in cancer-specific gene expression, providing a detailed understanding of the complex biology underpinning tumor-host interactions. While there has been much focus on the genetic alterations associated with cancer cells and how they may impact treatment outcomes, how host genetics affects cancer development is also critical and will greatly determine treatment response. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified genetic variants associated with cancer predisposition. This approach has successfully identified host genetic risk factors associated with common thoracic cancers like lung cancer, but is less effective for rare cancers like malignant mesothelioma. To assess how host genetics impacts rare thoracic cancers, we used the Collaborative Cross (CC); a powerful murine genetic resource designed to maximize genetic diversity and rapidly identify genes associated with any biological trait. We are using the CC in conjunction with our asbestos-induced MexTAg mouse model, to identify host genes associated with mesothelioma development. Once genes that moderate tumor development and progression are known, human homologues can be identified and human datasets interrogated to validate their association with disease outcome. Furthermore, our CC-MexTAg animal model enables in-depth study of the tumor microenvironment, allowing the correlation of immune cell infiltration and gene expression signatures with disease development. This strategy provides a detailed picture of the underlying biological pathways associated with mesothelioma susceptibility and progression; knowledge that is crucial for the rational development of new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Here we discuss the influence of host genetics on developing an effective immune response to thoracic cancers. We highlight current knowledge gaps, and with a focus on mesothelioma, describe the development and application of the CC-MexTAg to overcome limitations and illustrate how the knowledge gained from this unique study will inform the rational design of future treatments of mesothelioma.

RevDate: 2021-07-06

Pagliuca F, Zito Marino F, Morgillo F, et al (2021)

Inherited predisposition to malignant mesothelioma: germline BAP1 mutations and beyond.

European review for medical and pharmacological sciences, 25(12):4236-4246.

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a rare aggressive neoplasm arising from mesothelial lining of body cavities, most commonly pleura and peritoneum. It is characterised by a poor prognosis and limited treatment options. A universally recognised risk factor for the development of MM is exposure to asbestos. However, evidence supporting a genetic susceptibility to the development of MM has been accumulating during the last decades. Intensive research for the identification of MM susceptibility genes has led to the discovery of BAP1 and to the definition of the so-called "BAP1-related tumour predisposition syndrome". Patients carrying germline BAP1 mutations have an increased risk for the early development of tumours, including MMs, uveal melanomas, cutaneous melanocytic lesions, clear cell renal cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas. Furthermore, pathogenic variants in tumour suppressor genes with a role in DNA repair have been recently described in families with clustered MM cases. These genetic alterations seem to confer exaggerate sensitivity to asbestos carcinogenic effect and, arguably, increased response to specific chemotherapeutic strategies. While the translational significance of BAP1 alterations is explored in the research field, the identification of families carrying germline BAP1 mutations is mandatory to start appropriate surveillance programs and guarantee the best clinical management to these patients.

RevDate: 2021-07-06

Obacz J, Yung H, Shamseddin M, et al (2021)

Biological basis for novel mesothelioma therapies.

British journal of cancer [Epub ahead of print].

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that is associated with exposure to asbestos. Although asbestos is banned in several countries, including the UK, an epidemic of mesothelioma is predicted to affect middle-income countries during this century owing to their heavy consumption of asbestos. The prognosis for patients with mesothelioma is poor, reflecting a failure of conventional chemotherapy that has ultimately resulted from an inadequate understanding of its biology. However, recent work has revolutionised the study of mesothelioma, identifying genetic and pathophysiological vulnerabilities, including the loss of tumour suppressors, epigenetic dysregulation and susceptibility to nutrient stress. We discuss how this knowledge, combined with advances in immunotherapy, is enabling the development of novel targeted therapies.

RevDate: 2021-07-03

Faversani A, Favero C, Dioni L, et al (2021)

An EBC/Plasma miRNA Signature Discriminates Lung Adenocarcinomas From Pleural Mesothelioma and Healthy Controls.

Frontiers in oncology, 11:643280.

Background: Despite significant improvement in screening programs for cancers of the respiratory district, especially in at-risk subjects, early disease detection is still a major issue. In this scenario, new molecular and non-invasive biomarkers are needed to improve early disease diagnosis.

Methods: We profiled the miRNome in exhaled breath condensate (EBC) and plasma samples from fourteen patients affected by lung AdCa, nine healthy subjects. miRNA signatures were then analyzed in another neoplasia of the respiratory district, i.e. pleural mesothelioma (n = 23) and subjects previously exposed to asbestos were used as controls for this cohort (n = 19). Selected miRNAs were analyzed in purified pulmonary neoplastic or normal epithelial and stromal cell subpopulation from AdCa patients. Finally, the plasmatic miRNA signature was analyzed in a publicly available cohort of NSCLC patients for data validation and in silico analysis was performed with predicted miRNA targets using the multiMiR tool and STRING database.

Results: miR-597-5p and miR-1260a are significantly over-expressed in EBC from lung AdCa and are associated with AdCa. Similarly, miR-1260a is also up-regulated in the plasma of AdCa patients together with miR-518f-3p and correlates with presence of lung cancer, whereas let-7f-5p is under-expressed. Analysis of these circulating miRNAs in pleural mesothelioma cases confirmed that up-regulation of miR-518f-3p, -597-5p and -1260a, is specific for lung AdCa. Lastly, quantification of the miRNAs in laser-assisted microdissected lung tissues revealed that miR-518f-3p, 597-5p and miR-1260a are predominantly expressed in tumor epithelial cells. Validation analysis confirmed miR-518f-3p as a possible circulating biomarker of NSCLC. In silico analysis of the potentially modulated biological processes by these three miRNAs, shows that tumor bioenergetics are the most affected pathways.

Conclusions: Overall, our data suggest a 3-miRNAs signature as a non-invasive and accurate biomarker of lung AdCa. This approach could supplement the current screening approaches for early lung cancer diagnosis.

RevDate: 2021-07-07

Saracino L, Bortolotto C, Tomaselli S, et al (2021)

Integrating data from multidisciplinary Management of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: a cohort study.

BMC cancer, 21(1):762.

BACKGROUND: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare and aggressive malignancy that most commonly affects the pleural layers. MPM has a strong association with asbestos, mainly caused by exposure to its biopersistent fibers in at least 80% of cases. Individuals with a chronic exposure to asbestos might develop disease with a 20-40-year latency with few or no symptoms. Such has been the case in the Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy, where industrial production of materials laden with asbestos, mainly cements, has been responsible for the onset of a large epidemic. Since 2018, a multidisciplinary team at San Matteo hospital in Pavia has been collecting data on over 100 patients with MPM. The main goal of this project is to define and describe an integrated profile for each MPM case at diagnosis by using data mining and partition analysis.

METHODS: Here we bring together exhaustive epidemiologic, histologic and radiologic data of 88 MPM patients that came to our observation and draw correlations with predictive and prognostic significance.

RESULTS: The median overall survival (OS) was 15.6 months. Most patients presented with pleural effusion, irrespective of disease stage. Quite unexpectedly, no statistically significant association was demonstrated between OS and TNM disease stage at diagnosis. Although average OS is similar in male and female patients, partition analysis of data underlined a significant differential hierarchy of predictor categories based on patient gender. In females with no smoking history, full chemotherapeutic regimens are associated with better outcomes. Moreover, concerning second line treatments, vinorelbine emerged as the most advantageous choice for female patients, whereas in the male subgroup no statistically significant difference resulted between gemcitabine and vinorelbine.

CONCLUSION: A multidisciplinary approach to MPM is mandatory to define better therapeutic approaches, personalize the management and improve patient outcomes.

RevDate: 2021-07-11

Désage AL, Karpathiou G, Peoc'h M, et al (2021)

The Immune Microenvironment of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: A Literature Review.

Cancers, 13(13):.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare and aggressive tumour with a poor prognosis, associated with asbestos exposure. Nowadays, treatment is based on chemotherapy with a median overall survival of less than two years. This review highlights the main characteristics of the immune microenvironment in MPM with special emphasis on recent biological advances. The MPM microenvironment is highly infiltrated by tumour-associated macrophages, mainly M2-macrophages. In line with infiltration by M2-macrophages, which contribute to immune suppression, other effectors of innate immune response are deficient in MPM, such as dendritic cells or natural killer cells. On the other hand, tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are also found in MPM, but CD4+ and CD8+ TILs might have decreased cytotoxic effects through T-regulators and high expression of immune checkpoints. Taken together, the immune microenvironment is particularly heterogeneous and can be considered as mainly immunotolerant or immunosuppressive. Therefore, identifying molecular vulnerabilities is particularly relevant to the improvement of patient outcomes and the assessment of promising treatment approaches.

RevDate: 2021-07-02

Kwak K, Cho SI, D Paek (2021)

Future Incidence of Malignant Mesothelioma in South Korea: Updated Projection to 2038.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(12): pii:ijerph18126614.

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a cancer that is largely caused by exposure to asbestos. Although asbestos is no longer used in South Korea, the incidence of MM continues to increase due to its long latent period. We aimed to update the previous prediction of MM incidence until 2038. We predicted the incidence of MM over the next 20 years (2019-2038) in South Korea using Møller's age-period-cohort (APC) model and a Poisson regression model based on asbestos consumption. The APC model predicted that the crude incidence rate would increase sharply in men and slowly in women. Despite the sex discrepancy in the rate of increase, the incidence rate for both sexes is expected to continue increasing until 2038. In the Poisson model, the crude incidence rate was predicted to increase continuously until 2038, and far more cases of MM were predicted to occur compared with the results of the APC model. When compared with actual incidence data, the APC model was deemed more suitable than the Poisson model. The APC model predicted a continuous increase over the next 20 years with no peak, suggesting that the incidence of MM will continue to rise far into the future.

RevDate: 2021-07-05

Coccè V, La Monica S, Bonelli M, et al (2021)

Inhibition of Human Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Growth by Mesenchymal Stromal Cells.

Cells, 10(6):.

BACKGROUND: Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive tumor that has a significant incidence related to asbestos exposure with no effective therapy and poor prognosis. The role of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) in cancer is controversial due to their opposite effects on tumor growth and in particular, only a few data are reported on MSCs and MPM.

METHODS: We investigated the in vitro efficacy of adipose tissue-derived MSCs, their lysates and secretome against different MPM cell lines. After large-scale production of MSCs in a bioreactor, their efficacy was also evaluated on a human MPM xenograft in mice.

RESULTS: MSCs, their lysate and secretome inhibited MPM cell proliferation in vitro with S or G0/G1 arrest of the cell cycle, respectively. MSC lysate induced cell death by apoptosis. The efficacy of MSC was confirmed in vivo by a significant inhibition of tumor growth, similar to that produced by systemic administration of paclitaxel. Interestingly, no tumor progression was observed after the last MSC treatment, while tumors started to grow again after stopping chemotherapeutic treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrated for the first time that MSCs, both through paracrine and cell-to-cell interaction mechanisms, induced a significant inhibition of human mesothelioma growth. Since the prognosis for MPM patients is poor and the options of care are limited to chemotherapy, MSCs could provide a potential new therapeutic approach for this malignancy.

RevDate: 2021-07-05

Terenziani R, Zoppi S, Fumarola C, et al (2021)

Immunotherapeutic Approaches in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.

Cancers, 13(11):.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare and aggressive malignant disease affecting the mesothelium, commonly associated to asbestos exposure. The current therapeutic actions, based on cisplatin/pemetrexed treatment, are limited due to the late stage at which most patients are diagnosed and to the intrinsic chemo-resistance of the tumor. Another relevant point is the absence of approved therapies in the second line setting following progression of MPM after chemotherapy. Considering the poor prognosis of the disease and the fact that the incidence of this tumor is expected to increase in the next decade, novel therapeutic approaches are urgently needed. In the last few years, several studies have investigated the efficacy and safety of immune-checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in the treatment of unresectable advanced MPM, and a number of trials with immunotherapeutic agents are ongoing in both first line and second line settings. In this review, we describe the most promising emerging immunotherapy treatments for MPM (ICIs, engineered T cells to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs), dendritic cells (DCs) vaccines), focusing on the biological and immunological features of this tumor as well as on the issues surrounding clinical trial design.

RevDate: 2021-07-05

Lorenzini E, Ciarrocchi A, F Torricelli (2021)

Molecular Fingerprints of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: Not Just a Matter of Genetic Alterations.

Journal of clinical medicine, 10(11):.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a clinical emergency of our time. Being strongly associated with asbestos exposure, incidence of this cancer is ramping up these days in many industrialized countries and it will soon start to increase in many developing areas where the use of this silicate derivate is still largely in use. Deficiency of reliable markers for the early identification of these tumors and the limited efficacy of the currently available therapeutic options are the basis of the impressive mortality rate of MPM. These shortcomings reflect the very poor information available about the molecular basis of this disease. Results of the recently released deep profiling studies point to the epigenome as a central element in MPM development and progression. First, MPM is characterized by a low mutational burden and a highly peculiar set of mutations that hits almost exclusively epigenetic keepers or proteins controlling chromatin organization and function. Furthermore, asbestos does not seem to be associated with a distinctive mutational signature, while the precise mapping of epigenetic changes caused by this carcinogen has been defined, suggesting that alterations in epigenetic features are the driving force in the development of this disease. Last but not least, consistent evidence also indicates that, in the setting of MPM, chromatin rewiring and epigenetic alterations of cancer cells heavily condition the microenvironment, including the immune response. In this review we aim to point to the relevance of the epigenome in MPM and to highlight the dependency of this tumor on chromatin organization and function. We also intend to discuss the opportunity of targeting these mechanisms as potential therapeutic options for MPM.

RevDate: 2021-06-26

Marant Micallef C, Charvat H, Houot MT, et al (2021)

Estimated number of cancers attributable to occupational exposures in France in 2017: an update using a new method for improved estimates.

Journal of exposure science & environmental epidemiology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Over the last 50 years, occupational exposure to carcinogenic agents has been widely regulated in France.

OBJECTIVE: Report population-attributable fraction (PAF) and number of attributable cancer cases linked to occupational exposure in France based on an updated method to estimate lifetime occupational exposure prevalence.

METHODS: Population-level prevalence of lifetime exposure to ten carcinogenic agents (asbestos, benzene, chromium VI, diesel engine exhaust, formaldehyde, nickel compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, silica dust, trichloroethylene, wood dust) and two occupational circumstances (painters and rubber industry workers) were estimated using the French Census linked with MATGÉNÉ job-exposure matrices and French occupational surveys. PAF and number of attributable cancer cases were calculated using the estimated prevalence, relative risks from systematic review and national estimates of cancer incidence in 2017.

RESULTS: The lifetime occupational exposure prevalences were much higher in men than in women ranging from 0.2% (workers in the rubber industry) to 10.2% in men (silica), and from 0.10% (benzene, PAH and workers in the rubber industry) to 5.7% in women (formaldehyde). In total, 4,818 cancer cases (men: 4,223; women: 595) were attributable to the ten studied carcinogens and two occupational circumstances, representing 5.2% of cases among the studied cancer sites (M: 7.0%; W: 1.9%). In both sexes, mesothelioma (M: 689 cases; W: 160) and lung cancer (M: 3,032; W: 308) were the largest cancer sites impacted by the studied occupational agents and circumstances.

SIGNIFICANCE: A moderate proportion of the cancer cases in France is linked to carcinogens in occupational settings. Our method provides more precise estimates of attributable cancer taking into account evolution of exposure to occupational agents by sex, age and time. This methodology can be easily replicated using cross-sectional occupational data to aid priority making and implementation of prevention strategies in the workplace.

RevDate: 2021-06-23

Ke H, Kao S, Lee K, et al (2021)

The minimum standard of care for managing malignant pleural mesothelioma in developing nations within the Asia-Pacific Region.

Asia-Pacific journal of clinical oncology [Epub ahead of print].

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an incurable malignancy associated with high symptom burden and poor prognosis. The relationship between asbestos exposure and MPM incidence is well-established. The incidence rate of MPM in Australia and New Zealand is among the highest globally. Matching the experience of other nations with legal restrictions on asbestos, incidence is expected to fall. In contrast, the incidence of MPM is rising in the developing nations of the Asia-Pacific as consumption and mining (albeit to a lesser extent) of asbestos continues. The incidence of MPM in these nations is currently low or unknown, reflecting insufficient latency periods since industrial use of asbestos, deficient resources for accurate diagnosis, and lack of occupational disease or cancer registries. The landscape of treatment for MPM is rapidly changing with combination immunotherapy now demonstrating improved survival in the first-line setting. Considering vast global inequity in access to anticancer treatments, establishing minimum standard of care for MPM in developing nations is of greater significance. Here, we review the evidence that form the basis of our minimum-standard recommendations for diagnosis, systemic treatment, management of recurrent pleural effusions, and symptom management. We also briefly review evidence-based treatment that may be considered for those with access.

RevDate: 2021-06-25

Kishimoto T, Kojima Y, N Fujimoto (2021)

Significance of secretory leukocyte peptidase inhibitor in pleural fluid for the diagnosis of benign asbestos pleural effusion.

Scientific reports, 11(1):12965.

Secretory leukocyte peptidase inhibitor (SLPI) is a biomarker present in the respiratory tract that protects against tissue destruction and aids in wound healing. We examined whether SLPI in pleural effusion can be used to distinguish benign asbestos pleural effusion (BAPE) from early-stage malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) and other diseases. We measured the levels of SLPI, hyaluronic acid (HA), soluble mesothelin-related peptides (SMRP), CCL2, galectin-3, and CYFRA21-1 in 51 patients with BAPE, 37 patients with early-stage MPM, 77 patients with pleural effusions due to non-small-cell lung cancer (LCa), and 74 patients with other pleural effusions. SLPI levels in the pleural fluid of patients with BAPE were significantly lower than those in patients with MPM, LCa, and other pleural effusions (p < 0.0001). The area under the curve (AUC) for SLPI's ability to distinguish BAPE from MPM was 0.902, with a sensitivity of 82.4% and a specificity of 86.5%. This AUC was not only favourable but was better than the AUC for the ability of CYFRA21-1 to distinguish BAPE (0.853). The combination of SLPI and CYFRA21-1 achieved an AUC of 0.965 for the differentiation between BAPE and MPM. Pleural fluid SLPI as well as CYFRA21-1 and HA is useful as a biomarker to diagnose BAPE, which needs to be distinguished from early-stage MPM.

RevDate: 2021-06-14

Ramada Rodilla JM, Calvo Cerrada B, Serra Pujadas C, et al (2021)

Fiber burden and asbestos-related diseases: an umbrella review.

Gaceta sanitaria pii:S0213-9111(21)00082-0 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: What are the levels of asbestos exposure that cause each type of health effect? The objective of this study was to review the available scientific evidence on exposure levels for asbestos and their relationship to health effects.

METHOD: An umbrella review of English-language reviews and meta-analyses, from 1980 to March 2021 was conducted. We included reviews involving quantified asbestos exposures and health outcomes. The review has been adapted to the indications of the PRISMA declaration. Methodological quality of the selected studies was assessed using the AMSTAR instrument.

RESULTS: We retrieved 196 references. After applying the search strategy and quality analysis, 10 reviews were selected for in-depth analysis. For lung cancer, the highest risk was observed with exposure to amphiboles. Longer, thinner fibers had the greatest capacity to cause lung cancer, especially those > 10 μm in length. For mesothelioma, longer and thinner fibers were also more pathogenic; amphiboles ≥ 5 μm are especially associated with increased mesothelioma risk. No studies observed an increased risk for lung cancer or mesothelioma at asbestos exposure levels <0.1 f/ml. No reviews provided information on exposure concentrations for pulmonary fibrosis. Currently, there is limited evidence in humans to establish the causal relationship between gastrointestinal cancer and asbestos exposure.

CONCLUSIONS: Banning all asbestos exposure remains the best measure to preventing its negative health effects. The highest quality reviews and meta-analyses support that there is little risk of lung cancer or mesothelioma at daily exposure levels below 0.1 f/ml.

RevDate: 2021-06-24

Tsim S, Alexander L, Kelly C, et al (2021)

Serum Proteomics and Plasma Fibulin-3 in Differentiation of Mesothelioma From Asbestos-Exposed Controls and Patients With Other Pleural Diseases.

Journal of thoracic oncology : official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer pii:S1556-0864(21)02189-4 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is difficult to diagnose. An accurate blood biomarker could prompt specialist referral or be deployed in future screening. In earlier retrospective studies, SOMAscan proteomics (Somalogic, Boulder, CO) and fibulin-3 seemed highly accurate, but SOMAscan has not been validated prospectively and subsequent fibulin-3 data have been contradictory.

METHODS: A multicenter prospective observational study was performed in 22 centers, generating a large intention-to-diagnose cohort. Blood sampling, processing, and diagnostic assessment were standardized, including a 1-year follow-up. Plasma fibulin-3 was measured using two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (CloudClone [used in previous studies] and BosterBio, Pleasanton, CA). Serum proteomics was measured using the SOMAscan assay. Diagnostic performance (sensitivity at 95% specificity, area under the curve [AUC]) was benchmarked against serum mesothelin (Mesomark, Fujirebio Diagnostics, Malvern, PA). Biomarkers were correlated against primary tumor volume, inflammatory markers, and asbestos exposure.

RESULTS: A total of 638 patients with suspected pleural malignancy (SPM) and 110 asbestos-exposed controls (AECs) were recruited. SOMAscan reliably differentiated MPM from AECs (75% sensitivity, 88.2% specificity, validation cohort AUC 0.855) but was not useful in patients with differentiating non-MPM SPM. Fibulin-3 (by BosterBio after failed CloudClone validation) revealed 7.4% and 11.9% sensitivity at 95% specificity in MPM versus non-MPM SPM and AECs, respectively (associated AUCs 0.611 [0.557-0.664], p = 0.0015) and 0.516 [0.443-0.589], p = 0.671), both inferior to mesothelin. SOMAscan proteins correlated with inflammatory markers but not with asbestos exposure. Neither biomarker correlated with tumor volume.

CONCLUSIONS: SOMAscan may prove useful as a future screening test for MPM in asbestos-exposed persons. Neither fibulin-3 nor SOMAscan should be used for diagnosis or pathway stratification.

RevDate: 2021-06-20

Vandenhoeck J, van Meerbeeck JP, Fransen E, et al (2021)

DNA Methylation as a Diagnostic Biomarker for Malignant Mesothelioma: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Journal of thoracic oncology : official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer pii:S1556-0864(21)02186-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer type linked to asbestos exposure. Because of several intrinsic challenges, mesothelioma is often diagnosed in an advanced disease stage. Therefore, there is a need for diagnostic biomarkers that may contribute to early detection. Recently, the epigenome of tumors is being extensively investigated to identify biomarkers. This manuscript is a systematic review summarizing the state-of-the-art research investigating DNA methylation in mesothelioma. Four literature databases (PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, MEDLINE) were systematically searched for studies investigating DNA methylation in mesothelioma up to October 16, 2020. A meta-analysis was performed per gene investigated in at least two independent studies. A total of 53 studies investigated DNA methylation of 97 genes in mesothelioma and are described in a qualitative overview. Furthermore, ten studies investigating 13 genes (APC, CDH1, CDKN2A, DAPK, ESR1, MGMT, miR-34b/c, PGR, RARβ, RASSF1, SFRP1, SFRP4, WIF1) were included in the quantitative meta-analysis. In this meta-analysis, the APC gene is significantly hypomethylated in mesothelioma, whereas CDH1, ESR1, miR-34b/c, PGR, RARβ, SFRP1, and WIF1 are significantly hypermethylated in mesothelioma. The three genes that are the most appropriate candidate biomarkers from this meta-analysis are APC, miR-34b/c, and WIF1. Nevertheless, both study number and study objects comprised in this meta-analysis are too low to draw final conclusions on their clinical applications. The elucidation of the genome-wide DNA methylation profile of mesothelioma is desirable in the future, using a standardized genome-wide methylation analysis approach. The most informative CpG sites from this signature could then form the basis of a panel of highly sensitive and specific biomarkers that can be used for the diagnosis of mesothelioma and even for the screening of an at high-risk population of asbestos-exposed individuals.

RevDate: 2021-06-15

Napoli F, Listì A, Zambelli V, et al (2021)

Pathological Characterization of Tumor Immune Microenvironment (TIME) in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.

Cancers, 13(11):.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare and highly aggressive disease that arises from pleural mesothelial cells, characterized by a median survival of approximately 13-15 months after diagnosis. The primary cause of this disease is asbestos exposure and the main issues associated with it are late diagnosis and lack of effective therapies. Asbestos-induced cellular damage is associated with the generation of an inflammatory microenvironment that influences and supports tumor growth, possibly in association with patients' genetic predisposition and tumor genomic profile. The chronic inflammatory response to asbestos fibers leads to a unique tumor immune microenvironment (TIME) composed of a heterogeneous mixture of stromal, endothelial, and immune cells, and relative composition and interaction among them is suggested to bear prognostic and therapeutic implications. TIME in MPM is known to be constituted by immunosuppressive cells, such as type 2 tumor-associated macrophages and T regulatory lymphocytes, plus the expression of several immunosuppressive factors, such as tumor-associated PD-L1. Several studies in recent years have contributed to achieve a greater understanding of the pathogenetic mechanisms in tumor development and pathobiology of TIME, that opens the way to new therapeutic strategies. The study of TIME is fundamental in identifying appropriate prognostic and predictive tissue biomarkers. In the present review, we summarize the current knowledge about the pathological characterization of TIME in MPM.

RevDate: 2021-06-15

Cugliari G, Allione A, Russo A, et al (2021)

New DNA Methylation Signals for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Risk Assessment.

Cancers, 13(11):.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare and aggressive neoplasm. Patients are usually diagnosed when current treatments have limited benefits, highlighting the need for noninvasive tests aimed at an MPM risk assessment tool that might improve life expectancy. Three hundred asbestos-exposed subjects (163 MPM cases and 137 cancer-free controls), from the same geographical region in Italy, were recruited. The evaluation of asbestos exposure was conducted considering the frequency, the duration and the intensity of occupational, environmental and domestic exposure. A genome-wide methylation array was performed to identify novel blood DNA methylation (DNAm) markers of MPM. Multiple regression analyses adjusting for potential confounding factors and interaction between asbestos exposure and DNAm on the MPM odds ratio were applied. Epigenome-wide analysis (EWAS) revealed 12 single-CpGs associated with the disease. Two of these showed high statistical power (99%) and effect size (>0.05) after false discovery rate (FDR) multiple comparison corrections: (i) cg03546163 in FKBP5, significantly hypomethylated in cases (Mean Difference in beta values (MD) = -0.09, 95% CI = -0.12|-0.06, p = 1.2 × 10-7), and (ii) cg06633438 in MLLT1, statistically hypermethylated in cases (MD = 0.07, 95% CI = 0.04|0.10, p = 1.0 × 10-6). Based on the interaction analysis, asbestos exposure and epigenetic profile together may improve MPM risk assessment. Above-median asbestos exposure and hypomethylation of cg03546163 in FKBP5 (OR = 20.84, 95% CI = 8.71|53.96, p = 5.5 × 10-11) and hypermethylation of cg06633438 in MLLT1 (OR = 11.71, 95% CI = 4.97|29.64, p = 5.9 × 10-8) genes compared to below-median asbestos exposure and hyper/hypomethylation of single-CpG DNAm, respectively. Receiver Operation Characteristics (ROC) for Case-Control Discrimination showed a significant increase in MPM discrimination when DNAm information was added in the model (baseline model, BM: asbestos exposure, age, gender and white blood cells); area under the curve, AUC = 0.75; BM + cg03546163 at FKBP5. AUC = 0.89, 2.1 × 10-7; BM + cg06633438 at MLLT1. AUC = 0.89, 6.3 × 10-8. Validation and replication procedures, considering independent sample size and a different DNAm analysis technique, confirmed the observed associations. Our results suggest the potential application of DNAm profiles in blood to develop noninvasive tests for MPM risk assessment in asbestos-exposed subjects.

RevDate: 2021-06-15

Rossi G, Davoli F, Poletti V, et al (2021)

When the Diagnosis of Mesothelioma Challenges Textbooks and Guidelines.

Journal of clinical medicine, 10(11):.

The diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma (MPM) does not pose difficulties when presenting with usual clinico-radiologic features and morphology. Pathology textbooks and national/international guidelines generally describe the findings of classic MPM, underlining common clinical presentation, the gold standard of sampling techniques, usual morphologic variants, immunohistochemical results of several positive and negative primary antibodies in the differential diagnosis, and the role of novel molecular markers. Nevertheless, MPM often does not follow the golden rules in routine practice, while the literature generally does not sufficiently emphasize unusual features of its manifestation. This gap may potentially create problems for patients in sustaining a difficult diagnosis of MPM in clinical practice and during legal disputes. Indeed, the guidelines accidentally tend to favor the job of lawyers and pathologists defending asbestos-producing industries against patients suffering from MPM characterized by uncommon features. The current review is aimed at underlining the wide spectrum of clinical and radiological presentation of MPM, the possibility to consistently use cytology for diagnostic intent, the aberrant immunohistochemical expression using so-called specific negative and positive primary antibodies, and finally proposing some alternative and more unbiased approaches to the diagnosis of MPM.

RevDate: 2021-06-24
CmpDate: 2021-06-24

Lee KM, Godderis L, Furuya S, et al (2021)

Comparison of Asbestos Victim Relief Available Outside of Conventional Occupational Compensation Schemes.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(10):.

The asbestos victim relief schemes were introduced to resolve the issue of victims of asbestos-related diseases not receiving compensation through conventional legal orders. This article seeks to derive the differences and commonalities of various asbestos victim relief schemes available outside of the conventional occupational compensation system along with a systematic understanding and to propose plans for improvement through a comparative study. After the degree of asbestos exposure, the population, and the period of implementation were corrected, the recognized claims of the total of conventional occupational compensation schemes and the asbestos victim relief schemes could be ranked in the order of South Korea (KOR) (1867, total), France (FRA) (1571), Japan (JPN) (966), KOR (847, asbestosis grade 2,3 excluded), the United Kingdom (GBR) (670), and the Netherlands (NLD) (95). The average amount of compensation per person, in the case of mesothelioma, was higher in the order of FRA (4.60 times), KOR (1.46 times), GBR (1.03 times), and NLD (0.73 times) of the median income per year. The differences between countries were largely caused by the purpose of institutional design and influenced by the level of qualification, the existence of an expiration date, type of disease, type of benefit, level of judgment criteria, the existence of a procedure for appeals, and recognition rate (GBR: 102%, FRA: 84%, NLD: 81%, JPN: 76%, KOR: 73%, and BEL: 54%). Based on this analysis, suggestions could be made regarding the expansion of disease types, benefit types, and the overall review of judgment criteria.

RevDate: 2021-06-05

Vimercati L, Cavone D, Delfino MC, et al (2021)

Primary Ovarian Mesothelioma: A Case Series with Electron Microscopy Examination and Review of the Literature.

Cancers, 13(9):.

Primary ovarian mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive neoplastic disease with a poor prognosis. At onset, the tumor is only rarely limited to the ovaries and usually already widespread in the peritoneum. The rarity of this entity and the difficulties differentiating it from either ovarian carcinoma or peritoneal mesothelioma may lead to frequent misdiagnoses and may raise some concerns about its histogenesis. Thus, reporting such rare cases is fundamental to gain greater awareness of this neoplasm and try to answer unsolved questions. Herein, we described four cases of histological diagnoses of ovarian mesothelioma extrapolated by the regional mesothelioma register of Apulia (southern Italy). In all cases, a detailed medical history was collected according to national mesothelioma register guidelines. A broad panel of antibodies was used for immunohistochemistry to confirm the diagnoses. Moreover, ovarian tissue samples were also examined by transmission and scanning electron microscopy, detecting asbestos fibers and talc crystals in two cases. Because of the few cases described, we reviewed the English literature in the Medline database, focusing on articles about ovarian mesothelioma "misclassification", "misdiagnosis", "diagnostic challenge" or "diagnostic pitfall" and on unsolved questions about its histogenesis and possible risk factors.

RevDate: 2021-06-05

Anobile DP, Bironzo P, Picca F, et al (2021)

Evaluation of the Preclinical Efficacy of Lurbinectedin in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.

Cancers, 13(10):.

BACKGROUND: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a highly aggressive cancer generally diagnosed at an advanced stage and characterized by a poor prognosis. The absence of alterations in druggable kinases, together with an immune-suppressive tumor microenvironment, limits the use of molecular targeted therapies, making the treatment of MPM particularly challenging. Here we investigated the in vitro susceptibility of MPM to lurbinectedin (PM01183), a marine-derived drug that recently received accelerated approval by the FDA for the treatment of patients with metastatic small cell lung cancer with disease progression on or after platinum-based chemotherapy.

METHODS: A panel of primary MPM cultures, resembling the three major MPM histological subtypes (epithelioid, sarcomatoid, and biphasic), was characterized in terms of BAP1 status and histological markers. Subsequently, we explored the effects of lurbinectedin at nanomolar concentration on cell cycle, cell viability, DNA damage, genotoxic stress response, and proliferation.

RESULTS: Stabilized MPM cultures exhibited high sensitivity to lurbinectedin independently from the BAP1 mutational status and histological classification. Specifically, we observed that lurbinectedin rapidly promoted a cell cycle arrest in the S-phase and the activation of the DNA damage response, two conditions that invariably resulted in an irreversible DNA fragmentation, together with strong apoptotic cell death. Moreover, the analysis of long-term treatment indicated that lurbinectedin severely impacts MPM transforming abilities in vitro.

CONCLUSION: Overall, our data provide evidence that lurbinectedin exerts a potent antitumoral activity on primary MPM cells, independently from both the histological subtype and BAP1 alteration, suggesting its potential activity in the treatment of MPM patients.

RevDate: 2021-06-08

Ierardi AM, Mathis C, Urban A, et al (2021)

Potential airborne asbestos exposures in dentistry: a comprehensive review and risk assessment.

Critical reviews in toxicology, 51(4):301-327.

Chrysotile was formerly used in the manufacture of casting ring liner (CRL) and periodontal dressing powder (PDP). The purpose of this study was to describe the potential for airborne asbestos exposure among dental professionals who may have used these products and to assess their risk of asbestos-related disease (ARD). Task-specific exposure data associated with CRL and PDP were identified and compared to regulatory standards for asbestos and health-based benchmarks. Personal airborne fiber concentrations ranged from 0.008-3.5 f/cc by PCM (duration: 3-420 minutes) for CRL (tearing, placement), and from <0.0044-<0.297 f/cc by PCM (duration: 5-28 minutes) for PDP (mixing). Eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA) exposures were calculated using the reported task-based airborne fiber concentrations and associated sampling durations. For CRL tasks, the upper-bound calculated 8-hour TWA of 0.022 f/cc (tearing, placement) did not exceed regulatory standards for asbestos (≥0.1 f/cc). All samples collected during the mixing of PDP resulted in non-measurable fiber concentrations. The greatest estimated cumulative asbestos exposure for dental professionals using CRL (tearing, placement) of 0.33 f/cc-years is well below "best estimate", published chrysotile no-observed-adverse-effect-levels (NOAEL) for ARD (lung cancer = 89-168 f/cc-years; pleural mesothelioma = 208-415 f/cc-years). As such, the use of asbestos-containing CRL and/or PDP is not expected to pose an increased risk of ARD among dental professionals. This conclusion is consistent with the lack of an increased risk of ARD reported in epidemiological studies of these occupations.

RevDate: 2021-06-30
CmpDate: 2021-06-30

Haakensen VD, Nowak AK, Ellingsen EB, et al (2021)

NIPU: a randomised, open-label, phase II study evaluating nivolumab and ipilimumab combined with UV1 vaccination as second line treatment in patients with malignant mesothelioma.

Journal of translational medicine, 19(1):232.

BACKGROUND: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare and aggressive tumour. For patients with inoperable disease, few treatment options are available after first line chemotherapy. The combination of ipilimumab and nivolumab has recently shown increased survival compared to standard chemotherapy, but most patients do not respond and improvements are called for. Telomerase is expressed in mesothelioma cells, but only sparsely in normal tissues and is therefore an attractive target for therapeutic vaccination. Vaccination against telomerase is tolerable and has shown to induce immune responses associated with increased survival in other cancer types. There is a well-founded scientific rationale for the combination of a telomerase vaccine and checkpoint inhibition to improve treatment response in MPM patients.

METHODS: NIPU is a randomized, multi-centre, open-label, phase II study comparing the efficacy and safety of nivolumab and ipilimumab with or without telomerase vaccine in patients with inoperable malignant pleural mesothelioma after first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. Participants (n = 118) are randomized 1:1 into two treatment arms. All participants receive treatment with nivolumab (240 mg every 2 weeks) and ipilimumab (1 mg/kg every 6 weeks) until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity or for a maximum of 2 years. Patients randomised to the experimental arm receive 8 intradermal injections of UV1 vaccine during the first three months of treatment. Tumour tissue, blood, urine, faeces and imaging will be collected for biomarker analyses and exploration of mechanisms for response and resistance to therapy.

DISCUSSION: Checkpoint inhibition is used for treatment of mesothelioma, but many patients still do not respond. Increasing therapy response to immunotherapy is an important goal. Possible approaches include combination with chemotherapy, radiotherapy, targeted therapy and other immunotherapeutic agents. Predictive biomarkers are necessary to ensure optimal treatment for each patient and to prevent unnecessary side effects. This trial seeks to improve treatment response by combining checkpoint inhibition with a telomerase vaccine and also to explore mechanisms for treatment response and resistance. Knowledge gained in the NIPU study may be transferred to the first line setting and to other cancers with limited benefit from immunotherapy.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT04300244, registered March 8th, 2020, .

RevDate: 2021-07-06

Scarselli A, Marinaccio A, S Iavicoli (2021)

Ophiolitic outcrops, naturally occurring asbestos exposure and mortality risk from malignant mesothelioma in Calabria (Southern Italy).

Public health, 195:57-60.

OBJECTIVES: Naturally occurring asbestos from ophiolitic outcrops can pose a health risk to the resident population. Some studies have documented this risk of exposure in many areas around the world. The aim of the study is to estimate the possible impact on health caused by asbestos outcrops present in some areas of Calabria, a region of southern Italy.

STUDY DESIGN: The design of the study is observational and uses routinely collected data on employment, compensations and mortality.

METHODS: Data from archives of mortality in the period 2005-2015 were selected. Standardized mortality ratio (SMR) for malignant mesothelioma (MM) by municipalities of residence with reference to the regional population was estimated assuming a Poisson distribution of the data. Administrative archives of companies' employment records and occupational disease compensation data were used to exclude occupational origin cases.

RESULTS: A total of 163 cases of MM were identified. Statistically significant excess risks (P-value <0.05) were observed for several municipalities, some of which were located in areas where asbestos outcrops had previously been identified. Significant SMRs vary between 44.0 and 5.2. The mean age at death in the areas at risk of ophiolitic outcrops ranges from 65.4 to 77.1 years, and the gender ratio (male/female) ranges from 0.66 to 1.3.

CONCLUSIONS: Monitoring of areas most involved in the risk of environmental contamination from ophiolitic outcrops is highly suggested. Full implementation of the local MM surveillance system is strongly encouraged. Further investigations are recommended to specifically identify the cause of exposure and confirm the hypothesis of a causal association with asbestos naturally occurring in these risk areas.

RevDate: 2021-05-28

Thomas A, Karakattu S, Cagle J, et al (2021)

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Epidemiology in the United States From 2000 to 2016.

Cureus, 13(4):e14605.

Introduction Pleural mesothelioma constitutes about 80% of all mesotheliomas. The peak incidence of malignant mesothelioma estimated using the cancer registries was in early 1990 to 2000 in the United States. The disease is primarily associated with asbestos exposure. The latency period between asbestos exposure and the development of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) can range anywhere from 15 to 60 years. Asbestos exposure was peaked during the industrial revolution and World War II due to military and shipyard exposures. It is often difficult for the pathologist to distinguish different histological subtypes; due to the disease's rarity and the inadequate tissue sample obtained. There is no available data on the difference in epidemiology of different subtypes of MPM. Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER), cancer incidence data include population-based registries covering approximately 34.6% of the U.S. population. Here in our study, we analyze malignant pleural mesothelioma epidemiology in the United States, emphasizing different histological subtypes. Methods SEER data from 2000 to 2016 was used in our study. The primary site of cancer is selected as pleura, and malignant behavior only is selected as the filter. Data were analyzed using the SEER stat program. Overall epidemiology of MPM and epidemiology of epithelioid, fibrous, and biphasic histological subtypes were analyzed separately. We used annual percentage change (APC) to evaluate the trend in the epidemiology of MPM. Results summary A total of 11,857 cases of MPM were included in the primary cohort from the SEER 18 registry from 2000 to 2016. The total prevalence of MPM was highest in 2009 and was lowest in 2016. The APC in MPM incidence during this period is -2.0. After removing 5,989 cases with non-specified histology during the same period, the APC for each histological type is -0.7 for fibrous type, 1.8 for epithelioid type, and 2.9 for biphasic type. Out of 17 regional registries included in the study, the greatest statistically significant change in APC was seen in the Hawaiian registry -4.1. In contrast, the lowest statistically significant difference was seen in Seattle (Puget Sound) registry -1.7. The APC in the incidence of MPM among males during the study period was -2.4 while that of females was -0.9. The Iowa registry showed a statistically significant increase in APC of the epithelioid malignant mesothelioma with a statistically insignificant reduction in the overall MPM APC. Conclusion The overall incidence of MPM in the United States is declining, while the data showed an increase in the incidence of epithelioid and biphasic histological subtypes. The authors believe that these conflicting results can be attributed to improved histological diagnosis and improved biopsy techniques.

RevDate: 2021-06-16

Baur X, Frank AL, Soskolne CL, et al (2021)

Malignant mesothelioma: Ongoing controversies about its etiology in females.

American journal of industrial medicine, 64(7):543-550.

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is one of the most aggressive cancers with the poorest of outcomes. There is no doubt that mesothelioma in males is related to asbestos exposure, but some authors suggest that most of the cases diagnosed in females are "idiopathic." In our assessment of the science, the "low risk" of mesothelioma in females is because of the nonsystematic recording of exposure histories among females. Indeed, asbestos exposure is mentioned in only some of the studies that include females. We estimate the risk of MM among females to be close to that in males. The absence of detailed exposure histories should be rectified in future studies involving ​women. As a matter of social justice, the ongoing failure to recognize asbestos as the cause of a majority of cases of MM in females does them, and their kin, a profound disservice.

RevDate: 2021-06-15

Louw A, Lee YCG, Acott N, et al (2021)

Diagnostic utility of BAP1 for malignant pleural mesothelioma in pleural fluid specimens with atypical morphology.

Cytopathology : official journal of the British Society for Clinical Cytology [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: To assess the utility of BRCA1-associated protein 1 (BAP1) immunohistochemistry (IHC) for the diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) in fluid samples with atypical cytology.

METHODS: Pleural fluid samples with an atypical mesothelial proliferation (diagnostic categories: 'atypical' and 'suspicious') received between January 2015 and March 2018 at a tertiary referral centre were identified. Results of routine IHC testing were recorded for each case. BAP1 by IHC was performed and a final diagnosis sought from subsequent pathology specimens, medical records, or consensus clinical diagnosis.

RESULTS: Of 50 cases identified, 41 were reported as atypical and 9 as suspicious. Seven (14%) demonstrated loss of BAP1 staining, 40 retained BAP1 staining, 1 had heterogeneous staining, and 2 had insufficient cells for analysis. All seven cases with BAP1 loss were diagnosed with MPM on follow-up. Of those with retained BAP1, 52.5% (21) were subsequently diagnosed with MPM, while 40% (16) had non-MPM diagnoses after a median follow-up of 24 months. Three cases were not further investigated based on patient and clinician decision. The case with heterogeneous staining was diagnosed as mesothelioma by clinical consensus.

CONCLUSIONS: BAP1 IHC loss is highly specific for malignancy and has value as a rule-in test. Even in a tertiary centre with clinical interest in the cytological diagnosis of MPM this investigation was able to increase diagnostic accuracy beyond routine IHC studies. Cytological criteria remain valuable, as retained BAP1 in an atypical or suspicious mesothelial proliferation cannot exclude malignancy.

RevDate: 2021-05-22

Schumann SO, Kocher G, F Minervini (2021)

Epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of the malignant pleural mesothelioma, a narrative review of literature.

Journal of thoracic disease, 13(4):2510-2523.

The malignant pleural mesothelioma is a very aggressive tumor which is arising from mesothelial cells and is associated with asbestos exposure. It is a heterogeneous cancer that shows a complex pattern of molecular changes, including genetic, chromosomic, and epigenetic abnormalities. The malignant pleural mesothelioma is characterized by a silent and slow clinical progression with an average period of 20-40 years from the asbestos exposure phase to the start of the symptoms. Unfortunately, to date, the therapeutic options are very limited, especially if the tumor is detected late. This narrative review provides an extended overview of the present evidence in the literature regarding the epidemiology, diagnostic pathways and treatment approaches of the malignant pleural mesothelioma. The treatment of mesothelioma has evolved slowly over the last 20 years not only from a surgical point of view but also radiotherapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy play nowadays a key role. Several surgical strategies are available ranging from extrapleural pneumonectomy to cytoreductive surgery but a multidisciplinary approach seems to be mandatory because a single approach has not proved to date to be resolutive. New non-surgical treatment options appear to be promising but the results have to be taken in account with caution because clear evidence with high-quality studies is still lacking.

RevDate: 2021-05-19

Cheung M, Kadariya Y, Sementino E, et al (2021)

Novel LRRK2 mutations and other rare, non-BAP1-related candidate tumor predisposition gene variants in high-risk cancer families with mesothelioma and other tumors.

Human molecular genetics pii:6277787 [Epub ahead of print].

There is irrefutable evidence that germline BAP1 mutations contribute to malignant mesothelioma (MM) susceptibility. However, BAP1 mutations are not found in all cases with evidence of familial MM or in other high-risk cancer families affected by various cancers, including MM. The goal of this study was to use whole genome sequencing (WGS) to determine the frequency and types of germline gene variants occurring in 12 MM patients selected from a series of 141 asbestos-exposed MM patients with a family history of cancer but without a germline BAP1 mutation. WGS was also performed on 2 MM cases, a proband and sibling, from a previously reported family with multiple cases of MM without inheritance of a predisposing BAP1 mutation. Altogether, germline DNA sequencing variants were identified in 20 cancer-related genes in 10 of the 13 probands. Germline indel, splice site, and missense mutations and two large deletions were identified. Among the 13 MM index cases, 6 (46%) exhibited one or more predicted pathogenic mutations. Affected genes encode proteins involved in DNA repair (ATM, ATR, BRCA2, BRIP1, CHEK2, MLH3, MUTYH, POLE, POLE4, POLQ, XRCC1), chromatin modification (ARID1B, DNMT3A, JARID2, SETD1B) or other cellular pathways: LRRK2 (2 cases) and MSH4. Notably, somatic truncating mutation or deletions of LRRK2 were occasionally found in MMs in The Cancer Genome Atlas, and expression of LRRK2 was undetectable or downregulated in a majority of primary MMs and MM cell lines we examined, implying that loss of LRRK2 expression is a newly recognized tumor suppressor alteration in MM.

RevDate: 2021-05-31
CmpDate: 2021-05-31

Wilk E, M Krówczyńska (2021)

Malignant mesothelioma and asbestos exposure in Europe: Evidence of spatial clustering.

Geospatial health, 16(1):.

Exposure to asbestos causes a wide range of diseases, such as asbestosis, malignant mesothelioma (MM) and other types of cancer. Many European countries have reduced production and use of asbestos and some have banned it altogether. Based on data derived from the World Health Organisation (WHO) Cancer Mortality Database, we investigated whether some regions in Europe could have a higher relative risk of MM incidence than others. The data were compared, including the number of MM deaths per million inhabitants and aged-standardized mortality rates. Applying Moran's I and Getis-Ord Gi statistic on the agedstandardized mortality rates of MM cases assisted the spatial analysis of the occurrence of health events leading to an assessment of the heterogeneity of distribution and cluster detection of MM. We found a statistically significant positive autocorrelation for the male population and also the general population, while there was no statistically significant positive one for the female population. Hotspots of relative risk of developing MM were found in northwestern Europe. For the general population, Great Britain and the Netherlands stood out with high levels at the 99% and 95% confidence levels, respectively. For the male population, the results were similar, but with addition of risk also in Belgium and Switzerland. However, in many European countries with high asbestos use per capita, the MM incidence was found to still be low. The reasons for this are not yet clear, but part of the problem is certainly due to incomplete data in registers and databases. The latency time can be longer than 40 years and is related to the intensity and time of exposure (occupational, para-occupational and environmental). In Europe, even though peak production occurred in the 1960s and 1970s, a significant decrease in production did not occur until 25 years later, which means that the impact will continue for as late as The mid 2030s.

RevDate: 2021-05-17

Tanrıverdi Z, Meteroglu F, Yüce H, et al (2021)

The usefulness of biomarkers in diagnosis of asbestos-induced malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Human & experimental toxicology [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a malignant tumor that is associated mostly with asbestos exposure. The present study was to evaluates the diagnostic value of neopterin, periostin, YKL-40, Tenascin-C (TNC), and Indolamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) as noninvasive markers of malign pleural mesothelioma.

METHODS: Included in the study were 30 patients diagnosed with malign pleural mesothelioma, and 25 people as a control group. Biomarker levels were determined using an enzyme immunoassay . A Mann-Whitney U test and Spearman correlation methods were used for the statistical analysis.

RESULTS: All evaluated biomarkers were found to be significantly higher in the MPM group than in the control group (p < 0.05). There was no effect of such variables as gender, age or MPMsubtype on the parameters (p > 0.05) in the patient group. All biomarkers were positively correlated with each other (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: The current non-invasive biomarkers that can be used in the diagnosis of MPM yielded significant results and can make important contributions to the early diagnosis of MPM.

RevDate: 2021-05-10

Zhou N, Rice DC, Tsao AS, et al (2021)

Extrapleural Pneumonectomy versus Pleurectomy/Decortication for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.

The Annals of thoracic surgery pii:S0003-4975(21)00846-8 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Whether extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) or extended pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) is the optimal resection for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) remains controversial. We therefore compared perioperative outcomes and long-term survival of patients who underwent EPP vs P/D.

METHODS: Patients with the diagnosis of MPM who underwent either EPP or P/D from 2000 to 2019 were identified from our departmental database. Propensity score matching was performed to minimize potential confounders for EPP or P/D. Survival analysis was performed by the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox multivariable analysis.

RESULTS: Of 282 patients, 187 (66%) underwent EPP and 95 (34%) P/D. Even with propensity score matching, perioperative mortality was significantly higher for EPP than for P/D (11% vs. 0%; P=0.031), when adjusted for perioperative mortality, median overall survival between EPP and P/D was 15 vs. 22 months, respectively (P=0.276). Cox multivariable analysis for the matched cohort identified epithelioid histology (hazard ratio [HR], 0.56; P=0.029), macroscopic complete resection (HR, 0.41; P=0.004), adjuvant radiation therapy (HR, 0.57; P=0.019), and more recent operative years (HR, 0.93; P=0.011)-but not P/D-to be associated with better survival. Asbestos exposure (HR, 2.35; P=0.003) and pathological nodal disease (HR, 1.61; P=0.048) were associated with worse survival.

CONCLUSIONS: In a multimodality treatment setting, P/D and EPP had comparable long-term oncological outcomes, although P/D had much lower perioperative mortality. The goal of surgical cytoreduction should be macroscopic complete resection achieved by the safest operation a patient can tolerate.

RevDate: 2021-05-08

Arrieta O, Muñoz-Montaño W, Muñiz-Hernández S, et al (2021)

Efficacy, Safety, and Cost-Minimization Analysis of Continuous Infusion of Low-Dose Gemcitabine Plus Cisplatin in Patients With Unresectable Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.

Frontiers in oncology, 11:641975.

Background: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is rare and aggressive neoplasia, with a poor prognosis; furthermore, the monetary cost of its treatment represents a major challenge for many patients. The economic burden this malignancy imposes is underscored by the fact that asbestos exposure, which is the most frequent risk factor, is much more prevalent in the lower socioeconomic population of developing countries. The aims of the present study were to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and cost of continuous infusion of low-dose Gemcitabine plus Cisplatin (CIGC) as a treatment strategy for patients with unresectable MPM.

Methods: We performed a prospective cohort study to determine efficacy and safety of continuous infusion gemcitabine at a dose of 250 mg/m2 in a 6-h continuous infusion plus cisplatin 35 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8 of a 21-day cycle in patients with unresectable MPM. We also performed a cost-minimization analysis to determine if this chemotherapy regimen is less expensive than other currently used regimens.

Results: The median number of chemotherapy cycles was six (range 1-11 cycles); objective response rate was documented in 46.2%, and disease control rate was seen in 81.2%. Median PFS was 8.05 months (CI 95% 6.97-9.13); median OS was 16.16 months (CI 95% 12.5-19.9). The cost minimization analysis revealed savings of 66.4, 61.9, and 97.7% comparing CIGC with short-infusion gemcitabine plus cisplatin (SIGC), cisplatin plus pemetrexed (CP), and cisplatin plus pemetrexed and bevacizumab (CPB), respectively. Furthermore, this chemotherapy regimen proved to be safe at the administered dosage.

Conclusion: CIGC is an effective and safe treatment option for patients with unresectable MPM; besides, this combination is a cost-saving option when compared with other frequently used chemotherapy schemes. Therefore, this treatment scheme should be strongly considered for patients with unresectable MPM and limited economic resources.

RevDate: 2021-05-09

Gray SG (2021)

Emerging avenues in immunotherapy for the management of malignant pleural mesothelioma.

BMC pulmonary medicine, 21(1):148.

BACKGROUND: The role of immunotherapy in cancer is now well-established, and therapeutic options such as checkpoint inhibitors are increasingly being approved in many cancers such as non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare orphan disease associated with prior exposure to asbestos, with a dismal prognosis. Evidence from clinical trials of checkpoint inhibitors in this rare disease, suggest that such therapies may play a role as a treatment option for a proportion of patients with this cancer.

MAIN TEXT: While the majority of studies currently focus on the established checkpoint inhibitors (CTLA4 and PD1/PDL1), there are many other potential checkpoints that could also be targeted. In this review I provide a synopsis of current clinical trials of immunotherapies in MPM, explore potential candidate new avenues that may become future targets for immunotherapy and discuss aspects of immunotherapy that may affect the clinical outcomes of such therapies in this cancer.

CONCLUSIONS: The current situation regarding checkpoint inhibitors in the management of MPM whilst encouraging, despite impressive durable responses, immune checkpoint inhibitors do not provide a long-term benefit to the majority of patients with cancer. Additional studies are therefore required to further delineate and improve our understanding of both checkpoint inhibitors and the immune system in MPM. Moreover, many new potential checkpoints have yet to be studied for their therapeutic potential in MPM. All these plus the existing checkpoint inhibitors will require the development of new biomarkers for patient stratification, response and also for predicting or monitoring the emergence of resistance to these agents in MPM patients. Other potential therapeutic avenues such CAR-T therapy or treatments like oncolytic viruses or agents that target the interferon pathway designed to recruit more immune cells to the tumor also hold great promise in this hard to treat cancer.

RevDate: 2021-05-04

Aigner C, Brüning T, Eberhardt WEE, et al (2021)

[The Current Therapy of Asbestos-Associated Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma - An Expert Consensus Paper].

Pneumologie (Stuttgart, Germany) [Epub ahead of print].

Asbestos-related mesotheliomas belong to the group of the most frequent occupational diseases in Germany, reaching about 1,000 new cases per year. The disease has a dismal prognosis because most tumors remain asymptomatic for a long time and therefore are diagnosed as incidental findings at later stages.During the last decade the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) has made considerable efforts to prepone the diagnosis in order to detect the disease at earliest possible stages. These efforts resulted in new findings showing that, in a high-risk group, a combination of the biomarkers calretinin and mesothelin was able to advance the diagnosis up to 12 months.Ideally, the diagnosis of a mesothelioma at an early stage has to be accompanied by the best possible individualized therapy. Standard therapeutic strategies are surgery and chemotherapy, added by radiotherapy and psycho-oncology. In recent years, several new therapeutic avenues are being explored. This review comprehensively presents both old and new therapeutic options in mesothelioma, based on international Leitlinien and new studies.

RevDate: 2021-06-21

Ejegi-Memeh S, Robertson S, Taylor B, et al (2021)

Gender and the experiences of living with mesothelioma: A thematic analysis.

European journal of oncology nursing : the official journal of European Oncology Nursing Society, 52:101966.

PURPOSE: Mesothelioma is a terminal cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. As a cancer with a higher rate in men than women, women's experiences of living with mesothelioma are often underexplored. Furthermore, men's experiences are often taken for granted and therefore have remained underexplored. This paper considers men's and women's experiences across the mesothelioma pathway.

METHODS: This qualitative study incorporated semi-structured interviews with 13 men and 11 women living with mesothelioma. Telephone interviews took place between July and December 2019, and were audio recorded, transcribed and anonymised. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.

RESULTS: Three themes were developed in relation to the gendered experience of mesothelioma: familial responsibility and social perceptions; support preferences; and treatment and trials. Analysis suggests that men and women's sense of familial responsibility varied. Differences in priorities and motivations influenced approaches to seeking support, compensation and, making decisions around treatments and clinical trials.

CONCLUSIONS: The current study reports on how gender can influence the experience of living with mesothelioma. The findings indicate how the patients' role in their families and society can more broadly influence their experiences, choices and preferences. Nurses caring for mesothelioma patients need high quality research on which to base their practice. Recognition and an understanding of the underlyingfactors influencing patients' decision-making will enable nurses and other professionals to support their patients better.

RevDate: 2021-06-09

Davis AP, Kao SC, Clarke SJ, et al (2021)

Emerging biological therapies for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Expert opinion on emerging drugs, 26(2):179-192.

Introduction: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) has limited treatment options with minimal new therapy approvals for unresectable disease in the past 15 years. However, considerable work has occurred to develop immunotherapies and biomarker driven therapy to improve patient outcomes over this period.Areas covered: This review examines current standard of care systemic therapy in the first- and second line setting. The last 12 months has seen 2 significant trials (Checkmate 743 and CONFIRM) which provide evidence supporting the role of immunotherapy in the management of MPM. Further trials are underway to assess the role of combination chemoimmunotherapy and personalized therapy. Additionally, a large number of clinical trials are ongoing to assess the efficacy of oncoviral, dendritic cell, anti-mesothelin and chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy in the treatment of MPM.Expert opinion: Recent Phase III trial results have established a role for immunotherapy in the management of MPM. The optimal sequencing and combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy remains to be determined. Novel therapies for MPM are promising however efficacy remains to be determined and issues remain regarding access to and delivery of these therapies.

RevDate: 2021-05-02

Muralidhar V (2021)

An unusual presentation of acute abdomen: infarcted peritoneal cyst-a probable asbestos-related benign cystic mesothelioma.

Journal of surgical case reports, 2021(4):rjab129.

This is a report of a rare case of an infarcted pelvic intra-abdominal cyst, having no mesenteric connection presenting as an acute abdomen. The patient had significant asbestos exposure. The cyst was treated successfully by surgical excision. Histopathology showed an infarcted cyst; the lining was destroyed, precluding marker studies. A diagnosis of benign cystic peritoneal mesothelioma (BCPM) was made by excluding other causes of solitary pelvic intra-abdominal cysts. BCPM has been classified as an asbestos-related neoplasm and is usually seen in the pelvis adjunct to the urinary bladder. One-year post-surgery, there was no recurrence. The case report shows that infarcted pelvic mesothelial cysts can present as an acute abdomen and can be treated successfully by total excision with no recurrence.

RevDate: 2021-05-02

Brcic L, Mathilakathu A, Walter RFH, et al (2021)

Digital Gene Expression Analysis of Epithelioid and Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma Reveals Differences in Immunogenicity.

Cancers, 13(8):.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive malignancy associated with asbestos exposure. Median survival ranges from 14 to 20 months after initial diagnosis. As of November 2020, the FDA approved a combination of immune checkpoint inhibitors after promising intermediate results. Nonetheless, responses remain unsatisfying. Adequate patient stratification to improve response rates is still lacking. This retrospective study analyzed formalin fixed paraffin embedded specimens from a cohort of 22 MPM. Twelve of those samples showed sarcomatoid, ten epithelioid differentiation. Complete follow-up, including radiological assessment of response by modRECIST and time to death, was available with reported deaths of all patients. RNA of all samples was isolated and subjected to digital gene expression pattern analysis. Our study revealed a notable difference between epithelioid and sarcomatoid mesothelioma, showing differential gene expression for 304/698 expressed genes. Whereas antigen processing and presentation to resident cytotoxic T cells as well as phagocytosis is highly affected in sarcomatoid mesothelioma, cell-cell interaction via cytokines seems to be of greater importance in epithelioid cases. Our work reveals the specific role of the immune system within the different histologic subtypes of MPM, providing a more detailed background of their immunogenic potential. This is of great interest regarding therapeutic strategies including immunotherapy in mesothelioma.

RevDate: 2021-04-30
CmpDate: 2021-04-30

Li N, Wang D, Chen ZJ, et al (2021)

[Asbestos-induced malignant peritoneal mesothelioma complicated with lung cancer:a case report].

Zhonghua lao dong wei sheng zhi ye bing za zhi = Zhonghua laodong weisheng zhiyebing zazhi = Chinese journal of industrial hygiene and occupational diseases, 39(4):305-307.

Asbestos is harmful to human, and populations with occupational and environmental exposure to respirable asbestos fibers have higher risk of cancers like malignant mesothelioma and lung cancer. At present, patient with asbestos-induced malignant peritoneal mesothelioma and lung cancer is rare. In this study, we analyzed the clinical data of a case of asbestos-induced malignant peritoneal mesothelioma complicated with lung cancer to investigate the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

RevDate: 2021-05-05
CmpDate: 2021-05-05

Ouafki I, Nouiakh L, Boujarnija R, et al (2021)

[Malignant mesothelioma of the ovary: a case report].

The Pan African medical journal, 38:92.

Primary malignant mesothelioma of the ovary (PMMO) is an extremely rare tumor which can develop from mesothelial cells. This neoplasia is caused predominantly by exposure to asbestos or other cancer-causing agents. Preoperative assessment, based on computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography, is essential for cancer staging. Anatomopathological diagnosis is based on immunohistochemical findings. PMMO is an exceptional disease involving a multidisciplinary therapeutic strategy including the use of chemotherapy which improves the management and prognosis of patients. This study reports the case of a female patient undergoing suboptimal surgery complemented by adjuvant chemotherapy with complete radiological response and 1-year disease-free survival.

RevDate: 2021-04-23
CmpDate: 2021-04-23

Kumagai-Takei N, Nishimura Y, Matsuzaki H, et al (2021)

Effect of IL-15 addition on asbestos-induced suppression of human cytotoxic T lymphocyte induction.

Environmental health and preventive medicine, 26(1):50.

BACKGROUND: Asbestos fibers possess tumorigenicity and are thought to cause mesothelioma. We have previously reported that exposure to asbestos fibers causes a reduction in antitumor immunity. Asbestos exposure in the mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) showed suppressed induction of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), accompanied by a decrease in proliferation of CD8+ T cells. Recently, we reported that asbestos-induced suppression of CTL induction is not due to insufficient levels of interleukin-2 (IL-2). In this study, we continue to investigate the mechanism responsible for the effect of asbestos fibers on the differentiation of CTLs and focus on interleukin-15 (IL-15) which is known to be a regulator of T lymphocyte proliferation.

METHODS: For MLR, human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were cultured with irradiated allogenic PBMCs upon exposure to chrysotile B asbestos at 5 μg/ml for 7 days. After 2 days of culture, IL-15 was added at 1 ng/ml. After 7 days of MLR, PBMCs were collected and analyzed for phenotypic and functional markers of CD8+ T cells with fluorescence-labeled anti-CD3, anti-CD8, anti-CD45RA, anti-CD45RO, anti-CD25, and anti-granzyme B antibodies using flow cytometry. To examine the effect of IL-15 on the expression level of intracellular granzyme B in proliferating and non-proliferating CD8+ lymphocytes, PBMCs were stained using carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFSE) and then washed and used for the MLR.

RESULTS: IL-15 addition partially reversed the decrease in CD3+CD8+ cell numbers and facilitated complete recovery of granzyme B+ cell percentages. IL-15 completely reversed the asbestos-induced decrease in percentage of granzyme B+ cells in both non-proliferating CFSE-positive and proliferating CFSE-negative CD8+ cells. The asbestos-induced decrease in the percentage of CD25+ and CD45RO+ cells in CD8+ lymphocytes was not reversed by IL-15.

CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that CTLs induced upon exposure to asbestos possess dysfunctional machinery that can be partly compensated by IL-15 supplementation, and that IL-15 is more effective in the recovery of proliferation and granzyme B levels from asbestos-induced suppression of CTL induction compared with IL-2.

RevDate: 2021-06-10

Ezeka G, Adhikary G, Kandasamy S, et al (2021)

Sulforaphane inhibits PRMT5 and MEP50 function to suppress the mesothelioma cancer cell phenotype.

Molecular carcinogenesis, 60(7):429-439.

Mesothelioma is a highly aggressive cancer of the mesothelial lining that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Surgical resection followed by chemotherapy is the current treatment strategy, but this is marginally successful and leads to drug-resistant disease. We are interested in factors that maintain the aggressive mesothelioma cancer phenotype as therapy targets. Protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) functions in concert with the methylosome protein 50 (MEP50) cofactor to catalyze symmetric dimethylation of key arginine resides in histones 3 and 4 which modifies the chromatin environment to alter tumor suppressor and oncogene expression and enhance cancer cell survival. Our studies show that PRMT5 or MEP50 loss reduces H4R3me2s formation and that this is associated with reduced cancer cell spheroid formation, invasion, and migration. Treatment with sulforaphane (SFN), a diet-derived anticancer agent, reduces PRMT5/MEP50 level and H4R3me2s formation and suppresses the cancer phenotype. We further show that SFN treatment reduces PRMT5 and MEP50 levels and that this reduction is required for SFN suppression of the cancer phenotype. SFN treatment also reduces tumor formation which is associated with reduced PRMT5/MEP50 expression and activity. These findings suggest that SFN may be a useful mesothelioma treatment agent that operates, at least in part, via suppression of PRMT5/MEP50 function.

RevDate: 2021-06-14

DeBono NL, Warden H, Logar-Henderson C, et al (2021)

Incidence of mesothelioma and asbestosis by occupation in a diverse workforce.

American journal of industrial medicine, 64(6):476-487.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to characterize detailed patterns of mesothelioma and asbestosis incidence in the workforce as part of an occupational disease surveillance program in Ontario, Canada.

METHODS: The Occupational Disease Surveillance System (ODSS) cohort was established using workers' compensation claims data and includes 2.18 million workers employed from 1983 to 2014. Workers were followed for mesothelioma and asbestosis diagnoses in Ontario Cancer Registry, physician, hospital, and ambulatory care records through 2016. Trends in incidence rates were estimated over the study period. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

RESULTS: A total of 854 mesothelioma and 737 asbestosis cases were diagnosed during follow-up. Compared with all other workers in the ODSS, those employed in construction trades occupations had the greatest adjusted incidence rate of both mesothelioma (223 cases; HR, 2.38; 95% CI: 2.03-2.78) and asbestosis (261 cases; HR, 3.64; 95% CI: 3.11-4.25). Rates were particularly elevated for insulators, pipefitters and plumbers, and carpenters. Workers in welding and flame cutting, boiler making, and mechanic and machinery repair occupations, as well as those in industrial chemical and primary metal manufacturing industries, had strongly elevated rates of both diseases. Rates were greater than anticipated for workers in electrical utility occupations and education and related services.

CONCLUSIONS: Results substantiate the risk of mesothelioma and asbestosis in occupation and industry groups in the Ontario workforce with known or suspected asbestos exposure. Sustained efforts to prevent the occurrence of additional cases of disease in high-risk groups are warranted.

RevDate: 2021-04-06

Mizuhashi K, Okamoto K, T Kishimoto (2021)

A patient with epithelioid pleural mesothelioma (Myxoid variant) who survived for a long period without treatment.

Respiratory medicine case reports, 33:101381.

Pleural mesothelioma is a disease with a very poor prognosis. Here, we report a mesothelioma patient who survived for 5 years and a half. As a result of the autopsy, the tumor was diagnosed as a myxoid variant, which is internationally proposed as a histological subtype of epithelioid mesothelioma with a relatively favorable prognosis. Since patients with this disease are expected to survive for a long period even without treatment, careful determination of the therapeutic approach is considered necessary. This report is considered to be the first of a myxoid variant epithelioid pleural mesothelioma in Japan.

RevDate: 2021-04-08

Barbarino M, A Giordano (2021)

Assessment of the Carcinogenicity of Carbon Nanotubes in the Respiratory System.

Cancers, 13(6):.

In 2014, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified the first type of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as possibly carcinogenic to humans, while in the case of other CNTs, it was not possible to ascertain their toxicity due to lack of evidence. Moreover, the physicochemical heterogeneity of this group of substances hamper any generalization on their toxicity. Here, we review the recent relevant toxicity studies produced after the IARC meeting in 2014 on an homogeneous group of CNTs, highlighting the molecular alterations that are relevant for the onset of mesothelioma. Methods: The literature was searched on PubMed and Web of Science for the period 2015-2020, using different combinations keywords. Only data on normal cells of the respiratory system after exposure to fully characterized CNTs for their physico-chemical characteristics were included. Recent studies indicate that CNTs induce a sustained inflammatory response, oxidative stress, fibrosis and histological alterations. The development of mesothelial hyperplasia, mesothelioma, and lungs tumors have been also described in vivo. The data support a strong inflammatory potential of CNTs, similar to that of asbestos, and provide evidence that CNTs exposure led to molecular alterations known to have a key role in mesothelioma onset. These evidences call for an urgent improvement of studies on exposed human populations and adequate systems for monitoring the health of workers exposed to this putative carcinogen.

RevDate: 2021-07-13

Lettieri S, Bortolotto C, Agustoni F, et al (2021)

The Evolving Landscape of the Molecular Epidemiology of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.

Journal of clinical medicine, 10(5):.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare and aggressive malignancy that most commonly affects the pleural lining of the lungs. It has a strong association with exposure to biopersistent fibers, mainly asbestos (80% of cases) and-in specific geographic regions-erionite, zeolites, ophiolites, and fluoro-edenite. Individuals with a chronic exposure to asbestos generally have a long latency with no or few symptoms. Then, when patients do become symptomatic, they present with advanced disease and a worse overall survival (about 13/15 months). The fibers from industrial production not only pose a substantial risk to workers, but also to their relatives and to the surrounding community. Modern targeted therapies that have shown benefit in other human tumors have thus far failed in MPM. Overall, MPM has been listed as orphan disease by the European Union. However, molecular high-throughput profiling is currently unveiling novel biomarkers and actionable targets. We here discuss the natural evolution, mainly focusing on the novel concept of molecular epidemiology. The application of innovative endpoints, quantification of genetic damages, and definition of genetic susceptibility are reviewed, with the ultimate goal to point out new tools for screening of exposed subject and for designing more efficient diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

RevDate: 2021-04-08

Schiavello M, Gazzano E, Bergandi L, et al (2021)

Identification of Redox-Sensitive Transcription Factors as Markers of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.

Cancers, 13(5):.

Although asbestos has been banned in most countries around the world, malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a current problem. MPM is an aggressive tumor with a poor prognosis, so it is crucial to identify new markers in the preventive field. Asbestos exposure induces oxidative stress and its carcinogenesis has been linked to a strong oxidative damage, event counteracted by antioxidant systems at the pulmonary level. The present study has been focused on some redox-sensitive transcription factors that regulate cellular antioxidant defense and are overexpressed in many tumors, such as Nrf2 (Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2), Ref-1 (Redox effector factor 1), and FOXM1 (Forkhead box protein M1). The research was performed in human mesothelial and MPM cells. Our results have clearly demonstrated an overexpression of Nrf2, Ref-1, and FOXM1 in mesothelioma towards mesothelium, and a consequent activation of downstream genes controlled by these factors, which in turn regulates antioxidant defense. This event is mediated by oxidative free radicals produced when mesothelial cells are exposed to asbestos fibers. We observed an increased expression of Nrf2, Ref-1, and FOXM1 towards untreated cells, confirming asbestos as the mediator of oxidative stress evoked at the mesothelium level. These factors can therefore be considered predictive biomarkers of MPM and potential pharmacological targets in the treatment of this aggressive cancer.

RevDate: 2021-04-01

Fujihira H, Takakura D, Matsuda A, et al (2021)

Bisecting-GlcNAc on Asn388 is characteristic to ERC/mesothelin expressed on epithelioid mesothelioma cells.

Journal of biochemistry pii:6207972 [Epub ahead of print].

Mesothelioma is a highly aggressive tumor associated with asbestos exposure and is histologically classified into three types: epithelioid-type, sarcomatoid-type, and biphasic-type. The prognosis of mesothelioma patients is poor and there is no effective molecular-targeting therapy as yet. ERC/mesothelin is a glycoprotein that is highly expressed on several types of cancers including epithelioid mesothelioma, but also expressed on normal mesothelial cells. This is a predicted reason why there is no clinically approved therapeutic antibody targeting ERC/mesothelin. In the present study, we focused on the differential glycosylation between ERC/mesothelin present on epithelioid mesothelioma and that on normal mesothelial cells and aimed to reveal a distinct feature of epithelioid mesothelioma cells. Lectin microarray analysis of ERC/mesothelin using cells and patient specimens showed significantly stronger binding of PHA-E4 lectin, which recognizes complex-type N-glycans having a so-called bisecting-GlcNAc structure, to ERC/mesothelin from epithelioid mesothelioma cells than that from normal mesothelial cells. Further, LC/MS analysis on ERC/mesothelin from epithelioid mesothelioma cells confirmed the presence of a bisecting-GlcNAc attached to Asn388 of ERC/mesothelin. These results suggest that this glycoproteome could serve as a potential target for the generation of a highly selective and safe therapeutic antibody for epithelioid mesothelioma.

RevDate: 2021-04-02
CmpDate: 2021-03-31

Huang XY, Q Ye (2021)

[Asbestos exposure and asbestos-related malignant diseases:an epidemiological review].

Zhonghua lao dong wei sheng zhi ye bing za zhi = Zhonghua laodong weisheng zhiyebing zazhi = Chinese journal of industrial hygiene and occupational diseases, 39(3):233-236.

Asbestos has high fire resistance, electrical insulation and thermal insulation. It is an important fire prevention, insulation and insulation material. It is widely used in industrial production and daily life. In 1987, the international agency for research on cancer (IARC) has listed asbestos as a class I carcinogen; in 2012, IARC confirmed that all types of asbestos have carcinogenic effect. By 2019, asbestos has been banned in 66 countries and regions around the world. Asbestos exposure increases the risk of human malignant tumor. Lung cancer and mesothelioma are known asbestos induced tumors. Epidemiological studies also support that asbestos exposure is related to the incidence of malignant tumors in reproductive system, digestive system, urinary system, nasopharynx head and neck. We summarized the epidemiological studies of asbestos induced tumors in order to provide reference for further research.

RevDate: 2021-03-30

Gill RR, Murphy DJ, Seethamraju RT, et al (2020)

Interobserver Variability of Quantitative and Qualitative Assessment Using MRI in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.

Radiology. Cardiothoracic imaging, 2(2):e190066.

Purpose: To evaluate the interobserver variability associated with quantitative and qualitative MRI assessments of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).

Materials and Methods: Patients with MPM who underwent uniform-protocol preoperative MRI between 2009 and 2014 were included. The MRI-derived tumor volume was estimated. Unidimensional measurements of maximal pleural thickness (P max) and average pleural thickness (P avg) on axial MR images; maximal fissural thickness (F max); maximal diaphragmatic thickness (D max); and average diaphragmatic thickness (D avg) on sagittal reconstructed images were acquired. Interobserver agreement regarding the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) tumor stage at each criterion level was assessed by using Cohen κ statistics. Agreement between quantitative measurements was assessed by using Bland-Altman plots and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs).

Results: The study cohort included 349 patients (median age, 68 years [age range, 30-90 years), 273 (78%) of whom were men and 203 (58%) of whom had epithelioid-subtype tumors. Qualitative assessment performed by using the AJCC staging criteria (eighth edition) was concordant in 31% of cases and yielded considerable disagreement (κ = 0.177). Inspection of the Bland-Altman plots led to decisive agreement between the two reviewers regarding MRI-derived tumor volume (ICC, 0.979). There was also a good degree of agreement between the two reviewers regarding unidimensional measurements of D max (ICC, 0.807), D avg (ICC, 0.823), P max (ICC, 0.787), P avg (ICC, 0.787), and F max (ICC, 0.659).

Conclusion: Quantitative assessment can enhance the clinical staging of MPM. Compared with qualitative assessment, quantitative assessment has low interobserver variability and could yield a tumor size criterion that is currently lacking in the AJCC clinical staging of MPM.Supplemental material is available for this article.© RSNA, 2020.

RevDate: 2021-05-17

Klebe S, Nakatani Y, Dobra K, et al (2021)

The concept of mesothelioma in situ, with consideration of its potential impact on cytology diagnosis.

Pathology, 53(4):446-453.

Diffuse malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an incurable tumour of the serosal membranes, which is often caused by exposure to asbestos and commonly diagnosed at advanced stage. Malignant mesothelioma in situ (MMIS) is now included as diagnostic category by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, our international survey of 34 pulmonary pathologists with an interest in MM diagnosis highlights inconsistency regarding how the diagnosis is being made by experts, despite published guidelines. Whilst the WHO restricts the diagnosis to surgical samples, the very concept has implication for cytological diagnosis, which is already regarded as controversial in itself by some. MMIS is currently only applicable as precursor to MM with an epithelioid component, and raises the possibility for different molecular pathways for different histological MM subtypes. The clinical implications of MMIS at this stage are uncertain, but aggressive therapies are being initiated in some instances. Based on the results of the survey we here present a critical appraisal of the concept, its clinical and conceptual implications and provide practice suggestions for diagnosis. A low threshold for ancillary testing is suggested. The designations of 'malignant mesothelioma, cannot exclude MMIS' or 'atypical mesothelial proliferation with molecular indicators of malignancy, so-called MMIS' could be used on cytology samples, adding 'no evidence of invasion in sample provided' for surgical samples. Clinical and radiological correlation are integral to diagnosis and best done at multidisciplinary meetings. Finally, collaborative studies are required to improve our understanding of MMIS.

RevDate: 2021-05-21

Reid G, Klebe S, van Zandwijk N, et al (2021)

Asbestos and Zeolites: from A to Z via a Common Ion.

Chemical research in toxicology, 34(4):936-951.

Asbestos and zeolites are silicate-based minerals, linked inextricably via paradoxical similarities and differences which have emanated from different geological epochs. Both have been employed in the service of humanity through millennia: asbestos, for its "inextinguishable" quality of being an insulator against heat and fire; zeolite, a "boiling stone" with its volcanic and marine sedimentary rock origins, for its propensity to adsorb water and remove metals and toxins. Serious adverse health effects observed in asbestos miners as long ago as the 1st Century AD did not halt the rising popularity of asbestos. As the miracle material of the 1900s, asbestos production and consumption exploded, culminating in its ubiquity in ships, vehicles, homes, commercial buildings, and over 3000 different industrial and household products. Through the 1940s and 1950s, epidemiological studies concluded that asbestos was a likely cause of asbestosis, lung cancer, and malignant mesothelioma, and it is now banned in many but far from all countries. The long latency between exposure to asbestos and the occurrence of cancer has obscured the deadly consequences of asbestos exposure for centuries. Even today, a considerable part of the world population is insufficiently aware of the dangers of asbestos, and millions of tons of this carcinogen continue to be mined and used worldwide. Zeolites, both natural and synthetic, are microporous aluminosilicate minerals commonly used in a myriad of processes, in the petrochemical industry, in domestic appliances and cleaning agents, as commercial adsorbents and exchangers for toxins and pollutants, and as catalysts. Zeolites are found in agriculture, veterinary science, and human health. More recently, new materials such as carbon nanotubes are being employed in materials requiring durability and thermal and electrical conductivity, yet nanotubes are now joining the ranks of more established particulates such as asbestos and silica, in causing human disease. In this review, we compare and contrast the similarities and differences of these two groups of silicate minerals and their waxing and waning use in the employ of humanity.

RevDate: 2021-06-10
CmpDate: 2021-04-05

Zhang M, Luo JL, Sun Q, et al (2021)

Clonal architecture in mesothelioma is prognostic and shapes the tumour microenvironment.

Nature communications, 12(1):1751.

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) is typically diagnosed 20-50 years after exposure to asbestos and evolves along an unknown evolutionary trajectory. To elucidate this path, we conducted multi-regional exome sequencing of 90 tumour samples from 22 MPMs acquired at surgery. Here we show that exomic intratumour heterogeneity varies widely across the cohort. Phylogenetic tree topology ranges from linear to highly branched, reflecting a steep gradient of genomic instability. Using transfer learning, we detect repeated evolution, resolving 5 clusters that are prognostic, with temporally ordered clonal drivers. BAP1/-3p21 and FBXW7/-chr4 events are always early clonal. In contrast, NF2/-22q events, leading to Hippo pathway inactivation are predominantly late clonal, positively selected, and when subclonal, exhibit parallel evolution indicating an evolutionary constraint. Very late somatic alteration of NF2/22q occurred in one patient 12 years after surgery. Clonal architecture and evolutionary clusters dictate MPM inflammation and immune evasion. These results reveal potentially drugable evolutionary bottlenecking in MPM, and an impact of clonal architecture on shaping the immune landscape, with potential to dictate the clinical response to immune checkpoint inhibition.

RevDate: 2021-03-16

Schiopu SRI, Käsmann L, Schönermarck U, et al (2021)

Pembrolizumab-induced myocarditis in a patient with malignant mesothelioma: plasma exchange as a successful emerging therapy-case report.

Translational lung cancer research, 10(2):1039-1046.

Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer associated with prior exposure to asbestos and dismal prognosis. Immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy is currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for pre-treated malignant pleural mesothelioma. We describe a 75-year-old patient with disseminated, progressive malignant mesothelioma receiving 2 cycles of pembrolizumab who presented with generalized muscle weakness, shortness of breath, double vision and ptosis. There was no previous history of cardiovascular disease. The clinical picture, supported by the detection of anti-titin autoantibodies suggested myasthenia gravis (MG). Also, cardiac biomarkers were elevated. Echocardiography showed new severely reduced ejection fraction. A 12-lead resting electrocardiogram (ECG) revealed ST segment elevation in the posterior leads with polymorphic ventricular extrasystoles. Because cardiac catheterization revealed no relevant coronary lesions, immune checkpoint inhibitor-associated myocarditis and MG were suspected. Management and Outcome: The patient was started on steroids. Within a few days of presentation respiratory failure set in and the patient was intubated. Recurrent arrhythmias followed, which were treated by repeated emergency electrical cardioversion. In order to relieve myasthenic symptoms, plasma exchange was initiated and 10 cycles were carried out. This consequently also led to an improvement of myocarditis. Upon discharge, the ejection fraction recovered. The patient recovered and was alive at 1-year follow-up, without relevant limitations to his quality of life. Discussion and Conclusion: The article further discusses the use of plasma exchange for immune checkpoint inhibitor-associated myocarditis based on a review of literature. We conclude that patients showing no improvement after steroid therapy for immune checkpoint inhibitor-related myocarditis should be evaluated for plasma exchange, which appears to be an effective treatment option.

RevDate: 2021-04-05

Sun S, Frontini F, Qi W, et al (2021)

Endogenous retrovirus expression activates type-I interferon signaling in an experimental mouse model of mesothelioma development.

Cancer letters, 507:26-38.

Early events in an experimental model of mesothelioma development include increased levels of editing in double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). We hypothesised that expression of endogenous retroviruses (ERV) contributes to dsRNA formation and type-I interferon signaling. ERV and interferon stimulated genes (ISGs) expression were significantly higher in tumor compared to non-tumor samples. 12 tumor specific ERV ("MesoERV1-12") were identified and verified by qPCR in mouse tissues. "MesoERV1-12" expression was lower in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF) compared to mesothelioma cells. "MesoERV1-12" levels were significantly increased by demethylating agent 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment and were accompanied by increased levels of dsRNA and ISGs. Basal ISGs expression was higher in mesothelioma cells compared to MEF and was significantly decreased by JAK inhibitor Ruxolitinib, by blocking Ifnar1 and by silencing Mavs. "MesoERV7" promoter was demethylated in asbestos-exposed compared to sham mice tissue as well as in mesothelioma cells and MEF upon 5-Aza-CdR treatment. These observations uncover novel aspects of asbestos-induced mesothelioma whereby ERV expression increases due to promoter demethylation and is paralleled by increased levels of dsRNA and activation of type-I IFN signaling. These features are important for early diagnosis and therapy.

RevDate: 2021-03-11

Shamseddin M, Obacz J, Garnett MJ, et al (2021)

Use of preclinical models for malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Thorax pii:thoraxjnl-2020-216602 [Epub ahead of print].

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive cancer most commonly caused by prior exposure to asbestos. Median survival is 12-18 months, since surgery is ineffective and chemotherapy offers minimal benefit. Preclinical models that faithfully recapitulate the genomic and histopathological features of cancer are critical for the development of new treatments. The most commonly used models of MPM are two-dimensional cell lines established from primary tumours or pleural fluid. While these have provided some important insights into MPM biology, these cell models have significant limitations. In order to address some of these limitations, spheroids and microfluidic chips have more recently been used to investigate the role of the three-dimensional environment in MPM. Efforts have also been made to develop animal models of MPM, including asbestos-induced murine tumour models, MPM-prone genetically modified mice and patient-derived xenografts. Here, we discuss the available in vitro and in vivo models of MPM and highlight their strengths and limitations. We discuss how newer technologies, such as the tumour-derived organoids, might allow us to address the limitations of existing models and aid in the identification of effective treatments for this challenging-to-treat disease.

RevDate: 2021-03-15
CmpDate: 2021-03-12

Yu M, Yu M, Zhu LJ, et al (2021)

[Expression and clinical significance of SETD2 in maligant pleural mesothelioma].

Zhonghua lao dong wei sheng zhi ye bing za zhi = Zhonghua laodong weisheng zhiyebing zazhi = Chinese journal of industrial hygiene and occupational diseases, 39(2):91-98.

Objective: To analyze the gene mutation profile in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) and investigate the expression of high-frequency mutant genes and its relationship with clinicopathological parameters. To screen out key genes and clinicopathologic factors related to the prognosis of MPM patients. Methods: The second generation sequencing data, somatic mutation data and clinical pathological data of 86 MPM cases and gene chip expression data of 89 MPM cases were downloaded from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) in March 2020. Summarize the gene mutation profile of tissue samples in the TCGA database and analyze the relationship between the expression level of high-frequency mutation genes and the clinicopathological characteristics, asbestos exposure history and prognosis of MPM patients. The genes significantly related to MPM prognosis were screened out for gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) . Survival analysis and GSEA were performed for the selected key genes and clinicopathological features verification using the microarray expression data from the GEO database. Results: The top 10 genes with highest single nucleotide variations frequencies were BAP1, NF2, TP53, TTN, SETD2, LATS2, CCDC168, FAT4, PTCH1 and ZNF469. The high expression rates of NF2, TP53, SETD2 and CCDC168 genes in wild type were higher than those of mutated type, and the differences were statistically significant (P<0.05) . Cox multivariate analysis of TCGA data showed that MPM patients with epithelial type (HR=0.425, 95%CI: 0.235-0.767, P<0.01) and SETD2 low expression (HR=0.516, 95%CI: 0.307-0.868, P=0.011) had lower risk of death. The survival analysis of GEO data verified that patients with epithelial type MPM had longer survival time, while patients with sarcoma type MPM had shortest survival time (P<0.01) . GSEA showed that SETD2 was involved in G2M checkpoint, E2F targets, MYC signaling pathways, protein secretion, mitotic spindle, MTORC1 pathway, TGF-β pathway, androgen response and uv response. Conclusion: MPM is accompanied with higher frequency of gene mutations represented by BAP1, NF2, TP53, TTN, SETD2, LATS2 and so on. SETD2 expression level and epithelia type of MPM may be influential factors for MPM prognosis.

RevDate: 2021-03-15
CmpDate: 2021-03-12

Yu M, Yu M, Ying SB, et al (2021)

[The impact of CD8 and CTLA-4 expression on histopathological character and survival in mesothelioma].

Zhonghua lao dong wei sheng zhi ye bing za zhi = Zhonghua laodong weisheng zhiyebing zazhi = Chinese journal of industrial hygiene and occupational diseases, 39(2):85-90.

Objective: To investigate the survival and death risk factors of mesothelioma cases stratified by the expression levels of CD8 and cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 (CTLA-4) , providing new clue to evaluate disease progression and clinical outcome. Methods: This was a retrospective case report, which included 47 clinically and pathologically confirmed mesothelioma cases on November 2016. Their clinical and pathological information, asbestos exposure history and survival data were collected. Infiltrated lymphocyte, 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) , CTLA-4, CD8 and Ki-67 antigen were detected using hematoxylin-eosin staining and immunohistochemistry. Survival time and death risk factors of mesothelioma patients with different CD8 and CTLA-4 protein expression characteristics were analyzed. And analyze the influence of Ki-67 expression on the survival of patients with different CD8 and CTLA-4 protein and gene expression characteristics. Results: Among the 47 cases, 63.8% (30/47) had low/medium level of infiltrated lymphocyte. The immunohistochemistry scores of CTLA-4, CD8, 5-mC and Ki-67 were 92.97 (54.95, 120.65) , 72.41 (36.62, 89.82) , 11.09 (3.40, 52.89) and 5.88 (2.41, 11.48) , respectively. Patients with CD8(high) CTLA-4(high) had higher 5-mC level than those with CD8(high) CTLA-4(low) (P<0.01) . The median survival time of 27 cases was 0.83±0.29 year. The median survival times of those with CD8(high) CTLA-4(high) and CD8(high) CTLA-4(low) were 0.58±0.51 year and 0.83±0.30 year, respectively (P=0.521) . The immunohistochemistry score of Ki-67 ≥5.88 was an independent death risk factor for patients with CD8(high) CTLA-4(low) (HR=8.40, P=0.01) . Under different CD8 and CTLA-4 protein expression characteristics, in the patients with CD8(high) CTLA-4(low), the median survival times of those with high and low Ki-67 expression were 0.57±0.11 years and 2.31±0.46 years, respectively (P<0.01) . Under different CD8 and CTLA-4 mRNA expression characteristics, in the patients with CD8(high) CTLA-4(low), the median survival times of those with high and low Ki-67 mRNA expression were 1.20±0.36 years and 3.38±0.43 years, respectively (P=0.018) . Conclusion: Mesothelioma case with high CD8 but low CTLA-4 content might coexist DNA hypomethylation. In the presence of high Ki-67 expression, their survival time appears to be shortened with increased death risk.

RevDate: 2021-04-08
CmpDate: 2021-04-08

Zhang X (2021)

[Indispensable urgency for prevention and control of asbestos-related cancer].

Zhonghua lao dong wei sheng zhi ye bing za zhi = Zhonghua laodong weisheng zhiyebing zazhi = Chinese journal of industrial hygiene and occupational diseases, 39(2):81-84.

RevDate: 2021-05-25
CmpDate: 2021-05-25

García López V (2021)

[Programs for Asbestos Abatement. Lessons from Poland].

Archivos de prevencion de riesgos laborales, 24(1):62-73.

The commercialization of asbestos in Europe in the second half of the 20th century translated into consumption of millions of tons of this material. Occupational exposure to asbestos is controlled under the 2009 European Union Directive. Currently, through epidemiological surveillance and pathology registries (mainly mesotheliomas), it is possible to record past exposures. Despite prohibiting its use, large amounts of asbestos remain in buildings, infrastructures and vehicles, among others. The road to elimination of existing asbestos began with a 2013 European Parliament Resolution and the Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (2015 / C 251/03).To better understand barriers to implementing these plans, we reviewed the experience in Poland the only country that to date has implemented an action plan with great financial support, together with actions carried out in Spain generally, and Navarre specifically, given the latter's exhaustive registry of exposed workers.The enormous economic effort required to implement these plans, along with the environmental risks associated with asbestos abatement, require detailed planning, which should consider understanding why the objectives set by Poland, a benchmark country, have not been achieved to date.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Carey RN, Pfau JC, Fritzler MJ, et al (2021)

Autoantibodies and cancer among asbestos-exposed cohorts in Western Australia.

Journal of toxicology and environmental health. Part A, 84(11):475-483.

Asbestos exposure is associated with many adverse health conditions including malignant mesothelioma and lung cancer as well as production of autoantibodies. Autoantibodies may serve as biomarkers for asbestos exposure in patients with cancer, and autoimmune dysfunction has been linked to increased rates of various cancers. The aim of this study was to examine the hypothesis that autoantibodies are more frequent in asbestos-exposed individuals with either lung cancer or mesothelioma than those without these conditions. Asbestos-exposed individuals from Western Australia who had lung cancer (n = 24), malignant mesothelioma (n = 24), or no malignancy (n = 51) were tested for antinuclear autoantibodies (ANA) using indirect immunofluorescence and specific extractable nuclear autoantibodies (ENA) employing a multiplexed addressable laser bead immunoassay. Contrary to the hypothesis, data demonstrated that individuals without malignancy were more likely to be positive for ANA compared to those with cancer. However, autoantibodies to histone and Ro-60 were found to be associated with lung cancer. These results support a possible predictive value for specific autoantibodies in the early detection of lung cancer and/or in our understanding of the role of autoimmune processes in cancer. However, further studies are needed to identify specific target antigens for the antibodies.

RevDate: 2021-04-23
CmpDate: 2021-04-23

Arachi D, Furuya S, David A, et al (2021)

Development of the "National Asbestos Profile" to Eliminate Asbestos-Related Diseases in 195 Countries.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(4):.

Worldwide, 230,000+ people die annually from asbestos-related diseases (ARDs). The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that countries develop a National Asbestos Profile (NAP) to eliminate ARDs. For 195 countries, we assessed the global status of NAPs (A: bona fide NAP, B: proxy NAP, C: relevant published information, D: no relevant information) by national income (HI: high, UMI: upper-middle, LMI: lower-middle, LI: low), asbestos bans (banned, no-ban) and public data availability. Fourteen (7% of 195) countries were category A (having a bona fide NAP), while 98, 51 and 32 countries were categories B, C and D, respectively. Of the 14 category-A countries, 8, 3 and 3 were LMI, UMI and HI, respectively. Development of a bona fide NAP showed no gradient by national income. The proportions of countries having a bona fide NAP were similar between asbestos-banned and no-ban countries. Public databases useful for developing NAPs contained data for most countries. Irrespective of the status of national income or asbestos ban, most countries have not developed a NAP despite having the potential. The global status of NAP is suboptimal. Country-level data on asbestos and ARDs in public databases can be better utilized to develop NAPs for globally eliminating ARDs.

RevDate: 2021-04-26
CmpDate: 2021-04-26

Visonà SD, Capella S, Bodini S, et al (2021)

Inorganic Fiber Lung Burden in Subjects with Occupational and/or Anthropogenic Environmental Asbestos Exposure in Broni (Pavia, Northern Italy): An SEM-EDS Study on Autoptic Samples.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(4):.

Increased mortality due to malignant mesothelioma has been demonstrated by several epidemiologic studies in the area around Broni (a small town in Lombardy, northern Italy), where a factory producing asbestos cement was active between 1932 and 1993. Until now, the inorganic fiber burden in lungs has not been investigated in this population. The aim of this study is to assess the lung fiber burden in 72 individuals with previous occupational and/or anthropogenic environmental exposure to asbestos during the activity of an important asbestos cement factory. Inorganic fiber lung burden was assessed in autoptic samples taken from individuals deceased from asbestos-related diseases using a scanning electron microscope equipped with an energy-dispersive spectrometer. Significant differences in the detected amount of asbestos were pointed out among the three types of exposure. In most lung samples taken from patients who died of mesothelioma, very little asbestos (or, in some cases, no fibers) was found. Such subjects showed a significantly lower median amount of asbestos as compared to asbestosis. Almost no chrysotile was detected in the examined samples. Overall, crocidolite was the most represented asbestos, followed by amosite, tremolite/actinolite asbestos, and anthophyllite asbestos. There were significant differences in the amount of crocidolite and amosite fibers according to the kind of exposure. Overall, these findings provide novel insights into the link between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, as well as the different impacts of the various types of asbestos on human health in relation to their different biopersistences in the lung microenvironment.

RevDate: 2021-04-26
CmpDate: 2021-04-26

Gariazzo C, Binazzi A, Alfò M, et al (2021)

Predictors of Lung Cancer Risk: An Ecological Study Using Mortality and Environmental Data by Municipalities in Italy.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(4):.

Lung cancer (LC) mortality remains a consistent part of the total deaths occurring worldwide. Its etiology is complex as it involves multifactorial components. This work aims in providing an epidemiological assessment on occupational and environmental factors associated to LC risk by means of an ecological study involving the 8092 Italian municipalities for the period 2006-2015. We consider mortality data from mesothelioma as proxy of asbestos exposure, as well as PM2.5 and radon levels as a proxy of environmental origin. The compensated cases for occupational respiratory diseases, urbanization and deprivation were included as predictors. We used a negative binomial distribution for the response, with analysis stratified by gender. We estimated that asbestos is responsible for about 1.1% (95% CI: 0.8, 1.4) and 0.5% (95% CI: 0.2, 0.8) of LC mortality in males and females, respectively. The corresponding figures are 14.0% (95% CI: 12.5, 15.7) and 16.3% (95% CI: 16.2, 16.3) for PM2.5 exposure, and 3.9% (95% CI: 3.5, 4.2) and 1.6% (95% CI: 1.4, 1.7) for radon exposure. The assessment of determinants contribution to observed LC deaths is crucial for improving awareness of its origin, leading to increase the equity of the welfare system.

RevDate: 2021-04-23
CmpDate: 2021-04-23

Wortzel JD, Wiebe DJ, Elahi S, et al (2021)

Ascertainment Bias in a Historic Cohort Study of Residents in an Asbestos Manufacturing Community.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(5):.

This paper describes follow-up for a cohort of 4530 residents living in the asbestos manufacturing community of Ambler, PA, U.S. in 1930. Using re-identified census data, cause and date of death data obtained from the genealogic website, along with geospatial analysis, we explored relationships among demographic characteristics, occupational, paraoccupational and environmental asbestos exposures. We identified death data for 2430/4530 individuals. Exposure differed significantly according to race, gender, age, and recency of immigration to the U.S. Notably, there was a significant difference in the availability of year of death information for non-white vs. white individuals (odds ratio (OR) = 0.62 p-value < 0.001), females (OR = 0.53, p-value < 0.001), first-generation immigrants (OR = 0.67, p-value = 0.001), second-generation immigrants (OR = 0.31, p-value < 0.001) vs. non-immigrants, individuals aged less than 20 (OR = 0.31 p-value < 0.001) and individuals aged 20 to 59 (OR = 0.63, p-value < 0.001) vs. older individuals. Similarly, the cause of death was less often available for non-white individuals (OR = 0.42, p-value <0.001), first-generation immigrants and (OR = 0.71, p-value = 0.009), second-generation immigrants (OR = 0.49, p-value < 0.001), individuals aged less than 20 (OR = 0.028 p-value < 0.001), and individuals aged 20 to 59 (OR = 0.26, p-value < 0.001). These results identified ascertainment bias that is important to consider in analyses that investigate occupational, para-occupational and environmental asbestos exposure as risk factors for mortality in this historic cohort. While this study attempts to describe methods for assessing itemized asbestos exposure profiles for a community in 1930 using and other publicly accessible databases, it also highlights how historic cohort studies likely underestimate the impact of asbestos exposure on vulnerable populations. Future work will aim to assess mortality patterns in this cohort.

RevDate: 2021-05-11

Kotsiou OS, Gourgoulianis KI, SG Zarogiannis (2021)

The role of nitric oxide in pleural disease.

Respiratory medicine, 179:106350.

Nitric oxide (NO) regulates various physiological and pathophysiological functions in the lungs. However, there is much less information about the effects of NO in the pleura. The present review aimed to explore the available evidence regarding the role of NO in pleural disease. NO, has a double-edged role in the pleural cavity. It is an essential signaling molecule mediating various physiological cell functions such as lymphatic drainage of the serous cavities, the immune response to intracellular multiplication of pathogens, and downregulation of neutrophil migration, but also induces genocytotoxic and mutagenic effects when present in excess. NO is implicated in the pathogenesis of asbestos-related or exudative pleural disease and mesothelioma. From a clinical point of view, the fraction of exhaled NO has been suggested as a potential non-invasive tool for the diagnosis of benign asbestos-related disorders. Under experimental conditions, NO-mimetics were found to attenuate hypoxia-induced therapy resistance in mesothelioma. Similarly, hybrid agents consisting of an NO donor coupled with a parent anti-inflammatory drug showed an enhancement of the anti-inflammatory activity of anti-inflammatory drugs. However, given the paucity of research work performed over the last years in this area, further research should be undertaken to establish reliable conclusions with respect to the feasibility of determining or targeting the NO signaling pathway for pleural disease diagnosis and therapeutic management.

RevDate: 2021-04-07

Guzmán-Casta J, Carrasco-CaraChards S, Guzmán-Huesca J, et al (2021)

Prognostic factors for progression-free and overall survival in malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Thoracic cancer, 12(7):1014-1022.

BACKGROUND: Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an infrequent neoplasia with a poor prognosis and the majority of patients already have advanced disease at the time of presentation. Exposure to asbestos is the most important risk factor for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a neoplasia with a long preclinical stage that can span from 15 to 40 years.

METHODS: This was a descriptive, observational, retrospective study of 136 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of mesothelioma, which compared histological subtypes, immunohistochemical biomarkers, concomitant chronic degenerative diseases, tobacco use, age at the time of diagnosis, clinical stage and chemotherapy agents used or other treatments such as radiotherapy and surgery to identify all the factors that impact in the prognosis of overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS).

RESULTS: A total of 136 patients were included in the study. In the total study population, 84 patients were male (61.8%) and 52 were female (38.2%). Median PFS was nine months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 8.4-9.5 months) and median OS was 12 months (95% CI: 11.3-12.6). The results indicated that the most determining prognostic factors for OS and PFS were cell differentiation measured by immunohistochemical biomarkers, the treatment chosen, and that RECIST was the most significant in the evaluation of patient response to treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a cancer with a poor prognosis usually diagnosed at an advanced stage of disease. Our study revealed that the prognostic factors for OS and PS were cell differentiation, the treatment chosen and RECIST.

RevDate: 2021-05-02

Sridharan S, Taylor-Just A, JC Bonner (2021)

Osteopontin mRNA expression by rat mesothelial cells exposed to multi-walled carbon nanotubes as a potential biomarker of chronic neoplastic transformation in vitro.

Toxicology in vitro : an international journal published in association with BIBRA, 73:105126.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lung pleura primarily associated with inhalation of asbestos fibers. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are engineered nanomaterials that pose a potential risk for mesothelioma due to properties that are similar to asbestos. Inhaled MWCNTs migrate to the pleura in rodents and some types cause mesothelioma. Like asbestos, there is a diversity of MWCNT types. We investigated the neoplastic potential of tangled (tMWCNT) versus rigid (rMWCNT) after chronic exposure using serial passages of rat mesothelial cells in vitro. Normal rat mesothelial (NRM2) cells were exposed to tMWCNTs or rMWCNTs for 45 weeks over 85 passages to determine if exposure resulted in transformation to a neoplastic phenotype. Rat mesothelioma (ME1) cells were used as a positive control. Osteopontin (OPN) mRNA was assayed as a biomarker of transformation by real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and transformation was determined by a cell invasion assay. Exposure to rMWCNTs, but not tMWCNTs, resulted in transformation of NRM2 cells into an invasive phenotype that was similar to ME1 cells. Moreover, exposure of NRM2 cells to rMWCNTs increased OPN mRNA that correlated with cellular transformation. These data suggest that OPN is a potential biomarker that should be further investigated to screen the carcinogenicity of MWCNTs in vitro.

RevDate: 2021-05-17

Niu X, Zhou C, Hu A, et al (2021)

Malignant mesothelioma without asbestos exposure diagnosed during EGFR-TKI treatment of lung adenocarcinoma: A case report.

Cancer treatment and research communications, 27:100345.

Synchronous malignant mesothelioma (MM) and lung carcinoma are extremely rare in patients without a history of asbestos exposure and poses tremendous difficulties in clinical management. We report a patient without asbestos exposure diagnosed with MM during EGFR-TKI treatment of lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD), who responded to first-line chemotherapy with pemetrexed plus carboplatin and failed to subsequent systemic therapy. Clinicians should be careful about the possibility of MM comorbidity in LUAD patients whose lesions respond differently to EGFR-TKI, even in those without a history of asbestos exposure.

RevDate: 2021-02-26

Hoton D, Luyckx M, Galant C, et al (2021)

Hibernoma-like Changes and TFE3 Expression in Mesothelioma Mimicking TFE3-Translocation Renal Cell Carcinoma: A Diagnostic Pitfall.

International journal of surgical pathology [Epub ahead of print].

The long delay between asbestos exposure and the development of mesothelioma will likely result in an increased incidence of mesothelioma in our industrialized societies. Radiation therapy is another factor known to induce these tumors. We describe a rare case of foamy looking mesothelioma in a 63-year-old patient with a long oncology history of a supposed peritoneal carcinomatosis. The pathologist was faced with a diagnostic pitfall as this peritoneal clear cell tumor expressed transcription factor binding to immunoglobulin heavy constant mu enhancer 3 (TFE3) at the nuclear level. Fortunately, the pathologist performed an extensive panel of immunomarkers, leading to a final diagnosis of epithelioid mesothelioma. Thus, we describe the first case of mesothelioma expressing TFE3. Note that there was no rearrangement of TFE3 in fluorescence in situ hybridization.

RevDate: 2021-02-24

Rossi G, Caroli G, Caruso D, et al (2021)

Pseudocarcinomatous Mesothelioma: A Hitherto Unreported Presentation closely simulating primary lung cancer.

International journal of surgical pathology [Epub ahead of print].

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) has a wide range of clinical, radiologic, and pathologic presentations, mimicking lung cancer or interstitial lung diseases when predominantly involving the lung parenchyma. The case herein refers to a 79-year-old man, active smoker without asbestos exposure, incidentally discovered to have a pulmonary nodule in the right upper lobe (1.5 cm). The lesion was misinterpreted as primary lung adenocarcinoma at the frozen section in light of the predominant lepidic growth pattern. Definitive examination confirmed neoplastic proliferation along alveolar structures. However, the unusual globous shape of tumor cells along the alveoli abruptly merging with normal pneumocytes prompted us to perform some immunostains that surprisingly revealed a mesothelial differentiation (positive staining with calretinin, cytokeratins (CK5/6), D2-40, and negativity with BRCA-associated protein 1 (BAP1), Thyroid Transcription Factor 1 [TTF-1], claudin-4, carcinoembryonic antigen [CEA], and napsin). MM represents the pathologic counterpart of so-called pseudomesotheliomatous carcinoma, since it appears as a localized pulmonary neoplastic nodule displaying a predominant lepidic growth pattern (pseudocarcinomatous mesothelioma). The challenging diagnostic features of this unique case and a review of similar cases in the literature are discussed.

RevDate: 2021-03-03

Baur X, AL Frank (2021)

Ongoing downplaying of the carcinogenicity of chrysotile asbestos by vested interests.

Journal of occupational medicine and toxicology (London, England), 16(1):6.

Industries that mine, manufacture and sell asbestos or asbestos-containing products have a long tradition of promoting the use of asbestos, while placing the burden of economic and health costs on workers and society. This has been successfully done in recent years and decades in spite of the overwhelming evidence that all asbestos types are carcinogenic and cause asbestosis. In doing so, the asbestos industry has undermined the WHO campaign to reach a worldwide ban of asbestos and to eliminate asbestos-related diseases. Even worse, in recent years they succeeded in continuing asbestos mining and consuming in the range of about 1.3 million tons annually. Nowadays, production takes place predominantly in Russia, Kazakhstan and China. Chrysotile is the only asbestos type still sold and represents 95% of asbestos traded over the last century.The asbestos industry, especially its PR agency, the International Chrysotile Association, ICA, financed by asbestos mining companies in Russia, Kazakhstan and Zimbabwe and asbestos industrialists in India and Mexico, continues to be extremely active by using slogans such as chrysotile can be used safely.Another approach of the asbestos industry and of some of its insurance agencies is to broadly defeat liability claims of asbestos victims.In doing so they systematically use inappropriate science produced by their own and/or by industry-affiliated researchers. Some of the latter were also engaged in producing defense material for other industries including the tobacco industry. Frequent examples of distributing such disinformation include questioning or denying established scientific knowledge about adverse health effects of asbestos. False evidence continues to be published in scientific journals and books.The persisting strong influence of vested asbestos-related interests in workers and public health issues including regulations and compensation necessitate ongoing alertness, corrections and appropriate reactions in scientific as well as public media and policy advisory bodies.

RevDate: 2021-05-10
CmpDate: 2021-05-10

Ierardi AM, Urban A, GM Marsh (2021)

A quantitative weight of evidence assessment of Hill's guidelines for causal inference for cosmetic talc as a cause of mesothelioma.

Toxicology and applied pharmacology, 417:115461.

Cosmetic talc has been suggested to cause mesothelioma. To assess a potential causal relationship between cosmetic talc and mesothelioma, a quantitative weight of evidence analysis was performed in accordance with Hill's nine original guidelines for causal inference using a published empirical model to weight each respective guideline. Various epidemiological, toxicological, and exposure studies related to cosmetic talc and risk of mesothelioma were included in an evaluation of each of Hill's guidelines. Probabilities that the guidelines were true were assigned based on expert judgment. We applied a sensitivity analysis to evaluate the variability of our probability estimates. The overall probability of causality for cosmetic talc and mesothelioma was approximately 1.29% (range: 0.73%-3.96%). This low probability of causality supports the conclusion that cosmetic talc is not related to the development of mesothelioma.

RevDate: 2021-02-22

Cheng YY, Yuen ML, H Jin (2021)

Editorial: Epigenetic Modifications in Mesothelioma.

Frontiers in oncology, 11:650136.

RevDate: 2021-03-25

Pestak CR, Boyce TW, Myers OB, et al (2021)

A Population-Based Feasibility Study of Occupation and Thoracic Malignancies in New Mexico.

Southwest journal of pulmonary & critical care, 22(1):23-25.

Background: Occupational exposures in mining and oil/gas extraction are known risk factors for thoracic malignancies (TMs). Given the relatively high proportion of these industries in New Mexico (NM), we conducted a feasibility study of adult lifetime occupational history among TM cases. We hypothesized a higher proportion of occupational TM in NM relative to the estimated national average of 10-14%.

Methods: We identified incident TM cases through the population-based New Mexico Tumor Registry (NMTR), from 2017-2018. Cases completed a telephone interview. An adjudication panel reviewed case histories and classified cancers as probable, possible, or non-occupational related, taking into account the presence, duration, and latency of exposures. We characterized recruitment and describe job titles and exposures among those with occupational TMs. We also compared the distributions of industry between those with and without occupational TM.

Results: The NMTR identified 400 eligible TM cases, 290 of which were available to be recruited (n=285 lung/bronchial cancer; n=5 mesotheliomas). Of the latter, 60% refused and 18% were deceased, 9% had invalid addresses, 11% were unable to be reached by telephone, and 3% were too ill to participate. The 43 cases who completed an interview held 236 jobs. A total of 33% of cases were classified as probable occupational TM and 5% as possible occupational TM.

Conclusions: High rates of early mortality and refusals were significant barriers to study participation. Nonetheless, the proportion of probable occupational TMs greatly exceeded the estimated national average, highlighting the need for further study of occupational TM in the state.

RevDate: 2021-02-13

Malpica A, Euscher ED, Marques-Piubelli ML, et al (2021)

Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma Associated With Endometriosis: A Clinicopathologic Study of 15 Cases.

International journal of gynecological pathology : official journal of the International Society of Gynecological Pathologists pii:00004347-900000000-98967 [Epub ahead of print].

Only a few cases of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPeM) associated with endometriosis have been published; with chronic inflammation of the peritoneum associated with the latter being postulated as an inducing factor in the pathogenesis of this tumor. We assessed the clinicopathologic characteristics of MPeM associated with endometriosis to determine if there were other factors besides inflammation that may contribute to the pathogenesis in this patient population. Fifteen MPeM associated with endometriosis were retrieved from our files. Most presented with abdominal/pelvic pain, mass or distention; median age was 45 yr. Only 16% of patients had a history of asbestos exposure. In contrast, a third of the patients had a personal history of other neoplasms, and >80% had a family history of malignancies. Although most tumors had gross and microscopic features typical of MPeM, some had confounding features including "adhesion-like" appearance or gelatinous cysts/nodules, and signet ring cells. Tumors were epithelioid (9) and biphasic (6). MPeM was misdiagnosed as Müllerian carcinoma in 40% of cases. All patients (n=15) had cytoreductive surgery in addition to other therapies. Only 2/12 patients died of disease (17%). The 3- and 5-yr overall survival was 90%. MPeM associated with endometriosis tends to occur in patients with personal/familial history of malignancies, which may be a predisposing factor. In light of this finding, the role of endometriosis in the pathogenesis of MPeM is likely less relevant. The favorable outcome seen in these patients may be related to germline mutations or the hormonal milieu and needs further investigation.

RevDate: 2021-05-19

Sato T, Mukai S, Ikeda H, et al (2021)

Silencing of SmgGDS, a Novel mTORC1 Inducer That Binds to RHEBs, Inhibits Malignant Mesothelioma Cell Proliferation.

Molecular cancer research : MCR, 19(5):921-931.

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive tumor that typically develops after a long latency following asbestos exposure. Although mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) activation enhances MM cell growth, the mTORC1 inhibitor everolimus has shown limited efficacy in clinical trials of MM patients. We explored the mechanism underlying mTORC1 activation in MM cells and its effects on cell proliferation and progression. Analysis of the expression profiles of 87 MMs from The Cancer Genome Atlas revealed that 40 samples (46%) displayed altered expression of RPTOR (mTORC1 component) and genes immediately upstream that activate mTORC1. Among them, we focused on RHEB and RHEBL1, which encode direct activators of mTORC1. Exogenous RHEBL1 expression enhanced MM cell growth, indicating that RHEB-mTORC1 signaling acts as a pro-oncogenic cascade. We investigated molecules that directly activate RHEBs, identifying SmgGDS as a novel RHEB-binding protein. SmgGDS knockdown reduced mTORC1 activation and inhibited the proliferation of MM cells with mTORC1 activation. Interestingly, SmgGDS displayed high binding affinity with inactive GDP-bound RHEBL1, and its knockdown reduced cytosolic RHEBL1 without affecting its activation. These findings suggest that SmgGDS retains GDP-bound RHEBs in the cytosol, whereas GTP-bound RHEBs are localized on intracellular membranes to promote mTORC1 activation. We revealed a novel role for SmgGDS in the RHEB-mTORC1 pathway and its potential as a therapeutic target in MM with aberrant mTORC1 activation. IMPLICATIONS: Our data showing that SmgGDS regulates RHEB localization to activate mTORC1 indicate that SmgGDS can be used as a new therapeutic target for MM exhibiting mTORC1 activation.

RevDate: 2021-03-03

Keller M, Reis K, Hjerpe A, et al (2021)

Cytoskeletal Organization Correlates to Motility and Invasiveness of Malignant Mesothelioma Cells.

Cancers, 13(4):.

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a rare but highly aggressive cancer that primarily originates from the pleura, peritoneum or pericardium. There is a well-established link between asbestos exposure and progression of MM. Direct invasion of the surrounding tissues is the main feature of MM, which is dependent on dysregulated communication between the mesothelium and the microenvironment. This communication is dependent on the dynamic organization of the cytoskeleton. We have analyzed the organization and function of key cytoskeletal components in MM cell lines of increasing malignancies measured as migratory and invasive properties, and we show that highly malignant and invasive MM cells have an organization of the actin filament and vimentin systems that is distinct from the less malignant MM cell lines. In addition, the Hippo tumor suppressor pathway was inactivated in the invasive MM cells, which was seen as increased YAP nuclear localization.

RevDate: 2021-03-02

Lococo F (2021)

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: Time Is Running Out.

Journal of clinical medicine, 10(4):.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare but highly malignant disease of the pleura usually related to asbestos exposure [...].

RevDate: 2021-04-27
CmpDate: 2021-04-27

Emmett EA (2021)

Asbestos in High-Risk Communities: Public Health Implications.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(4):.

Asbestos-related diseases (ARDs)-mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis-are well known as occupational diseases. As industrial asbestos use is eliminated, ARDs within the general community from para-occupational, environmental, and natural exposures are more prominent. ARD clusters have been studied in communities including Broni, Italy; Libby, Montana; Wittenoom, Western Australia; Karain, Turkey; Ambler, Pennsylvania; and elsewhere. Community ARDs pose specific public health issues and challenges. Community exposure results in higher proportions of mesothelioma in women and a younger age distribution than occupational exposures. Exposure amount, age at exposure, fiber type, and genetic predisposition influence ARD expression; vulnerable groups include those with social and behavioral risk, exposure to extreme events, and genetic predispositions. To address community exposure, regulations should address all carcinogenic elongated mineral fibers. Banning asbestos mining, use, and importation will not reduce risks from asbestos already in place. Residents of high-risk communities are characteristically exposed through several pathways differing among communities. Administrative responsibility for controlling environmental exposures is more diffuse than for workplaces, complicated by diverse community attitudes to risk and prevention and legal complexity. The National Mesothelioma Registries help track the identification of communities at risk. High-risk communities need enhanced services for screening, diagnosis, treatment, and social and psychological support, including for retired asbestos workers. Legal settlements could help fund community programs. A focus on prevention, public health programs, particularization to specific community needs, and participation is recommended.

RevDate: 2021-03-03

Vogl M, Rosenmayr A, Bohanes T, et al (2021)

Biomarkers for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma-A Novel View on Inflammation.

Cancers, 13(4):.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive disease with limited treatment response and devastating prognosis. Exposure to asbestos and chronic inflammation are acknowledged as main risk factors. Since immune therapy evolved as a promising novel treatment modality, we want to reevaluate and summarize the role of the inflammatory system in MPM. This review focuses on local tumor associated inflammation on the one hand and systemic inflammatory markers, and their impact on MPM outcome, on the other hand. Identification of new biomarkers helps to select optimal patient tailored therapy, avoid ineffective treatment with its related side effects and consequently improves patient's outcome in this rare disease. Additionally, a better understanding of the tumor promoting and tumor suppressing inflammatory processes, influencing MPM pathogenesis and progression, might also reveal possible new targets for MPM treatment. After reviewing the currently available literature and according to our own research, it is concluded that the suppression of the specific immune system and the activation of its innate counterpart are crucial drivers of MPM aggressiveness translating to poor patient outcome.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Support

In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.

ESP Rationale

Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.

ESP Goal

In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Usage

Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.

ESP Content

When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.

ESP Help

Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.

ESP Plans

With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

The ESP began as an effort to share a handful of key papers from the early days of classical genetics. Now the collection has grown to include hundreds of papers, in full-text format.

Digital Books

Along with papers on classical genetics, ESP offers a collection of full-text digital books, including many works by Darwin (and even a collection of poetry — Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg).


ESP now offers a much improved and expanded collection of timelines, designed to give the user choice over subject matter and dates.


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

Bibliographies on several topics of potential interest to the ESP community are now being automatically maintained and generated on the ESP site.

ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 07 JUL 2018 )