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Bibliography on: Mesothelioma and Asbestos

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 08 Dec 2021 at 01:38 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: 2021-12-03

Popat S, Baas P, Faivre-Finn C, et al (2021)

Malignant pleural mesothelioma: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.

RevDate: 2021-11-29

Chen Z, Song S, Yang C, et al (2021)

Lipid Profiling in Malignant Mesothelioma Reveals Promising Signatures for Diagnosis and Prognosis: A Plasma-Based LC-MS Lipidomics Study.

Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry pii:S0009-8981(21)00414-9 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Malignant mesothelioma (MM), being a rare and aggressive carcinoma, can barely be cured. Incidence of this cancer will keep climbing up in the next few decades since its major carcinogen, asbestos, is still in use in many countries. Unfortunately, prognosis of MM is unsatisfactory principally due to poor early diagnosis as a result of its long latency period and ambiguous symptoms. Lipids are known to contribute to cellular structure, signaling, and energy storage, and are widely reported to be related with tumorigenesis. Therefore, we aim to discover novel lipid biomarkers by plasma-based lipidomics that may improve MM diagnosis.

METHODS: Plasma samples from 25 MM patients and 32 healthy controls (HCs) were collected and analysed using a high-throughput liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Univariate and multivariate analyses were subsequently performed to visualize the separation trend between two groups and to screen for differential feature ions. Ions were annotated using LipidSearch 4.2 and their enriched pathways were detected on LIPEA. Receiver operating curves (ROC) were used for analysing each annotated lipid's diagnostic value. Survival analyses were performed to investigate each lipid's prognostic value.

RESULTS: In supervised partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA), clear separation between MM and HC groups was observed. A total of 34 differential lipids were annotated, among which 5 upregulated and 29 downregulated. Levels of plasma triacylglycerols (TGs) were higher in smoking versus non-smoking patients, and lower in female versus male patients. The top six lipids possessing highest diagnostic value included two phosphatidylethanolamines (PEs), two phosphatidylcholines (PCs) and two ceramides. Moreover, elevated circulating TG levels were associated with poorer survival, whereas increased monohexosylceramide (Hex1Cer) might be beneficial.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study revealed differentially expressed lipid patterns in MM and HC. PC, PE, and ceramides showed outstanding diagnostic performance, while TG and Hex1Cer exhibited significant prognostic values. Nevertheless, more studies should verify these trends as well as further investigating underlying mechanisms.

RevDate: 2021-11-29

De Sario M, Bauleo L, Magnani C, et al (2021)

L'impatto dell'esposizione occupazionale ad amianto sul tumore del polmone in Italia.

Epidemiologia e prevenzione, 45(5):353-367.

OBJECTIVES: to perform a meta-analysis of cohort studies on lung cancer mortality in occupational sectors exposed to asbestos, particularly in the construction sector, and to use data from Italian cohorts exposed to asbestos to estimate the number of lung cancer cases attributable to asbestos in Italy.

METHODS: systematic literature review and estimation of lung cancer deaths and cases attributable to asbestos in Italian cohorts and from the Italian National Register of Malignant Mesothelioma (ReNaM).

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: the literature search was conducted in Medline and Embase (Ovid), including papers published from 1999 to May 2019. The following sectors were considered most exposed to asbestos: asbestos-cement, rolling-stock, shipyards, dockyards, glass workers, insulators, asphalt roll production workers, industrial ovens, miners. Moreover, the construction sector was included.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) was estimated from the meta-analysis of the literature review. The ratio lung cancer to mesothelioma attributable cases was estimated by occupational sector from the Italian cohorts. For the construction sector, the ratio lung cancer to mesothelioma cases was estimated within the exposed workers estimated by CAREX (1990-1993). The ratios were applied to the mesothelioma cases registered at the ReNaM for the 2010-2015 period, to obtain a national estimate of lung cancer cases attributable to occupational exposure to asbestos.

RESULTS: the meta-analytical SMR for lung cancer in men varied between 1.05 (asphalt roll) and 2.36 (insulation). The mean risk for all sectors was 1.37 in men and 1.60 in women. It increased in cohorts with latency higher than 20 years. Significant risks were observed in asbestos-cement (both genders), construction, and mining sectors. There was a mean of 1.1, 2.7, and 2.8 lung cancer deaths per mesothelioma death in the cement-asbestos, harbour, and construction sectors, respectively. The impact in terms of lung cancer cases estimated at the national level was equal to 3,814 cases between 2010 and 2015.

CONCLUSIONS: to provide an overall assessment of the impact of the occupational asbestos exposure, it is important to consider lung cancer cases, in addition to malignant mesotheliomas. This study was able to estimate the impact of asbestos on lung cancer in Italy 25 years after the ban of this occupational carcinogen, with the largest contribution in terms of attributable cases coming from the construction sector. It is urgent to implement adequate information and prevention strategies, health surveillance of workers, and the appropriate legal framework for insurance purposes.

RevDate: 2021-11-29

Kawamoto Y, Kure S, Katayama H, et al (2021)

Cytological assessment of desmoplastic malignant pleural mesothelioma in an autopsy case.

Journal of Nippon Medical School = Nippon Ika Daigaku zasshi [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Desmoplastic malignant pleural mesothelioma (DMPM) is a sarcoma type mesothelioma, comprising about 5% of malignant pleural mesotheliomas. Although effusion cytology is commonly used as the primary diagnostic approach for mesothelioma, this may not be useful for DMPM due to its desmoplastic nature and bland cellular atypia. We hereby report a case of DMPM diagnosed through autopsy along with its cytological features that have not been described previously.

CASE PRESENTATION: A male in his 60s with a history of occupational asbestos exposure was referred to our hospital with right chest pain. Chest computed tomography scan showed right pleural effusion. Thirteen months later, the patient died of respiratory failure. In autopsy, the scrape-imprint smear and the pleural effusions cytology were performed. The scrape-imprint smear samples exhibited spindle cells with mild nuclear atypia and grooves with fibrous stroma. In the pleural effusion cytology, spindle cells having mild nuclear atypia and grooves with loose epithelial connections were observed. Histological examination of the right pleura showed spindle cells proliferating with dense collagen fibers, as seen in cytological samples, thus rendering the diagnosis of DMPM. Diagnosis was confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization.

CONCLUSION: Cytological procedures, such as pleural effusion cytology and scrape-imprinting method, may be useful as an ancillary tool in the diagnosis of rare tumors such as DMPM.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Kelarji AB, Alshutaihi MS, Ghazal A, et al (2021)

Correction to: A rare case of benign multicystic peritoneal mesothelioma misdiagnosed as hydatid cyst found in the liver parenchyma and abdomen cavity of a male with asbestos exposure.

BMC gastroenterology, 21(1):447.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Filetti V, Loreto C, Falzone L, et al (2021)

Diagnostic and Prognostic Value of Three microRNAs in Environmental Asbestiform Fibers-Associated Malignant Mesothelioma.

Journal of personalized medicine, 11(11): pii:jpm11111205.

Fluoro-edenite (FE) is an asbestiform fiber identified in Biancavilla (Sicily, Italy). Environmental exposure to FE has been associated with a higher incidence of malignant mesothelioma (MM). The present study aimed to validate the predicted diagnostic significance of hsa-miR-323a-3p, hsa-miR-101-3p, and hsa-miR-20b-5p on a subset of MM patients exposed to FE and matched with healthy controls. For this purpose, MM tissues vs. nonmalignant pleura tissues were analyzed through droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) to evaluate differences in the expression levels of the selected miRNAs and their MM diagnostic potential. In addition, further computational analysis has been performed to establish the correlation of these miRNAs with the available online asbestos exposure data and clinic-pathological parameters to verify the potential role of these miRNAs as prognostic tools. ddPCR results showed that the three analyzed miRNAs were significantly down-regulated in MM cases vs. controls. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis revealed high specificity and sensitivity rates for both hsa-miR-323a-3p and hsa-miR-20b-5p, which thus acquire a diagnostic value for MM. In silico results showed a potential prognostic role of hsa-miR-101-3p due to a significant association of its higher expression and increased overall survival (OS) of MM patients.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Cersosimo F, Barbarino M, Lonardi S, et al (2021)

Mesothelioma Malignancy and the Microenvironment: Molecular Mechanisms.

Cancers, 13(22): pii:cancers13225664.

Several studies have reported that cellular and soluble components of the tumor microenvironment (TME) play a key role in cancer-initiation and progression. Considering the relevance and the complexity of TME in cancer biology, recent research has focused on the investigation of the TME content, in terms of players and informational exchange. Understanding the crosstalk between tumor and non-tumor cells is crucial to design more beneficial anti-cancer therapeutic strategies. Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a complex and heterogenous tumor mainly caused by asbestos exposure with few treatment options and low life expectancy after standard therapy. MPM leukocyte infiltration is rich in macrophages. Given the failure of macrophages to eliminate asbestos fibers, these immune cells accumulate in pleural cavity leading to the establishment of a unique inflammatory environment and to the malignant transformation of mesothelial cells. In this inflammatory landscape, stromal and immune cells play a driven role to support tumor development and progression via a bidirectional communication with tumor cells. Characterization of the MPM microenvironment (MPM-ME) may be useful to understand the complexity of mesothelioma biology, such as to identify new molecular druggable targets, with the aim to improve the outcome of the disease. In this review, we summarize the known evidence about the MPM-ME network, including its prognostic and therapeutic relevance.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Ramundo V, Zanirato G, E Aldieri (2021)

The Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) in the Development and Metastasis of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(22): pii:ijms222212216.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive tumor mainly associated with asbestos exposure and is characterized by a very difficult pharmacological approach. One of the molecular mechanisms associated with cancer onset and invasiveness is the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), an event induced by different types of inducers, such as transforming growth factor β (TGFβ), the main inducer of EMT, and oxidative stress. MPM development and metastasis have been correlated to EMT; On one hand, EMT mediates the effects exerted by asbestos fibers in the mesothelium, particularly via increased oxidative stress and TGFβ levels evoked by asbestos exposure, thus promoting a malignant phenotype, and on the other hand, MPM acquires invasiveness via the EMT event, as shown by an upregulation of mesenchymal markers or, although indirectly, some miRNAs or non-coding RNAs, all demonstrated to be involved in cancer onset and metastasis. This review aims to better describe how EMT is involved in driving the development and invasiveness of MPM, in an attempt to open new scenarios that are useful in the identification of predictive markers and to improve the pharmacological approach against this aggressive cancer.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Javadi J, Görgens A, Vanky H, et al (2021)

Diagnostic and Prognostic Utility of the Extracellular Vesicles Subpopulations Present in Pleural Effusion.

Biomolecules, 11(11): pii:biom11111606.

Extracellular vesicles (EVs), comprising exosomes, microvesicles, and apoptotic bodies, are released by all cells into the extracellular matrix and body fluids, where they play important roles in intercellular communication and matrix remodeling in various pathological conditions. Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a primary tumor of mesothelial origin, predominantly related to asbestos exposure. The detection of MPM at an early stage and distinguishing it from benign conditions and metastatic adenocarcinomas (AD) is sometimes challenging. Pleural effusion is often the first available biological material and an ideal source for characterizing diagnostic and prognostic factors. Specific proteins have previously been identified as diagnostic markers in effusion, but it is not currently known whether these are associated with vesicles or released in soluble form. Here, we study and characterize tumor heterogeneity and extracellular vesicle diversity in pleural effusion as diagnostic or prognostic markers for MPM. We analyzed extracellular vesicles and soluble proteins from 27 pleural effusions, which were collected and processed at the department of pathology and cytology at Karolinska University Hospital, representing three different patient groups, MPM (n = 9), benign (n = 6), and AD (n = 12). The vesicles were fractionated into apoptotic bodies, microvesicles, and exosomes by differential centrifugation and characterized by nanoparticle tracking analysis and Western blotting. Multiplex bead-based flow cytometry analysis showed that exosomal markers were expressed differently on EVs present in different fractions. Further characterization of exosomes by a multiplex immunoassay (Luminex) showed that all soluble proteins studied were also present in exosomes, though the ratio of protein concentration present in supernatant versus exosomes varied. The proportion of Angiopoietin-1 present in exosomes was generally higher in benign compared to malignant samples. The corresponding ratios of Mesothelin, Galectin-1, Osteopontin, and VEGF were higher in MPM effusions compared to those in the benign group. These findings demonstrate that relevant diagnostic markers can be recovered from exosomes.

RevDate: 2021-11-25

Nowak AK, Chin WL, Keam S, et al (2021)

Immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Lung cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 162:162-168 pii:S0169-5002(21)00599-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Mesothelioma is a rare and universally fatal cancer linked to exposure to asbestos. Until recently, standard of care treatment was chemotherapy; a treatment resulting in a minimal survival extension, and not improved upon for almost twenty years. However, the advent of cancer immunotherapy - and in particular the immune checkpoint inhibitor class of drugs - has resulted in recently approved new treatment options, with more currently under investigation. Here, we review clinical trials of both single agent and combination checkpoint inhibitors in mesothelioma, plus studies investigating their combination with chemotherapy. We also describe current advances in biomarker identification regarding prediction of patient response to checkpoint inhibitors. Finally, we assess the probable future direction of the field; including where current and developing technologies are likely to lead - in terms of both biomarker discovery and treatment options.

RevDate: 2021-11-24

Novelli F, Bononi A, Wang Q, et al (2021)

BAP1 forms a trimer with HMGB1 and HDAC1 that modulates gene × environment interaction with asbestos.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(48):.

Carriers of heterozygous germline BAP1 mutations (BAP1 +/-) are affected by the "BAP1 cancer syndrome." Although they can develop almost any cancer type, they are unusually susceptible to asbestos carcinogenesis and mesothelioma. Here we investigate why among all carcinogens, BAP1 mutations cooperate with asbestos. Asbestos carcinogenesis and mesothelioma have been linked to a chronic inflammatory process promoted by the extracellular release of the high-mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1). We report that BAP1 +/- cells secrete increased amounts of HMGB1, and that BAP1 +/- carriers have detectable serum levels of acetylated HMGB1 that further increase when they develop mesothelioma. We linked these findings to our discovery that BAP1 forms a trimeric protein complex with HMGB1 and with histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) that modulates HMGB1 acetylation and its release. Reduced BAP1 levels caused increased ubiquitylation and degradation of HDAC1, leading to increased acetylation of HMGB1 and its active secretion that in turn promoted mesothelial cell transformation.

RevDate: 2021-11-17

Dodge DG, Engel AM, Prueitt RL, et al (2021)

US EPA's TSCA risk assessment approach: a case study of asbestos in automotive brakes.

Inhalation toxicology [Epub ahead of print].

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) is currently refining its approach for risk assessments conducted under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), largely based on recommendations from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). We identified several issues with the current TSCA risk assessment approach that were not addressed by NASEM in its recommendations. Here, we demonstrate these issues with a case study of the 'Risk Evaluation for Asbestos, Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos,' which US EPA released in December 2020. In this evaluation, US EPA found that occupational and some consumer uses of automotive brakes and clutches that contain asbestos result in unreasonable risks. These risks were calculated from estimated exposures during brake work and an inhalation unit risk (IUR) developed for chrysotile asbestos. We found that US EPA overestimated risk as a result of unrealistic inputs to both the exposure and toxicity components of the risk equation, and because the Agency did not fully consider relevant epidemiology and toxicity evidence in its systematic review. Our evaluation demonstrates areas in which the TSCA risk assessment approach could be improved to result in risk evaluations that are supported by the available scientific evidence.

RevDate: 2021-11-14

Sidhu C, Louw A, YC Gary Lee (2021)

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: Updates for Respiratory Physicians.

Clinics in chest medicine, 42(4):697-710.

RevDate: 2021-11-15

Çakılkaya P, Sørensen RR, Jürgensen HJ, et al (2021)

The Collagen Receptor uPARAP in Malignant Mesothelioma: A Potential Diagnostic Marker and Therapeutic Target.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(21): pii:ijms222111452.

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a highly aggressive cancer with limited therapeutic options. We have previously shown that the endocytic collagen receptor, uPARAP, is upregulated in certain cancers and can be therapeutically targeted. Public RNA expression data display uPARAP overexpression in MM. Thus, to evaluate its potential use in diagnostics and therapy, we quantified uPARAP expression by immunohistochemical H-score in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded bioptic/surgical human tissue samples and tissue microarrays. We detected pronounced upregulation of uPARAP in the three main MM subtypes compared to non-malignant reactive mesothelial proliferations, with higher expression in sarcomatoid and biphasic than in epithelioid MM. The upregulation appeared to be independent of patients' asbestos exposure and unaffected after chemotherapy. Using immunoblotting, we demonstrated high expression of uPARAP in MM cell lines and no expression in a non-malignant mesothelial cell line. Moreover, we showed the specific internalization of an anti-uPARAP monoclonal antibody by the MM cell lines using flow cytometry-based assays and confocal microscopy. Finally, we demonstrated the sensitivity of these cells towards sub-nanomolar concentrations of an antibody-drug conjugate formed with the uPARAP-directed antibody and a potent cytotoxin that led to efficient, uPARAP-specific eradication of the MM cells. Further studies on patient cohorts and functional preclinical models will fully reveal whether uPARAP could be exploited in diagnostics and therapeutic targeting of MM.

RevDate: 2021-11-15

Zupanc C, Franko A, Štrbac D, et al (2021)

Serum Calretinin as a Biomarker in Malignant Mesothelioma.

Journal of clinical medicine, 10(21): pii:jcm10214875.

The early diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma (MM) could improve the prognosis of MM patients. To confirm an MM diagnosis, an immunohistochemical analysis of several tumor tissue markers, including calretinin, is currently required. Our aim is to evaluate serum calretinin as a potential biomarker in asbestos-related diseases, especially in MM. Our study includes 549 subjects: 164 MM patients, 117 subjects with asbestosis, 195 subjects with pleural plaques and 73 occupationally asbestos-exposed subjects without asbestos-related diseases. The serum calretinin concentration was determined with a commercially available enzyme immunoassay. Data on the soluble mesothelin-related peptides (SMRP) concentration are available from previous studies. MM patients had a significantly higher calretinin concentration than subjects without disease, subjects with pleural plaques or subjects with asbestosis (all p < 0.001). The histological type was significantly associated with serum calretinin: patients with sarcomatoid MM had lower calretinin than patients with the epithelioid type (p = 0.001). In a ROC curve analysis, the area under the curve for calretinin concentration predicting MM was 0.826 (95% CI = 0.782-0.869; p < 0.001). At the cutoff value of 0.32 ng/mL, sensitivity was 0.683, while specificity was 0.886. The combination of calretinin and SMRP had the highest predictive value. Calretinin is a useful biomarker that can distinguish MM from other asbestos-related diseases and could, therefore, contribute to an earlier non-invasive diagnosis of MM.

RevDate: 2021-11-13

Ke H, Gill AJ, McKenzie C, et al (2021)

Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma With EWSR1-ATF1 Fusion: A Case Report.

JTO clinical and research reports, 2(11):100236.

Malignant mesothelioma with EWSR1-ATF1 fusion is a rare malignancy described in young adults without asbestos exposure. To the best of our knowledge, outcomes to local and systemic therapies for this subtype of malignant mesothelioma have not been described. This case report describes the clinical course of a 19-year-old man diagnosed with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma with EWSR1-ATF1 fusion localized to the abdomen. His disease followed an aggressive course and resulted in limited survival (18 mo). There was treatment resistance to several lines of conventional local and systemic treatments for peritoneal mesothelioma and biologically targeted MET inhibition with crizotinib. More research is required in this rare subtype of peritoneal mesothelioma.

RevDate: 2021-11-11

Rapisarda V, Broggi G, Caltabiano R, et al (2021)

ATG7 immunohistochemical expression in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. A preliminary report.

Histology and histopathology pii:HH-18-396 [Epub ahead of print].

Literature evidence has demonstrated a high incidence of asbestos-related malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) in a Sicilian town (Biancavilla, Italy), where fluoro-edenite (FE) fibers were discovered some decades ago. As ATG7 immunohistochemical analysis has been ascribed as a prognostic tool of improved survival, we decided to investigate, in MPM patients, exposed and not exposed to FE fibers, the immunohistochemical expression of this autophagy-related protein named ATG7. We analyzed the correlation between ATG7 immunohistochemical level and clinicopathological parameters. Twenty MPM tissue samples, from patients with available clinical and follow-up data, were included in paraffin and processed for immunohistochemistry. The immunohistochemical results confirmed activation of the autophagic process in MPM. Densitometric and morphometric expressions of ATG7 were significantly increased in MPMs when compared to the control tissues. A significant association of a high level of ATG7 with increased survival was demonstrated, with a mean overall survival (OS) of 12.5 months for patients with high expression vs. a mean OS of 4.5 months for patients with low ATG7 expression. In addition, a significant correlation between ATG7 expression and the survival time of MPM patients was observed. This study represents a starting point to hypothesize the prognostic role of ATG7 which could be a reliable prognostic indicator in MPM.

RevDate: 2021-11-10

Touma T, Taira R, Makida T, et al (2022)

Marked ventilation impairment due to progression of diffuse pleural thickening after cardiac surgery.

Radiology case reports, 17(1):1-4 pii:S1930-0433(21)00700-7.

A 64-year-old Japanese man presented with dyspnea and shortness of breath during exertion. Chest computed tomography revealed bilateral pleural effusion. He was drowsy because of CO2 storage and died due to ventilatory impairment. His past medical history included a thymectomy and adjuvant radiotherapy with thymoma. He had undergone cardiac surgery and permanent pacemaker implantation. The autopsy examination revealed extensive bilateral pleural adhesions and diffuse visceral pleural thickening. An inspection of multiple lung sections failed to detect any asbestos body formation or mesothelioma. The patient's pleural effusion and diffuse pleural thickening may have exacerbated after cardiac surgery. In this case, the progression and pathophysiology of the pleural thickening could be traced by imaging and an autopsy, and we were able to estimate the factors that exacerbated the pleural thickening and ventilation impairment.

RevDate: 2021-11-09

Hemminki K, Försti A, Chen T, et al (2021)

Incidence, mortality and survival in malignant pleural mesothelioma before and after asbestos in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

BMC cancer, 21(1):1189.

BACKGROUND: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare but fatal cancer, which is largely caused by exposure to asbestos. Reliable information about the incidence of MPM prior the influence of asbestos is lacking. The nationwide regional incidence trends for MPM remain poorly characterized. We use nationwide MPM data for Denmark (DK), Finland (FI), Norway (NO) and Sweden (SE) to assess incidence, mortality and survival trends for MPM in these countries.

METHODS: We use the NORDCAN database for the analyses: incidence data were available from 1943 in DK, 1953 in FI and NO and 1958 in SE, through 2016. Survival data were available from 1967 through 2016. World standard population was used in age standardization.

RESULTS: The lowest incidence that we recorded for MPM was 0.02/100,000 for NO women and 0.05/100,000 for FI men in 1953-57, marking the incidence before the influence of asbestos. The highest rate of 1.9/100,000 was recorded for DK in 1997. Female incidence was much lower than male incidence. In each country, the male incidence trend for MPM culminated, first in SE around 1990. The regional incidence trends matched with earlier asbestos-related industrial activity, shipbuilding in FI and SE, cement manufacturing and shipbuilding in DK and seafaring in NO. Relative 1-year survival increased from about 20 to 50% but 5-year survival remained at or below 10%.

CONCLUSION: In the Nordic countries, the male incidence trends for MPM climaxed and started to decrease, indicating that the prevention of exposure was beneficial. Survival in MPM has improved for both sexes but long-term survival remains dismal.

RevDate: 2021-11-06

Hessel PA (2021)

Mesothelioma among vehicle mechanics: a controversy?.

Thorax pii:thoraxjnl-2021-217880 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-11-05

Inamasu E, Tsuchiya T, Yamauchi M, et al (2021)

Anticancer agent α-sulfoquinovosyl-acylpropanediol enhances the radiosensitivity of human malignant mesothelioma in nude mouse models.

Journal of radiation research pii:6414417 [Epub ahead of print].

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a highly malignant disease that develops after asbestos exposure. Although the number of MPM cases is predicted to increase, no effective standard therapies have been established. The novel radiosensitizer α-sulfoquinovosyl-acylpropanediol (SQAP) enhances the effects of γ-radiation in human lung and prostate cancer cell lines and in animal models. In this study, we explored the radiosensitizing effect of SQAP and its mechanisms in MPM. The human MPM cell lines MSTO-211H and MESO-4 were implanted subcutaneously into the backs and thoracic cavities of immunodeficient KSN/Slc mice, then 2 mg/kg SQAP was intravenously administered with or without irradiation with a total body dose of 8 Gy. In both the orthotopic and ectopic xenograft murine models, the combination of irradiation plus SQAP delayed the implanted human MSTO-211H tumor growth. The analysis of the changes in the relative tumor volume of the MSTO-211H indicated a statistically significant difference after 8 Gy total body combined with 2 mg/kg SQAP, compared to both the untreated control (P = 0.0127) and the radiation treatment alone (P = 0.0171). After the treatment in each case, immunostaining of the harvested tumors revealed decreased cell proliferation, increased apoptosis and normalization of tumor blood vessels in the SQAP- and irradiation-treated group. Furthermore, hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) 1 mRNA and protein expression were decreased, indicating reoxygenation in this group. In conclusion, SQAP improved hypoxic conditions in tumor tissue and may elicit a radiosensitizing effect in malignant mesothelioma models.

RevDate: 2021-11-03
CmpDate: 2021-11-03

Yamamoto S, Lee S, Ariyasu T, et al (2021)

Ingredients such as trehalose and hesperidin taken as supplements or foods reverse alterations in human T cells, reducing asbestos exposure-induced antitumor immunity.

International journal of oncology, 58(4):.

Exposure of human immune cells to asbestos causes a reduction in antitumor immunity. The present study aimed to investigate the recovery of reduced antitumor immunity by several ingredients taken as supplements or foods, including trehalose (Treh) and glycosylated hesperidin (gHesp). Peripheral blood CD4+ cells were stimulated with IL‑2, anti‑CD3 and anti‑CD28 antibodies for 3 days, followed by further stimulation with IL‑2 for 7 days. Subsequently, cells were stimulated with IL‑2 for an additional 28 days. During the 28 days, cells were cultured in the absence or presence of 50 µg/ml chrysotile asbestos fibers. In addition, cells were treated with 10 mM Treh or 10 µM gHesp. Following culture for 28 days, reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR was performed to assess the expression levels of transcription factors, cytokines and specific genes, including matrix metalloproteinase‑7 (MMP‑7), nicotinamide nucleotide transhydrogenase (NNT) and C‑X‑C motif chemokine receptor 3, in unstimulated cells (fresh) and cells stimulated with PMA and ionomycin (stimuli). The results demonstrated that compared with the control group, chrysotile‑exposure induced alterations in MMP‑7, NNT and IL‑17A expression levels were not observed in the 'Treh' and 'gHesp' groups in stimulated cells. The results suggested that Treh and gHesp may reverse asbestos exposure‑induced reduced antitumor immunity in T helper cells. However, further investigation is required to confirm the efficacy of future trials involving the use of these compounds with high‑risk human populations exposed to asbestos, such as workers involved in asbestos‑handling activities.

RevDate: 2021-11-02

Gupta A, Vasileva A, S Manthri (2021)

The Rarest of the Rare: A Case of BAP1-Mutated Primary Peritoneal Mesothelioma.

Cureus, 13(9):e18380.

Malignant mesotheliomas (MM), as described are rare tumors that are mostly associated with occupational exposure to asbestos. They most commonly occur in the pleura. Other unfamiliar sites where they can occur are the peritoneum, pericardium, and tunica vaginalis. There is no significant correlation between the amount and duration of asbestos exposure to mesothelioma development as reported by various studies over the years. Apart from the environmental exposure, the development of malignant mesothelioma has been linked to a mutation in the BAP1 gene, which can predispose the patient to develop other malignancies associated with BAP1 mutation. We report a case of a 43-year-old man without any significant risk factors, who presented with a complaint of abdominal discomfort and was found to have malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPM). With a known familial history of mesothelioma and melanoma, our patient underwent genetic testing which revealed a mutation in BAP1, affirming the strong association with the development of MPM. Young patients who develop malignant mesothelioma without risk factors for MM should have germline testing for BAP1. This case report is unique and highlights a familial variant of mesothelioma, even rare with peritoneal mesothelioma in our patient.

RevDate: 2021-10-26

Danese MD, Daumont M, Nwokeji E, et al (2021)

Treatment patterns and outcomes in older patients with advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma: Analyses of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare data.

Cancer reports (Hoboken, N.J.) [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Malignant mesothelioma is a rare neoplasm associated with asbestos exposure. Characterizing treatment patterns and outcomes of older patients with advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is important to understand the unmet needs of this population.

AIM: To evaluate the demographic and clinical characteristics, treatment patterns, and outcomes among older patients diagnosed with advanced MPM in the United States between 2007 and 2013.

METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study using Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data linked with Medicare claims. We included patients who were age 66 or older at the time of their primary MPM diagnosis between 2007 and 2013 and followed them through 2014. Treated patients who received first-line chemotherapy with pemetrexed and platinum within 90 days of diagnosis, second-line, or third-line therapy were identified for evaluation of outcomes.

RESULTS: There were 666 older patients with advanced MPM, of whom 82% were male, 87% White, 78% stage IV, and 70% had no mobility limitation indicators at diagnosis. There were 262 patients who received first-line chemotherapy for advanced MPM, most of whom (80%; n = 209) received pemetrexed-platinum. Of these 209 patients, 41% (n = 86) initiated second-line therapy, and 26% (n = 22) initiated third-line therapy. Median overall survival for the cohort of 209 patients was 7.2 months. Patients with epithelioid histology had better median overall survival (12.2 months) compared with other histologies (4.4-5.6 months). Within 90 days of diagnosis of advanced MPM, 78% of patients were hospitalized, 52% visited an emergency department, and 21% had hospice care. The 2-year cost of care was over $100 000 for all patients with advanced MPM treated with first-line pemetrexed-platinum.

CONCLUSIONS: Although first-line systemic anticancer treatment was generally consistent with guidelines (e.g., pemetrexed-platinum), poor patient outcomes highlight the need for effective treatment options for older patients with advanced MPM.

RevDate: 2021-10-24

Shrestha S, Adhikary G, Naselsky W, et al (2021)

ACTL6A suppresses p21Cip1 tumor suppressor expression to maintain an aggressive mesothelioma cancer cell phenotype.

Oncogenesis, 10(10):70.

Mesothelioma is a poor prognosis cancer of the mesothelial lining that develops in response to exposure to various agents including asbestos. Actin-Like Protein 6A (ACTL6A, BAF53a) is a SWI/SNF regulatory complex protein that is elevated in cancer cells and has been implicated as a driver of cancer cell survival and tumor formation. In the present study, we show that ACTL6A drives mesothelioma cancer cell proliferation, spheroid formation, invasion, and migration, and that these activities are markedly attenuated by ACTL6A knockdown. ACTL6A expression reduces the levels of the p21Cip1 cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor and tumor suppressor protein. DNA binding studies show that ACTL6A interacts with Sp1 and p53 binding DNA response elements in the p21Cip1 gene promoter and that this is associated with reduced p21Cip1 promoter activity and p21Cip1 mRNA and protein levels. Moreover, ACTL6A suppression of p21Cip1 expression is required for maintenance of the aggressive mesothelioma cancer cell phenotype suggesting that p21Cip1 is a mediator of ACTL6A action. p53, a known inducer of p21Cip1 expression, is involved ACTL6A in regulation of p21Cip1 in some but not all mesothelioma cells. In addition, ACTL6A knockout markedly reduces tumor formation and this is associated with elevated tumor levels of p21Cip1. These findings suggest that ACTL6A suppresses p21Cip1 promoter activity to reduce p21Cip1 protein as a mechanism to maintain the aggressive mesothelioma cell phenotype.

RevDate: 2021-10-25
CmpDate: 2021-10-25

Ken Takahashi (2021)

Asbestos Diseases Research Institute - A New WHO Collaborating Center.

Industrial health, 59(3):143-145.

RevDate: 2021-10-22

Hiraku Y, Watanabe J, Kaneko A, et al (2021)

MicroRNA expression in lung tissues of asbestos-exposed mice: Upregulation of miR-21 and downregulation of tumor suppressor genes Pdcd4 and Reck.

Journal of occupational health, 63(1):e12282.

OBJECTIVES: Asbestos causes lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma in humans, but the precise mechanism has not been well understood. MicroRNA (miRNA) is a short non-coding RNA that suppresses gene expression and participates in human diseases including cancer. In this study, we examined the expression levels of miRNA and potential target genes in lung tissues of asbestos-exposed mice by microarray analysis.

METHODS: We intratracheally administered asbestos (chrysotile and crocidolite, 0.05 or 0.2 mg/instillation) to 6-week-old ICR male mice four times weekly. We extracted total RNA from lung tissues and performed microarray analysis for miRNA and gene expression. We also carried out real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry to confirm the results of microarray analysis.

RESULTS: Microarray analysis revealed that the expression levels of 14 miRNAs were significantly changed by chrysotile and/or crocidolite (>2-fold, P < .05). Especially, miR-21, an oncogenic miRNA, was significantly upregulated by both chrysotile and crocidolite. In database analysis, miR-21 was predicted to target tumor suppressor genes programmed cell death 4 (Pdcd4) and reversion-inducing-cysteine-rich protein with kazal motifs (Reck). Although real-time PCR showed that Pdcd4 was not significantly downregulated by asbestos exposure, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry revealed that PDCD4 expression was reduced especially by chrysotile. Reck was significantly downregulated by chrysotile in real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry.

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study demonstrating that miR-21 was upregulated and corresponding tumor suppressor genes were downregulated in lung tissues of asbestos-exposed animals. These molecular events are considered to be an early response to asbestos exposure and may contribute to pulmonary toxicity and carcinogenesis.

RevDate: 2021-10-22

Sonobe M, Kou Y, Yamazaki N, et al (2021)

Staged removal of artificial patches for thoracic empyema after extrapleural pneumonectomy for diffuse malignant pleural mesothelioma.

General thoracic and cardiovascular surgery [Epub ahead of print].

A 69-year-old man with occupational exposure to asbestos was referred to our hospital with right diffuse malignant pleural mesothelioma. He underwent extrapleural pneumonectomy with reconstruction of the pericardium and diaphragm using elongated polytetrafluoroethylene patches, followed by postoperative chemotherapy and chest wall irradiation. One year later, he was hospitalized because of a right empyema caused by Escherichia coli infection. As chest drainage and systemic antibiotics did not eliminate the abscess around the artificial patches, a Clagett window was created. To avoid mediastinal and liver overshift into the right thoracic cavity, we only performed partial resection of the diaphragm patch and incision of the artificial pericardium. After 19 days of irrigation and dressing change, the artificial patches were completely removed. Two months later, the patient provided a culture-negative sample and had an improved nutritional status; we therefore performed closure of the Clagett window with thoracoplasty. He did not experience recurrence of empyema.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

Kim EA (2021)

Standardized Incidence Ratio and Standardized Mortality Ratio of Malignant Mesothelioma in a Worker Cohort Using Employment Insurance Database in Korea.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(20): pii:ijerph182010682.

Malignant mesothelioma is one of the appropriate indicators for assessing the carcinogenic effects of asbestos. This study compared the risk ratio of mesothelioma according to the industry in the worker cohort. A cohort was constructed using the Korean employment insurance system during 1995-2017, enrolling 13,285,895 men and 10,452,705 women. The standardized mortality ratio (SMR) and standardized incidence ratio (SIR) were calculated using the indirect standardization method. There were 641 malignant mesotheliomas that occurred; the SIR was significantly higher than the general population (men 1.36, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.24-1.48, women 1.44, 95% CI: 1.23-1.7). More than half (52.8%) of malignant mesothelioma cases occurred in the manufacturing (n = 240, 38.6%, SIR: men, 1.72, 95% CI: 1.37-2.15, women, 3.31, 95% CI: 1.71-5.79) and construction industries (n = 88, 14.2%, SIR: men, 1.54 95% CI: 1.33-1.78, women, 1.62 95% CI: 1.25-2.11). The accommodation and food service (men, 2.56 95% CI: 1.28-4.58, women 1.35, 95% CI: 0.65-2.48) and real estate (men 1.34, 95% CI: 0.98-1.83, women 1.95, 95% CI: 0.78-4.02) also showed a high SIR, indicating the risk of asbestos-containing materials in old buildings. The incidence of malignant mesothelioma is likely to increase in the future, given the long latency of this disease. Moreover, long-term follow-up studies will be needed.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

Badger R, Park K, Pietrofesa RA, et al (2021)

Late Inflammation Induced by Asbestiform Fibers in Mice Is Ameliorated by a Small Molecule Synthetic Lignan.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(20): pii:ijms222010982.

Exposure to Libby amphibole (LA) asbestos-like fibers is associated with increased risk of asbestosis, mesothelioma, pulmonary disease, and systemic autoimmune disease. LGM2605 is a small molecule antioxidant and free radical scavenger, with anti-inflammatory effects in various disease models. The current study aimed to determine whether the protective effects of LGM2605 persist during the late inflammatory phase post-LA exposure. Male and female C57BL/6 mice were administered daily LGM2605 (100 mg/kg) via gel cups for 3 days before and 14 days after a 200 µg LA given via intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection. Control mice were given unsupplemented gel cups and an equivalent dose of i.p. saline. On day 14 post-LA treatment, peritoneal lavage was assessed for immune cell influx, cytokine concentrations, oxidative stress biomarkers, and immunoglobulins. During the late inflammatory phase post-LA exposure, we noted an alteration in trafficking of both innate and adaptive immune cells, increased pro-inflammatory cytokine concentrations, induction of immunoglobulin isotype switching, and increased oxidized guanine species. LGM2605 countered these changes similarly among male and female mice, ameliorating late inflammation and altering immune responses in late post-LA exposure. These data support possible efficacy of LGM2605 in the prolonged treatment of LA-associated disease and other inflammatory conditions.

RevDate: 2021-10-19

Sánchez-Trujillo L, Sanz-Anquela JM, MA Ortega (2021)

Use of the Minimum Basic Data Set as a tool for the epidemiological surveillance of mesothelioma.

Anales del sistema sanitario de Navarra, 0(0): [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Mesothelioma is a very aggressive tumor that appears after several decades of asbestos exposure. The Minimum Basic Data Set (MBDS) has been validated for the incidence of mesothelioma in Italy, but not in Spain. The objectives of this investigation are: to estimate the prevalence, incidence and mortality of mesothelioma in the Community of Madrid (CM); to evaluate the distribution of this risk within the territory; and to explore validity of the MBDS in the epidemiological surveillance of mesothelioma.

METHODS: Prevalence, incidence and mortality mesothelioma rates were calculated for the CM from data of the MBDS (2016 and 2017), and mortality data of the Spanish National Statistics Institute (INE) for the same period. The geographical distribution of cases and deaths, and its correlation at municipal level was studied. Statistical analysis with R and Excel tools was carried out.

RESULTS: The incidence of mesothelioma in the CM was higher than in previous years. Mortality estimated by the MBDS and calculated using INE data for 2016 were similar in the CM. The correlation between the geographical patterns of risk of mesothelioma obtained from the two sources was high (r = 0.86). The aggregation of cases continues in municipalities in the south, detecting the maximum risk in Aranjuez.

CONCLUSION: The MBDS and INE are good resources for monitoring the risk of mesothelioma. New studies that investigate the aggregation of cases in Aranjuez are required.

RevDate: 2021-10-19

Sato T, Nakanishi H, Akao K, et al (2021)

Three newly established immortalized mesothelial cell lines exhibit morphological phenotypes corresponding to malignant mesothelioma epithelioid, intermediate, and sarcomatoid types, respectively.

Cancer cell international, 21(1):546.

BACKGROUND: Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a very aggressive tumor that develops from mesothelial cells, mainly due to asbestos exposure. MM is categorized into three major histological subtypes: epithelioid, sarcomatoid, and biphasic, with the biphasic subtype containing both epithelioid and sarcomatoid components. Patients with sarcomatoid mesothelioma usually show a poorer prognosis than those with epithelioid mesothelioma, but it is not clear how these morphological phenotypes are determined or changed during the oncogenic transformation of mesothelial cells.

METHODS: We introduced the E6 and E7 genes of human papillomavirus type 16 and human telomerase reverse transcriptase gene in human peritoneal mesothelial cells and established three morphologically different types of immortalized mesothelial cell lines.

RESULTS: HOMC-B1 cells exhibited epithelioid morphology, HOMC-A4 cells were fibroblast-like, spindle-shaped, and HOMC-D4 cells had an intermediate morphology, indicating that these three cell lines closely mimicked the histological subtypes of MM. Gene expression profiling revealed increased expression of NOD-like receptor signaling-related genes in HOMC-A4 cells. Notably, the combination treatment of HOMC-D4 cells with TGF-β and IL-1β induced a morphological change from intermediate to sarcomatoid morphology.

CONCLUSIONS: Our established cell lines are useful for elucidating the fundamental mechanisms of mesothelial cell transformation and mesothelial-to-mesenchymal transition.

RevDate: 2021-10-17

Nowak AK (2021)

CONFIRMing single-drug immune checkpoint blockade efficacy in mesothelioma.

The Lancet. Oncology pii:S1470-2045(21)00516-7 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-10-15

Ebbinghaus-Mier D, Ebbinghaus R, Prager HM, et al (2021)

[Mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis of the testis-a histopathological finding with far-reaching consequences].

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

Mesotheliomas are very aggressive tumors, almost exclusively caused by asbestos. Four of the 5 mesotheliomas assessed in the years 2014-2020 were recognized as occupational diseases, the 5th case was discontinued due to lack of the patient's cooperation. Surgical exposure of the testis was performed under the suspected diagnoses of hydrocele (n = 3), spermatocele (n = 1) as well as "unknown" (n = 1). This proves that a histopathological examination of removed tissue is the gold standard in scrotal interventions. Every mesothelioma must always be reported as an occupational disease.

RevDate: 2021-10-15

Paustenbach D, Brew D, Ligas S, et al (2021)

A critical review of the 2020 EPA risk assessment for chrysotile and its many shortcomings.

Critical reviews in toxicology [Epub ahead of print].

From 2018 to 2020, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) performed a risk evaluation of chrysotile asbestos to evaluate the hazards of asbestos-containing products (e.g. encapsulated products), including brakes and gaskets, allegedly currently sold in the United States. During the public review period, the EPA received more than 100 letters commenting on the proposed risk evaluation. The Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC), which peer reviewed the document, asked approximately 100 questions of the EPA that they expected to be addressed prior to publication of the final version of the risk assessment on 30 December 2020. After careful analysis, the authors of this manuscript found many significant scientific shortcomings in both the EPA's draft and final versions of the chrysotile risk evaluation. First, the EPA provided insufficient evidence regarding the current number of chrysotile-containing brakes and gaskets being sold in the United States, which influences the need for regulatory oversight. Second, the Agency did not give adequate consideration to the more than 200 air samples detailed in the published literature of auto mechanics who changed brakes in the 1970-1989 era. Third, the Agency did not consider more than 15 epidemiology studies indicating that exposures to encapsulated chrysotile asbestos in brakes and gaskets, which were generally in commerce from approximately 1950-1985, did not increase the incidence of any asbestos-related disease. Fourth, the concern about chrysotile asbestos being a mesothelioma hazard was based on populations in two facilities where mixed exposure to chrysotile and commercial amphibole asbestos (amosite and crocidolite) occurred. All 8 cases of pleural cancer and mesothelioma in the examined populations arose in facilities where amphiboles were present. It was therefore inappropriate to rely on these cohorts to predict the health risks of exposure to short fiber chrysotile, especially of those fibers filled with phenolic resins. Fifth, the suggested inhalation unit risk (IUR) for chrysotile asbestos was far too high since it was not markedly different than for amosite, despite the fact that the amphiboles are a far more potent carcinogen. Sixth, the approach to low dose modeling was not the most appropriate one in several respects, but, without question, it should have accounted for the background rate of mesothelioma in the general population. Just one month after this assessment was published, the National Academies of Science notified the EPA that the Agency's systematic review process was flawed. The result of the EPA's chrysotile asbestos risk evaluation is that society can expect dozens of years of scientifically unwarranted litigation. Due to an aging population and because some fraction of the population is naturally predisposed to mesothelioma given the presence of various genetic mutations in DNA repair mechanisms (e.g. BAP1 and others), the vast majority of mesotheliomas in the post-2035 era are expected to be spontaneous and unrelated in any way to exposure to asbestos. Due to the EPA's analysis, it is our belief that those who handled brakes and gaskets in the post-1985 era may now believe that those exposures were the cause of their mesothelioma, when a risk assessment based on the scientific weight of evidence would indicate otherwise.

RevDate: 2021-10-18
CmpDate: 2021-10-18

Magnavita N, Congedo MT, Di Prinzio RR, et al (2021)

War journalism: an occupational exposure.

BMJ case reports, 14(10): pii:14/10/e245165.

Apart from the risk of accidents, war theatres present a hazard related to numerous long-lasting toxic agents. For 10 years, a >60-year-old male journalist worked in war theatres in the Far and Near East where he was exposed to asbestos and other toxic substances (metals, silica, clays, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other organic substances) contained in dust and smoke of destroyed buildings. More than 15 years later, he developed a mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the soft palate and, subsequently, a pleural malignant mesothelioma. The safety of war journalists should focus not only on preventing the risk of being killed, but also on providing protection from toxic and carcinogenic agents. Exposure to substances released during the destruction of buildings can also pose a carcinogenic risk for survivors.

RevDate: 2021-10-14

Angelini A, E Chellini (2021)

[Inventory of occupational exposure to asbestos with particular reference to Tuscan workers].

Epidemiologia e prevenzione, 45:1-120.

This Catalogue is a collection of information on the use of raw asbestos and asbestos-containing materials used in several industries and occupational activities, with particular attention to the situation of Tuscany, a region of Central Italy. The work was developed at the Institute for Cancer Research, Prevention and Clinical Network (ISPRO) of Florence, where epidemiologic research and surveillance activities have been developing since 1988 and where the coordination and evaluation of the regional health surveillance programme provided to past asbestos workers started in 2016 and is still ongoing. The Catalogue aims at being a working tool for all health professionals engaged in examining and classifying the occupational asbestos exposures of subjects both affected by diseases that could be associated to this carcinogen and examined within the regional health surveillance programme. It is necessary for the health personnel engaged in the above-mentioned activities to know or to have the possibility to find exact and detailed data on asbestos exposure by occupational sector. These data are briefly described in the 29 factsheets this Catalogue consists of. In each factsheet, the presence and every use of asbestos are described, with reference to a precise occupational sector. Several occupational sectors can be considered together because of analogies on asbestos exposure. Occupations are considered on the basis of existing evidence on the use of raw asbestos or asbestos-containing materials (as semi-finished or finished products or as auxiliary materials in production processes). Besides the presence and use of asbestos, a description of the possible exposures of workers is reported. Sources of information were scientific and grey literature as well as the 7,187 occupational histories of mesothelioma registered by the specific Tuscan registry. Some factsheets have been revised and enhanced by Italian experts on the asbestos exposure with a specific competence in the examined sectors. Each factsheet includes also questions to be addressed to workers in order to examine in depth their possible asbestos exposure. For those who would like to expand their knowledge on this topic, references are reported both at the end of each factsheet and at the end of the volume. In all industrialized countries, also in those which have not already banned asbestos use, a decrease in the use of this material and in the relative exposure have been observing since the end of the Seventies, few years after the general consensus within the scientific community on asbestos carcinogenicity. This decreasing trend has been becoming greater and greater since the end of the Eighties, when more restrictive regulations have been approved and applied, especially in occupational settings. Nevertheless, nowadays asbestos-related diseases are still diagnosed due to past exposures, although during next decade a decreasing incidence of malignant mesothelioma - the cancer most specifically related to this carcinogen and characterized by a very bad prognosis and the longest latency - could be observed. Particular attention will be paid to jobs regarding renovation of old buildings containing asbestos and to decontamination activities. In conclusion, this Catalogue is a working tool - although it is not exhaustive and could be upgraded with new information - for all professionals engaged in asbestos risk prevention activities as health personnel, personnel of insurance companies, employers, and employee representatives.

RevDate: 2021-10-13

Kuroda A (2021)

Recent progress and perspectives on the mechanisms underlying Asbestos toxicity.

Genes and environment : the official journal of the Japanese Environmental Mutagen Society, 43(1):46.

Most cases of mesothelioma are known to result from exposure to asbestos fibers in the environment or occupational ambient air. The following questions regarding asbestos toxicity remain partially unanswered: (i) why asbestos entering the alveoli during respiration exerts toxicity in the pleura; and (ii) how asbestos causes mesothelioma, even though human mesothelial cells are easily killed upon exposure to asbestos. As for the latter question, it is now thought that the frustrated phagocytosis of asbestos fibers by macrophages prolongs inflammatory responses and gives rise to a "mutagenic microenvironment" around mesothelial cells, resulting in their malignant transformation. Based on epidemiological and genetic studies, a carcinogenic model has been proposed in which BRCA1-associated protein 1 mutations are able to suppress cell death in mesothelial cells and increase genomic instability in the mutagenic microenvironment. This leads to additional mutations, such as CDKN2A [p16], NF2, TP53, LATS2, and SETD2, which are associated with mesothelioma carcinogenesis. Regarding the former question, the receptors involved in the intracellular uptake of asbestos and the mechanism of transfer of inhaled asbestos from the alveoli to the pleura are yet to be elucidated. Further studies using live-cell imaging techniques will be critical to fully understanding the mechanisms underlying asbestos toxicity.

RevDate: 2021-10-14
CmpDate: 2021-10-14

Ahmad Beshr K, Mohammad Sami A, Ahmad G, et al (2021)

A rare case of benign multicystic peritoneal mesothelioma misdiagnosed as hydatid cyst found in the liver parenchyma and abdomen cavity of a male with asbestos exposure.

BMC gastroenterology, 21(1):374.

BACKGROUND: Benign Multicystic Peritoneal Mesothelioma (BMPM) is one of the rarest diseases in medicine with only more than 200 cases worldwide. This paper aims to report a case of Benign Multicystic Peritoneal Mesothelioma that strangely arose from the liver and was long treated as Hydatid cyst. The case also had many risk factors including asbestos exposure that had not yet been linked with Benign Multicystic Peritoneal Mesothelioma.

CASE PRESENTATION: We report a case of a 62 years old male with a history of a perforated peptic ulcer and a cystic mass in the liver that was misdiagnosed as hydatid cyst 7 years ago. He presented with generalized abdominal pain and bloating. Image studies showed many cystic formations filled with clear fluid. An en bloc surgery was performed and a pathologic study showed a multiloculated mass lined by flat or cuboidal epithelium leading to the diagnosis of BMPM. A follow up was scheduled after 3 months revealed total recurrence.

CONCLUSION: BMPM resembles many other cystic lesions in the abdomen and should be taken into consideration when dealing with nontypical cystic formations. Its diagnostic and treatment methods are still hazy making this disease difficult to approach.

RevDate: 2021-10-13

Fazzo L, Binazzi A, Ferrante D, et al (2021)

Burden of Mortality from Asbestos-Related Diseases in Italy.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(19): pii:ijerph181910012.

Asbestos is one of the major worldwide occupational carcinogens. The global burden of asbestos-related diseases (ARDs) was estimated around 231,000 cases/year. Italy was one of the main European asbestos producers until the 1992 ban. The WHO recommended national programs, including epidemiological surveillance, to eliminate ARDs. The present paper shows the estimate of the burden of mortality from ARDs in Italy, established for the first time. National standardized rates of mortality from mesothelioma and asbestosis and their temporal trends, based on the National Institute of Statistics database, were computed. Deaths from lung cancer attributable to asbestos exposure were estimated using population-based case-control studies. Asbestos-related lung and ovarian cancer deaths attributable to occupational exposure were estimated, considering the Italian occupational cohort studies. In the 2010-2016 period, 4400 deaths/year attributable to asbestos were estimated: 1515 from mesothelioma, 58 from asbestosis, 2830 from lung and 16 from ovarian cancers. The estimates based on occupational cohorts showed that each year 271 deaths from mesothelioma, 302 from lung cancer and 16 from ovarian cancer were attributable to occupational asbestos exposure in industrial sectors with high asbestos levels. The important health impact of asbestos in Italy, 10-25 years after the ban, was highlighted. These results suggest the need for appropriate interventions in terms of prevention, health care and social security at the local level and could contribute to the global estimate of ARDs.

RevDate: 2021-10-13

Kwon SC, Lee SS, Kang MS, et al (2021)

The Epidemiologic Characteristics of Malignant Mesothelioma Cases in Korea: Findings of the Asbestos Injury Relief System from 2011-2015.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(19): pii:ijerph181910007.

(1) Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the epidemiological characteristics of malignant mesothelioma in Korea by investigating cases compensated under the asbestos injury relief system. (2) Methods: A total of 407 compensated cases between 2011 and 2015 were reviewed using medical records and resident registrations in order to investigate the dates of diagnosis and death. Asbestos exposure and patients' general characteristics were investigated through face-to-face interviews. The standardized incidence ratio was calculated as the number of observations from 2005 to 2014 per exposure region in Korea, using the mid-annual population of each region in 2009 as the standard population. (3) Results: Among the 407 cases, 65.1% were male. The pleura and peritoneum were affected in 76.9% and 23.1% of cases, respectively. For peritoneal mesothelioma, the median survival duration was longer (p = 0.005), and the proportion of affected women was higher than that in pleural mesothelioma. The standardized incidence ratio (95% CI) by province of primary exposure was Chungnam 3.33 (2.51-4.35), Ulsan 1.85 (0.97-3.21), and Seoul 1.32 (1.06-1.63). (4) Conclusions: Although the representativeness of the data is limited, it is sufficient to assume the epidemiologic characteristics of malignant mesothelioma, help improve the compensation system, and contribute to future policies.

RevDate: 2021-10-13

Yuen ML, Zhuang L, Rath EM, et al (2021)

The Role of E-Cadherin and microRNA on FAK Inhibitor Response in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM).

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(19): pii:ijms221910225.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive malignancy with limited effective treatment options. Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) inhibitors have been shown to efficiently suppress MPM cell growth initially, with limited utility in the current clinical setting. In this study, we utilised a large collection of MPM cell lines and MPM tissue samples to study the role of E-cadherin (CDH1) and microRNA on the efficacy of FAK inhibitors in MPM. The immunohistochemistry (IHC) results showed that the majority of MPM FFPE samples exhibited either the absence of, or very low, E-cadherin protein expression in MPM tissue. We showed that MPM cells with high CDH1 mRNA levels exhibited resistance to the FAK inhibitor PND-1186. In summary, MPM cells that did not express CDH1 mRNA were sensitive to PND-1186, and MPM cells that retained CDH1 mRNA were resistant. A cell cycle analysis showed that PND-1186 induced cell cycle disruption by inducing the G2/M arrest of MPM cells. A protein-protein interaction study showed that EGFR is linked to the FAK pathway, and a target scan of the microRNAs revealed that microRNAs (miR-17, miR221, miR-222, miR137, and miR148) interact with EGFR 3'UTR. Transfection of MPM cells with these microRNAs sensitised the CHD1-expressing FAK-inhibitor-resistant MPM cells to the FAK inhibitor.

RevDate: 2021-10-06
CmpDate: 2021-10-06

Fujishima F, Konosu-Fukaya S, Nabeshima K, et al (2021)

Histological and immunohistochemical characteristics and p16 status studied by FISH in six incidentally detected cases of well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma of the peritoneum.

Indian journal of pathology & microbiology, 64(2):277-281.

Well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma (WDPM) is an uncommon mesothelial neoplasm, which is generally regarded as benign or indolent in terms of its clinical behavior. However, details about WDPM have remained relatively unknown. Therefore, in this study, we examined six incidentally detected cases of WDPM of the peritoneum. All six cases were surgically excised, without any additional therapeutic measures. None of the cases showed recurrence. All six cases presented single lesions and the tumor sizes ranged from 2 to 10 mm. Histologically, all six cases exhibited papillary proliferation of cytologically bland mesothelial cells with a fibroconnective tissue core. One of the cases (Case 6) presented small invasive foci in the stalk. The tumor cells were immunohistochemically positive for mesothelial markers and negative for GLUT-1, p53, and CD146. The Ki-67 labeling index of the tumor cells was lower than 5% at the hot spots. All samples were BAP1-positive. None of the samples presented p16 homozygous deletion, as assessed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). None of the patients deceased due to WDPM. However, in Case 3, death occurred due to pancreatic cancer. The results of this study indicate the importance of analyzing immunohistochemical markers and p16 status to diagnose WDPM accurately.

RevDate: 2021-10-04

Gupta N, Soni A, Mahajan R, et al (2021)

Peritoneal malignant mesothelioma: Slippery like an eel to diagnose on cytology-case series of 3 cases.

Journal of the American Society of Cytopathology pii:S2213-2945(21)00242-8 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Peritoneal malignant mesothelioma is an extremely rare tumor and is a difficult diagnosis to be made on cytology alone. We report 3 cases where the cytologic features were misdiagnosed as carcinoma/lymphoma but histopathology and immunohistochemistry (IHC) established the diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma.

CLINICAL DETAILS: Case 1 was a 60-year-old man with multiloculated ascites and omental caking. Peritoneal fluid was reported as malignant on cytology but was misclassified as adenocarcinoma. Case 2, a 45-year-old man with ascites and peritoneal nodularity, radiologically mimicking peritoneal carcinomatosis, was also reported positive for malignancy on ascitic fluid cytology. Fine-needle aspiration (FNAC) from omental fat revealed signet ring cells, thus misleading to cytologic diagnosis of adenocarcinoma. Case 3 was a 63-year-old man with perisplenic mass with extensive omental caking and peritoneal nodularity that was also suspected to be peritoneal carcinomatosis on radiology. FNAC smears from perisplenic mass showed sheets of plasmacytoid cells. On cytology, the differential diagnoses offered were neuroendocrine tumor or non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma was established only after IHC on histopathologic sections in all these cases. None of our patients had history of prior asbestos exposure.

CONCLUSION: In such clinical scenarios, with radiology suggesting peritoneal carcinomatosis, the cytologic features need corroboration by IHC/fluorescence in situ hybridization on cell block or biopsy to correctly identify malignant mesothelioma and differentiate it from metastatic carcinomatous deposits and benign mesothelial proliferation.

RevDate: 2021-10-01

Chen M, Wang H, Zhang J, et al (2020)

Distribution of Asbestos Enterprises and Asbestosis Cases - China, 1997-2019.

China CDC weekly, 2(18):305-309.

Asbestos is classified as a Class I Carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) because exposure causes mesothelioma and lung cancer in addition to asbestosis and plaques. So far, asbestos has been banned in 67 countries, but chrysotile, a commonly encountered form of asbestos, is still widely used in China and most developing countries. Most asbestos-caused cancers are not reported, recorded, and compensated in many countries.

What is added by this report?: Enterprises manufacturing asbestos products have been migrating from economically developed Eastern China to relatively underdeveloped central and western regions between 2010 and 2019. Asbestosis cases reported in Tianjin, Beijing, Shandong, Xinjiang, Gansu, Qinghai, and Sichuan accounted for a large proportion of the total cases in China, which was inconsistent with the distribution of asbestos-related enterprises (AREs). The reported asbestosis cases versus total pneumoconiosis cases declined from 2.81% to 0.39% from 2006-2017, and this proportion reached 0.69% in 2018.

Robust occupational and environmental health assessments and reporting are needed to define the epidemiology of asbestos-related lung diseases, and management of using asbestos and existing products containing asbestos need strengthening and follow-up. Enterprises should be encouraged to use safer substitutes and gradually ban asbestos materials in China.

RevDate: 2021-09-30

Nakagawa K, Kijima T, Okada M, et al (2021)

Phase 2 Study of YS110, a Recombinant Humanized Anti-CD26 Monoclonal Antibody, in Japanese Patients With Advanced Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.

JTO clinical and research reports, 2(6):100178 pii:S2666-3643(21)00037-0.

Introduction: YS110, a humanized monoclonal antibody with a high affinity to CD26, exhibited promising antitumor activity and was generally well-tolerated in the phase 1 part of a phase 1 and 2 Japanese trial in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Here we report the results of the phase 2 part of the study.

Methods: The patients included were aged 20 years and older, had histologically confirmed MPM, were refractory to or intolerant of existing antineoplastic agents, and were not candidates for standard therapy. YS110 6 mg/kg, determined in the phase 1 dose-determination part, was given in 6-weekly cycles (5 × once-weekly infusions, followed by a 1-wk rest).

Results: The study included 31 patients (median age = 68 y, 90.3% men); 64.5% had stage IV MPM, 90.3% had greater than or equal to 20% CD26 expression in tumor tissue, and 38.7% (12 patients) had previously received nivolumab. The 6-month disease control rate was 3.2%. The best overall response was partial response in one patient and stable disease in 14 patients. The median progression-free survival was 2.8 months (both in patients who had and had not previously received nivolumab-groups A and B, respectively). Respective progression-free survival rates at 6 months were 9.1% and 31.6% in groups A and B. The median overall survival was 9.7 months. A total of 30 patients (96.8%) had at least one adverse event. Common treatment-related adverse events were infusion-related reaction (16.1%), hiccups (9.7%), and interstitial lung disease (9.7%). There were no treatment-related deaths.

Conclusions: The 6-month disease control rate did not exceed the predefined threshold, but YS110 revealed modest efficacy in response rate as salvage therapy in difficult-to-treat patients with MPM. YS110 was generally well tolerated.

RevDate: 2021-09-30

Ahmadzada T, Cooper WA, Holmes M, et al (2020)

Retrospective Evaluation of the Use of Pembrolizumab in Malignant Mesothelioma in a Real-World Australian Population.

JTO clinical and research reports, 1(4):100075 pii:S2666-3643(20)30098-9.

Introduction: We investigated the efficacy and toxicity of pembrolizumab in patients with mesothelioma from a real-world Australian population. We aimed to determine clinical factors and predictive biomarkers that could help select patients who are likely to benefit from pembrolizumab.

Method: Patients with mesothelioma who were treated with pembrolizumab as part of the Insurance and Care New South Wales compensation scheme were included. Clinical information was collected retrospectively. Tumor biomarkers such as programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1), BAP1, and CD3-positive (CD3+) tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) were examined using archival formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor samples.

Results: A total of 98 patients were included with a median age of 70 years (range, 46-91 y); 92% were men; 76% had epithelioid subtype; 21% had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0. Pembrolizumab was used as second-line or subsequent-line treatment in 94 patients and as first-line treatment in four patients. The overall response rate was 18%, and the disease control rate was 56%. The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 4.8 months (95% confidence interval: 3.6-6.2), and the median overall survival (OS) was 9.5 months (95% confidence interval: 6.6-13.7). Immune-related adverse events occurred in 27% of patients, of which nine (9%) were of grade 3 or higher. In the multivariable analysis, factors independently associated with longer PFS included baseline ECOG status of 0 (median PFS: 12 mo versus 4 mo, p < 0.01) and PD-L1 tumor proportion score of greater than or equal to 1% (median PFS: 6 mo versus 4 mo, p < 0.01). Baseline platelet count of less than or equal to 400 × 109/liter was independently associated with longer PFS and OS (median PFS: 6 mo versus 2 mo, p = 0.05; median OS: 10 mo versus 4 mo, p = 0.01), whereas lack of pretreatment dexamethasone was independently associated with OS but not PFS (median OS: 10 mo versus 3 mo, p = 0.01). The odds of response were higher for patients with baseline ECOG status of 0 (p = 0.02) and with greater than or equal to 5% CD3+ TILs in the tumor (p < 0.01). PD-L1 expression, BAP1 loss, and CD3+ TILs in the stroma were not significantly associated with the overall response rate.

Conclusions: Immunotherapy is a reasonable treatment option for patients with mesothelioma. Our results are comparable to other clinical trials investigating pembrolizumab in mesothelioma in terms of response. Good performance status assessment remains the most robust predictor for patient outcomes. CD3+ TILs in the tumor may help select patients that are likely to respond to pembrolizumab, whereas factors such as PD-L1 expression, baseline platelet count, and lack of pretreatment dexamethasone may help predict survival outcomes from pembrolizumab treatment.

RevDate: 2021-09-28

Musso V, Diotti C, Palleschi A, et al (2021)

Management of Pleural Effusion Secondary to Malignant Mesothelioma.

Journal of clinical medicine, 10(18): pii:jcm10184247.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a highly aggressive pleural tumour which has been epidemiologically linked to occupational exposure to asbestos. MPM is often associated with pleural effusion, which is a common cause of morbidity and whose management remains a clinical challenge. In this review, we analysed the literature regarding the diagnosis and therapeutic options of pleural effusion secondary to mesothelioma. Our aim was to provide a comprehensive view on this subject, and a new algorithm was proposed as a practical aid to clinicians dealing with patients suffering from pleural effusion.

RevDate: 2021-09-28

Štrbac D, V Dolžan (2021)

Matrix Metalloproteinases as Biomarkers and Treatment Targets in Mesothelioma: A Systematic Review.

Biomolecules, 11(9): pii:biom11091272.

Metalloproteinases (MMPs) have an important role in tissue remodeling and have been shown to have an effect on tumor progression, invasion, metastasis formation, and apoptosis in several tumors, including mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare tumor arising from pleura and peritoneum and is frequently associated with asbestos exposure. We have performed a systematic search of and databases to retrieve and review three groups of studies: studies of MMPs expression in tumor tissue or body fluids in patients with mesothelioma, studies of MMPs genetic variability, and studies of MMPs as potential novel drug targets in mesothelioma. Several studies of MMPs in mesothelioma tissues reported a link between higher expression levels of commonly studied MMPs and clinical parameters, such as overall survival. Fewer studies have investigated genetic variability of MMP genes. Nevertheless, these studies suggested that certain genetic variants in MMP genes can have either protective or tumor-promoting effects on mesothelioma patients. MMPs have been also reported as novel drug targets, but so far no clinical trials of MMP inhibitors are registered in mesothelioma. In conclusion, MMPs play an important role in mesothelioma, but further studies are needed to elucidate the potentials of MMPs as biomarkers and drug targets in mesothelioma.

RevDate: 2021-09-27

Di Basilio D, Shigemura J, F Guglielmucci (2021)

Commentary: SARS-CoV-2 and Asbestos Exposure: Can Our Experience With Mesothelioma Patients Help Us Understand the Psychological Consequences of COVID-19 and Develop Interventions?.

Frontiers in psychology, 12:720160.

RevDate: 2021-09-23
CmpDate: 2021-09-23

Barbieri PG, Calisti R, C Calabresi (2021)

[Pleural malignant mesotheliomas from environmental exposures to asbestos In Italy].

Epidemiologia e prevenzione, 45(4):289-295.

Pleural mesothelioma clusters from outdoor environmental exposure have been highlighted also in Italy and, on the basis of epidemiological surveillance coordinated by the Italian National Mesothelioma Register, their frequency has been estimated at about 4.5%. Epidemiological studies and evaluations of some regional mesothelioma registers have made it possible to highlight that the dispersion of asbestos fibers in the outdoor environment was the only ascertained cause of mesothelioma in subjects from asbestos-cement factories, from the Balangero mine (Piedmont Region), from some serpentine rock quarries with tremolite outcrops in the Southern Apennines and in Alta Val di Susa (Piedmont Region); from chrysotile and serpentine caves in Valmalenco (Lombardy Region). Furthermore, cases of pleural mesothelioma were clearly caused by environmental pollution from fluoroedenite fibers in Biancavilla (Sicily Region). On the other hand, regional mesothelioma registers have also reported other circumstances of environmental asbestos exposure, like in the case of steel industry, shipbuilding, chemical plants, railway lines, and repair/demolition of railway carriages. However, these reports have not found confirmation on the basis of ad-hoc studies and it is likely that there is a lack of homogeneity in the assessment of individual cases. Apart from the scenarios which have been the subject of ad-hoc studies, the assessment of the causal role of environmental exposure to "in place" asbestos in the onset of pleural mesothelioma is problematic without an effort to more carefully examine the circumstances of possible exposure, harmonization of the attribution criteria used in the individual regional registers, analytical assessment of the impact of such exposure on the risk of onset of mesothelioma.

RevDate: 2021-09-21

Khatib S, Asad O, Asad H, et al (2021)

A Rare Case of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma in a Young Healthy Male Without Asbestos Exposure.

Cureus, 13(8):e17199.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a highly aggressive malignant tumor that arises from mesothelial cells of pleural cavity. The main risk factor for MPM is asbestos exposure with most cases discovered in elderly males after a long latency period. However, here we report a rare case of MPM diagnosed in a healthy young male patient without significant asbestos exposure. We report the case of an otherwise healthy 47-year-old male who presented with one week of exertional dyspnea and chest pain. Chest X-ray showed unilateral large pleural effusion. Chest CT scan revealed confluent right hilar mass and pleural thickening. Pleural fluid analysis showed exudative features. Cytology was negative for malignant cells. Core tissue biopsy showed features of epithelioid mesothelioma. Although most cases of MPM have been reported in elderly male patients with significant asbestos exposure, more research is needed to explain the pathogenesis of MPM in young patients without asbestos exposure.

RevDate: 2021-09-22

Airoldi C, Magnani C, Lazzarato F, et al (2021)

Environmental asbestos exposure and clustering of malignant mesothelioma in community: a spatial analysis in a population-based case-control study.

Environmental health : a global access science source, 20(1):103.

BACKGROUND: Neighborhood exposure to asbestos increases the risk of developing malignant mesothelioma (MM) in residents who live near asbestos mines and asbestos product plants. The area of Casale Monferrato (Northwest Italy) was impacted by several sources of asbestos environmental pollution, due to the presence of the largest Italian asbestos cement (AC) plant. In the present study, we examined the spatial variation of MM risk in an area with high levels of asbestos pollution and secondly, and we explored the pattern of clustering.

METHODS: A population-based case-control study conducted between 2001 and 2006 included 200 cases and 348 controls. Demographic and occupational data along with residential information were recorded. Bivariate Kernel density estimation was used to map spatial variation in disease risk while an adjusted logistic model was applied to estimate the impact of residential distance from the AC plant. Kulldorf test and Cuzick Edward test were then performed.

RESULTS: One hundred ninety-six cases and 322 controls were included in the analyses. The contour plot of the cases to controls ratio showed a well-defined peak of MM incidence near the AC factory, and the risk decreased monotonically in all directions when large bandwidths were used. However, considering narrower smoothing parameters, several peaks of increased risk were reported. A constant trend of decreasing OR with increasing distance was observed, with estimates of 10.9 (95% CI 5.32-22.38) and 10.48 (95%CI 4.54-24.2) for 0-5 km and 5-10 km, respectively (reference > 15 km). Finally, a significant (p < 0.0001) excess of cases near the pollution source was identified and cases are spatially clustered relative to the controls until 13 nearest neighbors.

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we found an increasing pattern of mesothelioma risk in the area around a big AC factory and we detected secondary clusters of cases due to local exposure points, possibly associated to the use of asbestos materials.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Torkki P, Paajanen J, Kytö V, et al (2021)

Evidence for marked underutilization of insurance billing in malignant pleural mesothelioma in Finland.

Thoracic cancer [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Substantial variation in health care costs for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) has previously been identified.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We analyzed the changes in health care costs in MPM in Finland during 2002-2012. Finland has low-threshold public health care and a mandatory Workers' Compensation scheme that covers all occupational-related disease expenses. The costs include treatment costs for inpatients, hospice care, medication costs, rehabilitation costs, and travel costs. All costs are expressed in 2012 prices, adjusted using the consumer price index.

RESULTS: A total of 907 MPM patients were included in the study. Mean duration of inpatient episodes increased 7% per year from 2002 to 2012, correlating with total costs (R2 = 0.861, p < 0.05). The annual total costs for treatment increased from 1.7 to 4.3 m€ during the study period and the cost per patient from 27 000 to 43 000 €. The overall costs increased progressively by the number of procedures performed. In patients who had been compensated for occupational cause by Workers' Compensation Center, only 36% of the overall care costs were billed from the insurance company. Billing of inpatient costs was 86% in these patients.

CONCLUSION: During the study period, we found that the costs of MPM increased more than the average health care costs. This may be because of advanced diagnostic workup or more costly treatment (e.g., pemetrexed). Moreover, only one-third of all health care costs are charged to Workers' Compensation Insurance.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Xie D, Hu J, Wu T, et al (2021)

Four Immune-Related Genes (FN1, UGCG, CHPF2 and THBS2) as Potential Diagnostic and Prognostic Biomarkers for Carbon Nanotube-Induced Mesothelioma.

International journal of general medicine, 14:4987-5003.

Background: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), a highly aggressive cancer, was mainly attributed to asbestos exposure. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) share similar negative features to asbestos, provoking concerns about their contribution to MPM. This study was used to identify genes associated with CNT-induced MPM.

Methods: Microarray datasets were available in the Gene Expression Omnibus database. The limma method was used to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in CNT-exposed MeT5A cells (GSE48855) or mice (GSE51636). Weighted correlation network analysis (WGCNA) and protein-protein interaction (PPI) network construction were conducted to screen hub DEGs. The mRNA expression levels of hub DEGs were validated on MPM samples of GSE51024, GSE2549 and GSE42977 datasets, and their diagnostic efficacy was determined by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. The prognostic values of hub DEGs were assessed using online tools based on The Cancer Genome Atlas data. Their functions were annotated by Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery (DAVID) enrichment and correlation with immune cells and markers.

Results: WGCNA identified that two modules were associated with disease status. Thirty-one common DEGs in the GSE48855 and GSE51636 datasets were overlapped with the genes in these two modules. Twenty of them had a high degree centrality (≥4) in the PPI network. Four DEGs (FN1, fibronectin 1; UGCG, UDP-glucose ceramide glucosyltransferase; CHPF2, chondroitin polymerizing factor 2; and THBS2, thrombospondin 2) could predict the overall survival, and they were confirmed to be upregulated in MPM samples compared with controls. Also, they could effectively predict the MPM risk, with an overall accuracy of >0.9. DAVID analysis revealed FN1, CHPF2 and THBS2 functioned in cell-ECM interactions; UGCG influenced glycosphingolipid metabolism. All genes were positively associated with infiltrating levels of immune cells (macrophages or dendritic cells) and the expression of the dendritic cell marker (NRP1, neuropilin 1).

Conclusion: These four immune-related genes represent potential biomarkers for monitoring CNT-induced MPM and predicting the prognosis.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Nowak AK, Jackson A, C Sidhu (2021)

Management of Advanced Pleural Mesothelioma-At the Crossroads.

JCO oncology practice [Epub ahead of print].

The management of pleural mesothelioma has changed with the demonstration that first-line checkpoint blockade therapy improves survival. This review covers issues of relevance to the practicing medical oncologist, with an emphasis on the palliative setting and on new information. Until recently, standard systemic therapy for mesothelioma was combination chemotherapy with platinum and pemetrexed. In 2020, combination immunotherapy with ipilimumab and nivolumab was approved as first-line systemic therapy for mesothelioma following release of the results from the CheckMate 743 trial. This trial showed improved overall survival for patients receiving ipilimumab and nivolumab over those treated with platinum and pemetrexed chemotherapy. When the survival results were examined by histologic subtype, the survival benefit was most significant in those with nonepithelioid mesothelioma, a group for which combination immunotherapy is now standard of care. The most important outstanding issue from CheckMate-743 is a better understanding, through translational studies, of which patients with epithelioid mesothelioma may benefit from combination immunotherapy. The next generation of first-line clinical trials in mesothelioma will report the results of first-line combination chemoimmunotherapy. For those patients who receive first-line dual checkpoint blockade, there is no evidence as to the efficacy of subsequent chemotherapy. However, given the known first-line efficacy of cisplatin or carboplatin and pemetrexed, combination chemotherapy is an appropriate subsequent choice for those who progress on or after dual immunotherapy. For those who previously received chemotherapy without immunotherapy, single-agent nivolumab provides benefit over best supportive care. In summary, both chemotherapy and immunotherapy should be considered for all patients during their disease course. Another topical issue is the growing appreciation that some individuals have an inherited predisposition to mesothelioma; referral to a clinical geneticist should be considered under some circumstances. The role of surgery and multimodality therapy is controversial, with results awaited from the fully recruited MARS-2 clinical trial. Patient selection, staging, and multidisciplinary review are critical to identify those who might benefit from a multimodality approach. Finally, a proactive, multidisciplinary approach to symptom management and the principles of management of pleural effusions are critical to manage the symptom burden of mesothelioma and optimize patient well-being.

RevDate: 2021-09-06

Dick IM, Lee YCG, Cheah HM, et al (2021)

Profile of soluble factors in pleural effusions predict prognosis in mesothelioma.

Cancer biomarkers : section A of Disease markers pii:CBM210280 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Pleural mesothelioma is a deadly asbestos induced cancer. Less than 10% of mesothelioma patients survive 5 years post diagnosis. However survival can range from a few months to a number of years. Accurate prediction of survival is important for patients to plan for their remaining life, and for clinicians to determine appropriate therapy. One unusual features of mesothelioma is that patients frequently present with tumor-associated pleural effusions early in the course of the disease.

OBJECTIVE: To study whether cells and molecules present in pleural effusions provide prognostic information for mesothelioma.

METHODS: We profiled the cellular constituents and concentrations of 40 cytokines, chemokines and cellular factors (collectively "soluble factors") involved in inflammatory and immune signalling pathways in pleural effusion samples from 50 mesothelioma patients.Associations with survival were evaluated by Cox proportional hazards regression methods. Results for the two soluble factors most significantly and independently associated with survival were validated in an independent set of samples (n= 51) using a separate assay system.

RESULTS: Survival analysis revealed thatIL8, IL2Ra (CD25) and PF4 were independent determinants of a more negative prognosis in mesothelioma patients, independent of other known prognostic factors. Lipocalin2 and IL4 were associated with better prognosis.

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that pleural effusions rich in a range of soluble factors are associated with poor prognosis. These findings will enhance our ability to prognosticate outcomes in mesothelioma patients.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Lisini D, Lettieri S, Nava S, et al (2021)

Local Therapies and Modulation of Tumor Surrounding Stroma in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: A Translational Approach.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(16):.

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare and aggressive neoplasm of the pleural mesothelium, mainly associated with asbestos exposure and still lacking effective therapies. Modern targeted biological strategies that have revolutionized the therapy of other solid tumors have not had success so far in the MPM. Combination immunotherapy might achieve better results over chemotherapy alone, but there is still a need for more effective therapeutic approaches. Based on the peculiar disease features of MPM, several strategies for local therapeutic delivery have been developed over the past years. The common rationale of these approaches is: (i) to reduce the risk of drug inactivation before reaching the target tumor cells; (ii) to increase the concentration of active drugs in the tumor micro-environment and their bioavailability; (iii) to reduce toxic effects on normal, non-transformed cells, because of much lower drug doses than those used for systemic chemotherapy. The complex interactions between drugs and the local immune-inflammatory micro-environment modulate the subsequent clinical response. In this perspective, the main interest is currently addressed to the development of local drug delivery platforms, both cell therapy and engineered nanotools. We here propose a review aimed at deep investigation of the biologic effects of the current local therapies for MPM, including cell therapies, and the mechanisms of interaction with the tumor micro-environment.

RevDate: 2021-09-03
CmpDate: 2021-09-03

Lemen RA, PJ Landrigan (2021)

Sailors and the Risk of Asbestos-Related Cancer.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(16):.

Sailors have long been known to experience high rates of injury, disease, and premature death. Many studies have shown asbestos-related diseases among shipyard workers, but few have examined the epidemiology of asbestos-related disease and death among asbestos-exposed sailors serving on ships at sea. Chrysotile and amphibole asbestos were used extensively in ship construction for insulation, joiner bulkhead systems, pipe coverings, boilers, machinery parts, bulkhead panels, and many other uses, and asbestos-containing ships are still in service. Sailors are at high risk of exposure to shipboard asbestos, because unlike shipyard workers and other occupationally exposed groups, sailors both work and live at their worksite, making asbestos standards and permissible exposure limits (PELs). based on an 8-h workday inadequate to protect their health elevated risks of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers have been observed among sailors through epidemiologic studies. We review these studies here.

RevDate: 2021-08-30

Brims F (2021)

Epidemiology and Clinical Aspects of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.

Cancers, 13(16):.

Mesothelioma is a cancer predominantly of the pleural cavity. There is a clear association of exposure to asbestos with a dose dependent risk of mesothelioma. The incidence of mesothelioma in different countries reflect the historical patterns of commercial asbestos utilisation in the last century and predominant occupational exposures mean that mesothelioma is mostly seen in males. Modern imaging techniques and advances in immunohistochemical staining have contributed to an improved diagnosis of mesothelioma. There have also been recent advances in immune checkpoint inhibition, however, mesothelioma remains very challenging to manage, especially considering its limited response to conventional systemic anticancer therapy and that no cure exists. Palliative interventions and support remain paramount with a median survival of 9-12 months after diagnosis. The epidemiology and diagnosis of mesothelioma has been debated over previous decades, due to a number of factors, such as the long latent period following asbestos exposure and disease occurrence, the different potencies of the various forms of asbestos used commercially, the occurrence of mesothelioma in the peritoneal cavity and its heterogeneous pathological and cytological appearances. This review will describe the contemporary knowledge on the epidemiology of mesothelioma and provide an overview of the best clinical practice including diagnostic approaches and management.

RevDate: 2021-08-30

Carbotti G, Dozin B, Martini S, et al (2021)

IL-27 Mediates PD-L1 Expression and Release by Human Mesothelioma Cells.

Cancers, 13(16):.

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a rare tumor with an unfavorable prognosis. MM genesis involves asbestos-mediated local inflammation, supported by several cytokines, including IL-6. Recent data showed that targeting PD-1/PD-L1 is an effective therapy in MM. Here, we investigated the effects of IL-6 trans-signaling and the IL-6-related cytokine IL-27 on human MM cells in vitro by Western blot analysis of STAT1/3 phosphorylation. The effects on PD-L1 expression were tested by qRT-PCR and flow-cytometry and the release of soluble (s)PD-L1 by ELISA. We also measured the concentrations of sPD-L1 and, by multiplexed immunoassay, IL-6 and IL-27 in pleural fluids obtained from 77 patients in relation to survival. IL-27 predominantly mediates STAT1 phosphorylation and increases PD-L1 gene and surface protein expression and sPD-L1 release by human MM cells in vitro. IL-6 has limited activity, whereas a sIL-6R/IL-6 chimeric protein mediates trans-signaling predominantly via STAT3 phosphorylation but has no effect on PD-L1 expression and release. IL-6, IL-27, and sPD-L1 are present in pleural fluids and show a negative correlation with overall survival, but only IL-27 shows a moderate albeit significant correlation with sPD-L1 levels. Altogether these data suggest a potential role of IL-27 in PD-L1-driven immune resistance in MM.

RevDate: 2021-08-26

Mathilakathu A, Borchert S, Wessolly M, et al (2021)

Mitogen signal-associated pathways, energy metabolism regulation, and mediation of tumor immunogenicity play essential roles in the cellular response of malignant pleural mesotheliomas to platinum-based treatment: a retrospective study.

Translational lung cancer research, 10(7):3030-3042.

Background: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare malignant tumor associated with asbestos exposure, with infaust prognosis and overall survival below 20 months in treated patients. Platinum is still the backbone of the chemotherapy protocols, and the reasons for the rather poor efficacy of platinum compounds in MPM remain largely unknown. Therefore, we aimed to analyze differences in key signaling pathways and biological mechanisms in therapy-naïve samples and samples after chemotherapy in order to evaluate the effect of platinum-based chemotherapy.

Methods: The study cohort comprised 24 MPM tumor specimens, 12 from therapy-naïve and 12 from patients after platinum-based therapy. Tumor samples were screened using the NanoString nCounter platform for digital gene expression analysis with an appurtenant custom-designed panel comprising a total of 366 mRNAs covering the most important tumor signaling pathways. Significant pathway associations were identified by gene set enrichment analysis using the WEB-based GEne SeT AnaLysis Toolkit (WebGestalt).

Results: We have found reduced activity of TNF (normalized enrichment score: 2.03), IL-17 (normalized enrichment score: 1.93), MAPK (normalized enrichment score: 1.51), and relaxin signaling pathways (normalized enrichment score: 1.42) in the samples obtained after platinum-based therapy. In contrast, AMPK (normalized enrichment score: -1.58), mTOR (normalized enrichment score: -1.50), Wnt (normalized enrichment score: -1.38), and longevity regulating pathway (normalized enrichment score: -1.31) showed significantly elevated expression in the same samples.

Conclusions: We could identify deregulated signaling pathways due to a directed cellular response to platinum-induced cell stress. Our results are paving the ground for a better understanding of cellular responses and escape mechanisms, carrying a high potential for improved clinical management of patients with MPM.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Tran T, Egilman D, Rigler M, et al (2021)

A Critique of Helsinki Criteria for Using Lung Fiber Levels to Determine Causation in Mesothelioma Cases.

Annals of global health, 87(1):73.

Asbestos is a known human carcinogen and the chief known cause of mesothelioma. In 1997, a group of experts developed the Helsinki Criteria, which established criteria for attribution of mesothelioma to asbestos. The criteria include two methods for causation attribution: 1) a history of significant occupational, domestic, or environmental exposure and/or 2) pathologic evidence of exposure to asbestos. In 2014, the Helsinki Criteria were updated, and these attribution criteria were not changed. However, since the Helsinki Criteria were first released in 1997, some pathologists, cell biologists, and others have claimed that a history of exposure cannot establish causation unless the lung asbestos fiber burden exceeds "the background range for the laboratory in question to attribute mesothelioma cases to exposure to asbestos." This practice ignores the impact on fiber burden of clearance/translocation over time, which in part is why the Helsinki Criteria concluded that a history of exposure to asbestos was independently sufficient to attribute causation to asbestos. After reviewing the Helsinki Criteria, we conclude that their methodology is fatally flawed because a quantitative assessment of a background lung tissue fiber level cannot be established. The flaws of the Helsinki Criteria are both technical and substantive. The 1995 paper that served as the scientific basis for establishing background levels used inconsistent methods to determine exposures in controls and cases. In addition, historic controls cannot be used to establish background fiber levels for current cases because ambient exposures to asbestos have decreased over time and control cases pre-date current cases by decades. The use of scanning electron microscope (SEM) compounded the non-compatibility problem; the applied SEM cannot distinguish talc from anthophyllite because it cannot perform selected area electron diffraction, which is a crucial identifier in ATEM for distinguishing the difference between serpentine asbestos, amphibole asbestos, and talc.

RevDate: 2021-08-24

Ciocan C, Pira E, Coggiola M, et al (2021)

Mortality in the cohort of talc miners and millers from Val Chisone, Northern Italy: 74 years of follow-up.

Environmental research, 203:111865 pii:S0013-9351(21)01159-2 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: To update the analysis of mortality of a cohort of talc miners and millers in Northern Italy.

METHODS: We analyzed overall mortality and mortality from specific causes of death during 1946-2020 of 1749 male workers in a talc mine where asbestos was not detected (1184 miners and 565 millers) employed during 1946-1995.

RESULTS: The overall standardized mortality ratio (SMR) was 1.21 (95 % confidence interval [CI] 1.14-1.28); no deaths were observed from pleural cancer. Mortality from lung cancer was not increased (SMR = 1.02 95 % CI 0.82-1.27), while mortality from pneumoconiosis was (SMR 9.55; 95 % CI 7.43-12.08), especially among miners (SMR 12.74; 95 % CI 9.79-16.31). There was a trend in risk of pneumoconiosis with increasing duration of employment in the overall cohort, and the SMR for 25+ years of employment was 15.12 (95 % CI 10.89-20.43).

CONCLUSIONS: This uniquely long-term follow up confirms the results of previous analyses, namely the lack of association between exposure to talc with no detectable level of asbestos and lung cancer and mesothelioma. Increased mortality from pneumoconiosis among miners is related to past exposure to silica.

RevDate: 2021-08-30
CmpDate: 2021-08-30

Grosso S, Marini A, Gyuraszova K, et al (2021)

The pathogenesis of mesothelioma is driven by a dysregulated translatome.

Nature communications, 12(1):4920.

Malignant mesothelioma (MpM) is an aggressive, invariably fatal tumour that is causally linked with asbestos exposure. The disease primarily results from loss of tumour suppressor gene function and there are no 'druggable' driver oncogenes associated with MpM. To identify opportunities for management of this disease we have carried out polysome profiling to define the MpM translatome. We show that in MpM there is a selective increase in the translation of mRNAs encoding proteins required for ribosome assembly and mitochondrial biogenesis. This results in an enhanced rate of mRNA translation, abnormal mitochondrial morphology and oxygen consumption, and a reprogramming of metabolic outputs. These alterations delimit the cellular capacity for protein biosynthesis, accelerate growth and drive disease progression. Importantly, we show that inhibition of mRNA translation, particularly through combined pharmacological targeting of mTORC1 and 2, reverses these changes and inhibits malignant cell growth in vitro and in ex-vivo tumour tissue from patients with end-stage disease. Critically, we show that these pharmacological interventions prolong survival in animal models of asbestos-induced mesothelioma, providing the basis for a targeted, viable therapeutic option for patients with this incurable disease.

RevDate: 2021-08-14

Zhang C, Wu L, de Perrot M, et al (2021)

Carbon Nanotubes: A Summary of Beneficial and Dangerous Aspects of an Increasingly Popular Group of Nanomaterials.

Frontiers in oncology, 11:693814.

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are nanomaterials with broad applications that are produced on a large scale. Animal experiments have shown that exposure to CNTs, especially one type of multi-walled carbon nanotube, MWCNT-7, can lead to malignant transformation. CNTs have characteristics similar to asbestos (size, shape, and biopersistence) and use the same molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways as those involved in asbestos tumorigenesis. Here, a comprehensive review of the characteristics of carbon nanotubes is provided, as well as insights that may assist in the design and production of safer nanomaterials to limit the hazards of currently used CNTs.

RevDate: 2021-08-13

Zhai Z, Ruan J, Zheng Y, et al (2021)

Assessment of Global Trends in the Diagnosis of Mesothelioma From 1990 to 2017.

JAMA network open, 4(8):e2120360.

Importance: It is difficult for policy makers and clinicians to formulate targeted management strategies for mesothelioma because data on current epidemiological patterns worldwide are lacking.

Objective: To evaluate the mesothelioma burden across the world and describe its epidemiological distribution over time and by sociodemographic index (SDI) level, geographic location, sex, and age.

Annual case data and age-standardized rates of incidence, death, and disability-adjusted life-years associated with mesothelioma among different age groups were obtained from the Global Burden of Disease 2017 database. The estimated annual percentage changes in age-standardized rates were calculated to evaluate temporal trends in incidence and mortality. The study population comprised individuals from 21 regions in 195 countries and territories who were diagnosed with mesothelioma between 1990 and 2017. Data were collected from May 23, 2019, to January 18, 2020.

Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary outcomes were incident cases, deaths, and their age-standardized rates and estimated annual percentage changes. Secondary outcomes were disability-adjusted life-years and relative temporal trends.

Results: Overall, 34 615 new cases (95% uncertainty interval [UI], 33 530-35 697 cases) of mesothelioma and 29 909 deaths (95% UI, 29 134-30 613 deaths) associated with mesothelioma were identified in 2017, and more than 70% of these cases and deaths were among male individuals. In 1990, the number of incident cases was 21 224 (95% UI, 17 503-25 450), and the number of deaths associated with mesothelioma was 17 406 (95% UI, 14 495-20 660). These numbers increased worldwide from 1990 to 2017, with more than 50% of cases recorded in regions with high SDI levels, whereas the age-standardized incidence rate (from 0.52 [95% UI, 0.43-0.62] in 1990 to 0.44 [95% UI, 0.42-0.45] in 2017) and the age-standardized death rate (from 0.44 [95% UI, 0.37-0.52] in 1990 to 0.38 [95% UI, 0.37-0.39] in 2017) decreased, with estimated annual percentage changes of -0.61 (95% CI, -0.67 to -0.54) for age-standardized incidence rate and -0.44 (95% CI, -0.52 to -0.37) for age-standardized death rate. The proportion of incident cases among those 70 years or older continued to increase (from 36.49% in 1990 to 44.67% in 2017), but the proportion of patients younger than 50 years decreased (from 16.74% in 1990 to 13.75% in 2017) over time. In addition, mesothelioma incident cases and age-standardized incidence rates began to decrease after 20 years of a complete ban on asbestos use. For example, in Italy, a complete ban on asbestos went into effect in 1992; incident cases increased from 1409 individuals (95% UI, 1013-1733 individuals) in 1990, peaked in 2015 after 23 years of the asbestos ban, then decreased from 1820 individuals (95% UI, 1699-1981 individuals) in 2015 to 1746 individuals (95% UI, 1555-1955 individuals) in 2017.

Conclusions and Relevance: This cross-sectional study found that incident cases of mesothelioma and deaths associated with mesothelioma continuously increased worldwide, especially in resource-limited regions with low SDI levels. Based on these findings, global governments and medical institutions may consider formulating optimal policies and strategies for the targeted prevention and management of mesothelioma.

RevDate: 2021-08-25
CmpDate: 2021-08-13

Ferrante P (2021)

Hospitalisation costs of malignant mesothelioma: results from the Italian hospital discharge registry (2001-2018).

BMJ open, 11(8):e046456.

OBJECTIVES: This paper aims to establish hospitalisation costs of mesothelioma in Italy and to evaluate hospital-related trends associated with the 1992 asbestos ban.

DESIGN: This is a retrospective population-based study of Italian hospitalisations treating pleura, peritoneum and pericardium mesothelioma in the period 2001-2018.

SETTINGS: Public and private Italian hospitals reached by the Ministry of Health (coverage close to 100%).

PARTICIPANTS: 157 221 admissions with primary or contributing diagnosis of pleural, peritoneal or hearth cancer discharged from 2001 to 2018.Primary and secondary outcome measures: number, length and cost of hospitalisations with related percentages.

RESULTS: Each year, Italian hospitals treated a mesothelioma in 6025 admissions on average. Mean annual costs by site were €20 293 733, €3183 632 and €40 443 for pleura, peritoneum and pericardium, respectively. Pericardial mesothelioma showed the highest cost per admission (€6117), followed by peritoneal (€4549) and pleural cases (€3809). Percentage of hospitalisation costs attributable to mesothelioma was higher when it is located in pleura (53.4%) and pericardium (51.8%) with respect to peritoneum (41.2%). Overall annual hospitalisation cost, percentages of number and length of admissions showed an inverted U-shape, with maxima (of €25 850 276, 0.064% and 0.096%, respectively) reached in 2011-2013. Mean age at discharge and percentages of surgery and of urgent cases increased over time.

CONCLUSIONS: The highest impact of mesothelioma on the National Health System was recorded 20 years after the asbestos ban (2011-2013). Hospitals should expect soon fewer but more severe patients needing more cares. To study the disease prevalence could help assistance planning of next decade.

RevDate: 2021-09-08
CmpDate: 2021-09-08

Chmielewska-Kassassir M, LA Wozniak (2021)

Phytochemicals in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Treatment-Review on the Current Trends of Therapies.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(15):.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare but highly aggressive tumor of pleura arising in response to asbestos fibers exposure. MPM is frequently diagnosed in the advanced stage of the disease and causes poor prognostic outcomes. From the clinical perspective, MPM is resistant to conventional treatment, thus challenging the therapeutic options. There is still demand for improvement and sensitization of MPM cells to therapy in light of intensive clinical studies on chemotherapeutic drugs, including immuno-modulatory and targeted therapies. One way is looking for natural sources, whole plants, and extracts whose ingredients, especially polyphenols, have potential anticancer properties. This comprehensive review summarizes the current studies on natural compounds and plant extracts in developing new treatment strategies for MPM.

RevDate: 2021-08-09

Li N, Yang C, Zhou S, et al (2021)

Combination of Plasma-Based Metabolomics and Machine Learning Algorithm Provides a Novel Diagnostic Strategy for Malignant Mesothelioma.

Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland), 11(7):.

BACKGROUND: Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive and incurable carcinoma that is primarily caused by asbestos exposure. However, the current diagnostic tool for MM is still under-developed. Therefore, the aim of this study is to explore the diagnostic significance of a strategy that combined plasma-based metabolomics with machine learning algorithms for MM.

METHODS: Plasma samples collected from 25 MM patients and 32 healthy controls (HCs) were randomly divided into train set and test set, after which analyzation was performed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based metabolomics. Differential metabolites were screened out from the samples of the train set. Subsequently, metabolite-based diagnostic models, including receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and Random Forest model (RF), were established, and their prediction accuracies were calculated for the test set samples.

RESULTS: Twenty differential plasma metabolites were annotated in the train set; 10 of these metabolites were validated in the test set. The seven most prevalent diagnostic metabolites were taurocholic acid), 0.7142 (uracil), 0.7142 (biliverdin), 0.8571 (histidine), 0.5000 (tauroursodeoxycholic acid), 0.8571 (pyrroline hydroxycarboxylic acid), and 0.7857 (phenylalanine). Furthermore, RF based on 20 annotated metabolites showed a prediction accuracy of 0.9286, and its optimized version achieved 1.0000 in the test set. Moreover, the comparison between the samples of peritoneal MM (n = 8) and pleural MM (n = 17) illustrated a significant increase in levels of taurocholic acid and tauroursodeoxycholic acid, as well as an evident decrease in biliverdin.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results revealed the potential diagnostic value of plasma-based metabolomics combined with machine learning for MM. Further research with large sample size is worthy conducting. Moreover, our data demonstrated dysregulated metabolism pathways in MM, which aids in better understanding of molecular mechanisms related to the initiation and development of MM.

RevDate: 2021-08-11
CmpDate: 2021-08-11

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

Evaluation of Deposition and Clearance of Asbestos (Detected by SEM-EDS) in Lungs of Deceased Subjects Environmentally and/or Occupationally Exposed in Broni (Pavia, Northern Italy).

Frontiers in public health, 9:678040.

Biodurability is one of the main determinants of asbestos hazardousness for human health. Very little is known about the actual persistence of asbestos in lungs and its clearance, nor about differences in this regard between the different mineralogical types of asbestos. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the amount, the dimensional characteristics and the mineralogic kinds of asbestos in lungs (measured using SEM-EDS) of a series of 72 deceased subjects who were certainly exposed to asbestos (mainly crocidolite and chrysotile) during their life. Moreover, we investigated possible correlations between the lung burden of asbestos (in general and considering each asbestos type), as well as their dimension (length, width, and l/w ratio) and the duration of exposure, the latency- in case of malignant mesothelioma (MM), the survival and the time since the end of exposure. In 62.5% of subjects, asbestos burden in lungs was lower that the threshold considered demonstrative for occupational exposure. In 29.1% of cases no asbestos was found. Chrysotile was practically not detected. The mean length of asbestos fibers and the length to width ratio were significantly related to the duration of exposure to asbestos. No other statistically significant correlations were found between the amount and dimensional characteristics of asbestos (nor with the relative amount of each asbestos type) and the other chronological variables considered. In conclusion, it was pointed out that chrysotile can be completely removed from human lungs in <8 years and, instead, amphiboles persist much more time. The present results suggest, as well, that the finding of no asbestos in lungs cannot rule out the attribution of MM to asbestos (in particular, chrysotile) inhaled in an occupational setting. This point is of crucial importance from a legal point of view.

RevDate: 2021-08-12

Mensi C, Zellino C, Polonioli M, et al (2021)

Pleural mesothelioma in a circus worker.

Journal of occupational health, 63(1):e12250.

OBJECTIVES: To describe an unusual occupational asbestos exposure in a patient with mesothelioma.

METHODS: Since 2000, the Lombardy Mesothelioma Registry (LMR) collects cases of malignant mesothelioma (MM) occurring among people residing in the Lombardy Region, North-West Italy, with a population of 10 million inhabitants. For each case, clinical records and asbestos exposure are collected. Each case is then classified in agreement with the guidelines of the National Mesothelioma Registry.

RESULTS: We identified a male (86 years old), former smoker, who had been working for 53 years as a circus truck driver and tamer of lions and tigers. The first circumstance of exposure was the use of an asbestos tape that wrapped around the hoop in the feline jumping show with a flaming hoop. The second one was the presence of insulating panels protecting the engine placed inside the trucks.

CONCLUSION: A new MM case with an occupational etiology has been found in the public entertainment, an occupational sector not usually considered at risk for the presence of asbestos.

RevDate: 2021-08-06

Iyoda A, Azuma Y, Sakai T, et al (2021)

Intraoperative argon-plasma coagulation treatment for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Molecular and clinical oncology, 15(3):188.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is often associated with asbestos exposure and carries an extremely poor prognosis. The present study assessed the effectiveness of argon plasma coagulation (APC) treatment in patients with MPM who underwent radical pleural decortication (PD). The clinical data from 11 patients who underwent radical PD treated with APC at Toho University Omori Medical Center from July 2015 to March 2020 were retrospectively analyzed. Clinical features, local recurrence, and clinical prognoses were evaluated. The median overall survival was 18.5 months, and the 1- and 2-year overall survival rates were 71.6 and 43.0%, respectively. One patient survived 5 years but had recurrent tumors. The median disease-free survival was 11.1 months. The 1- and 2-year disease-free survival rates were 49.9 and 12.5%, respectively. Three patients had no recurrences, two of whom were followed continuously (39.6 and 10.2 months). The present study revealed that APC treatment for MPM might be associated with good survival and prognosis. APC as an additional intraoperative treatment for patients with MPM may be further investigated with larger multi-center clinical trials to support its efficacy.

RevDate: 2021-08-06

Gualtieri AF (2021)

Bridging the gap between toxicity and carcinogenicity of mineral fibres by connecting the fibre crystal-chemical and physical parameters to the key characteristics of cancer.

Current research in toxicology, 2:42-52.

Airborne fibres and particularly asbestos represent hazards of great concern for human health because exposure to these peculiar particulates may cause malignancies such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. Currently, many researchers worldwide are focussed on fully understanding the patho-biological mechanisms leading to carcinogenesis prompted by pathogenic fibres. Along this line, the present work introduces a novel approach to correlate how and to what extent the physical/crystal-chemical and morphological parameters (including length, chemistry, biodurability, and surface properties) of mineral fibres cause major adverse effects with an emphasis on asbestos. The model described below conceptually attempts to bridge the gap between toxicity and carcinogenicity of mineral fibres and has several implications: 1) it provides a tool to measure the toxicity and pathogenic potential of asbestos minerals, allowing a quantitative rank of the different types (e.g. chrysotile vs. crocidolite); 2) it can predict the toxicity and pathogenicity of "unregulated" or unclassified fibres; 3) it reveals the parameters of a mineral fibre that are active in stimulating key characteristics of cancer, thus offering a strategy for developing specific cancer prevention strategies and therapies. Chrysotile, crocidolite and fibrous glaucophane are described here as mineral fibres of interest.

RevDate: 2021-08-02

Prusak A, van der Zwan JM, Aarts MJ, et al (2021)

The psychosocial impact of living with mesothelioma: Experiences and needs of patients and their carers regarding supportive care.

European journal of cancer care [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: Mesothelioma is a rare cancer with a poor prognosis caused by exposure to asbestos. Psychosocial support and care for mesothelioma patients and their carers is limited and not tailored to their specific needs. The aim of this study was to explore patients' and carers' needs and experiences regarding psychosocial support and their coping mechanisms dealing with psychosocial problems.

METHODS: A qualitative study was performed using semi-structured interviews with both mesothelioma patients and their carers. Participants were recruited through two specialised hospitals and two patient organisations. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed.

RESULTS: Ten patients (70% male, mean age 67.7) and five carers (20% male, mean age 65) participated in the study. The main themes identified for patients were active coping, limited needs and limited knowledge and awareness about psychosocial support. The main themes for carers were passive coping and 'it's all about the patient'.

CONCLUSION: Mesothelioma patients do not seem to have high needs for psychosocial support, whereas carers do. However, knowledge about and awareness of psychosocial support is low among mesothelioma patients. The findings from this study should be used to adjust guidelines for psychosocial support in mesothelioma patients and their carers.

RevDate: 2021-08-19

Onagi H, Hayashi T, Saito T, et al (2021)

Malignant pleural mesothelioma showing rare morphology indistinguishable from myxofibrosarcoma concomitant with EGFR-mutated lung adenocarcinoma: A case report.

International journal of surgery case reports, 85:106237.

INTRODUCTION AND IMPORTANCE: Primary tumors of the pleura are rare, with malignant mesothelioma being the most common of these neoplasms. Pathological diagnosis of sarcomatoid mesothelioma can be more challenging than that of epithelioid malignant mesothelioma because of its similarities with true sarcomas and restricted or inconsistent expression of mesothelial markers in immunohistochemistry analysis.

PRESENTATION OF CASE: Here, we present an unusual case of malignant pleural mesothelioma concomitant with lung adenocarcinoma in a 72-year-old Japanese man, a smoker with no family history of cancer and asbestos exposure. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is composed of epithelial and spindle-shaped cells. Spindle-shaped cells with scant eosinophilic cytoplasm and hyperchromatic nuclei proliferated in abundant myxoid stroma containing thin-walled blood vessels, mimicking myxofibrosarcoma. The loss of BAP1 (BRCA1-associated protein 1) expression, as assessed by immunohistochemistry, and homozygous deletions of CDKN2A, detected using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), were observed in both components. Targeted sequencing revealed that lung adenocarcinoma harbored EGFR mutations, whereas no mutations were detected in either component of biphasic mesothelioma.

DISCUSSION: Although alcian blue-stained mucins were detected in biphasic mesothelioma subsets, the clinicopathological significance of myxoid stroma in biphasic and sarcomatoid mesothelioma remains largely unknown.

CONCLUSION: Our case presented a unique morphology mimicking myxofibrosarcoma in a sarcomatoid component of biphasic mesothelioma; therefore, it raises a question on the clinicopathological significance of myxoid stroma in sarcomatous areas of biphasic and sarcomatoid mesothelioma.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

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: 2021-09-17
CmpDate: 2021-09-17

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), 60(10):1250-1256.

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: 2021-08-11
CmpDate: 2021-08-11

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):.

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: 2021-07-29
CmpDate: 2021-07-29

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):.

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: 2021-07-29

Pouliquen DL, J Kopecka (2021)

Malignant Mesothelioma.

Cancers, 13(14):.

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: 2021-09-15

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

Underreporting of mesothelioma, asbestosis and pleural plaques in Brazil.

Occupational medicine (Oxford, England), 71(4-5):223-230.

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: 2021-08-18

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):.

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: 2021-08-02
CmpDate: 2021-08-02

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):.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-02
CmpDate: 2021-08-02

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):.

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: 2021-07-20

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: 2021-07-30
CmpDate: 2021-07-30

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

[Occupational cancers in urology].

Der Urologe. Ausg. A, 60(8):1061-1072.

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: 2021-09-15

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, 71(9):604-613.

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: 2021-07-24
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):.

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: 2021-07-11

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: 2021-07-24
CmpDate: 2021-07-23

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):.

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.


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
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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 )