Pleural Plaques and the Risk of Pleural Mesothelioma.
The association between pleural plaques and pleural mesothelioma remains controversial. The present study was designed to examine the association between pleural plaques on computed tomography (CT) scan and the risk of pleural mesothelioma in a follow-up study of asbestos-exposed workers.Methods
Retired or unemployed workers previously occupationally exposed to asbestos were invited to participate in a screening program for asbestos-related diseases, including CT scan, organized between October 2003 and December 2005 in four regions in France. Randomized, independent, double reading of CT scans by a panel of seven chest radiologists focused on benign asbestos-related abnormalities. A 7-year follow-up study was conducted in the 5287 male subjects for whom chest CT scan was available. Annual determination of the number of subjects eligible for free medical care because of pleural mesothelioma was carried out. Diagnosis certification was obtained from the French mesothelioma panel of pathologists. Survival regression based on the Cox model was used to estimate the risk of pleural mesothelioma associated with pleural plaques, with age as the main time variable and time-varying exposure variables, namely duration of exposure, time since first exposure, and cumulative exposure index to asbestos. All statistical tests were two-sided.ResultsA total of 17 incident cases of pleural mesothelioma were diagnosed. A statistically significant association was observed between mesothelioma and pleural plaques (unadjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 8.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.0 to 26.5; adjusted HR = 6.8, 95% CI = 2.2 to 21.4 after adjustment for time since first exposure and cumulative exposure index to asbestos).Conclusion
The presence of pleural plaques may be an independent risk factor for pleural mesothelioma.
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the hypothesis of an increased risk of pleural mesothelioma due to co-exposure to asbestos and refractory ceramic fibres (RCF) compared to asbestos exposure alone. Males were selected from a French case-control study conducted in 1987-1993 and from the French National Mesothelioma Surveillance Program in 1998-2006. Two population controls were frequency matched to each case by year of birth. Complete job histories were collected and occupational asbestos and RCF exposures were assessed using job exposure matrices. The dose-response relationships for asbestos exposure were estimated from an unconditional logistic regression model in subjects exposed to asbestos only (group 1) and subjects exposed to both asbestos and RCF (group 2). A total of 988 cases and 1125 controls ever-exposed to asbestos were included. A dose-response relationship was observed in both groups but it was stronger in group 2. In comparison with subjects exposed at the minimum value of the cumulative index of exposure, the odds ratio was 2.6 (95% CI 1.9-3.4) for subjects exposed to 75 fibres·mL(-1)·year(-1) in group 1 increasing to 12.4 (95% CI 4.6-33.7) in group 2. Our results suggest that the pleural carcinogenic effect of occupational asbestos exposure may be modified by additional exposure to RCF.European Respiratory Journal 07/2014; 44(3). DOI:10.1183/09031936.00079814 · 7.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently conducted a risk assessment for exposure to Libby amphibole asbestos that is precedent-setting for two reasons. First, the Agency has not previously conducted a risk assessment for a specific type of asbestos fiber. Second, the risk assessment includes not only an inhalation unit risk (IUR) for the cancer endpoints, but also a reference concentration (RfC) for nonmalignant disease. In this paper, we review the procedures used by the Agency for both cancer and nonmalignant disease and discuss the strengths and limitations of these procedures. The estimate of the RfC uses the benchmark dose method applied to pleural plaques in a small subcohort of vermiculite workers in Marysville, Ohio. We show that these data are too sparse to inform the exposure-response relationship in the low-exposure region critical for estimation of an RfC, and that different models with very different exposure-response shapes fit the data equally well. Furthermore, pleural plaques do not represent a disease condition and do not appear to meet the EPA's definition of an adverse condition. The estimation of the IUR for cancer is based on a subcohort of Libby miners, discarding the vast majority of lung cancers and mesotheliomas in the entire cohort and ignoring important time-related factors in exposure and risk, including effect modification by age. We propose that an IUR based on an endpoint that combines lung cancer, mesothelioma, and nonmalignant respiratory disease (NMRD) in this cohort would protect against both malignant and nonmalignant disease. However, the IUR should be based on the entire cohort of Libby miners, and the analysis should properly account for temporal factors. We illustrate our discussion with our own independent analyses of the data used by the Agency.Critical Reviews in Toxicology 05/2014; 44(6). DOI:10.3109/10408444.2014.902423 · 6.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mesothelioma is a rare disease less than 0.3% of cancers in France, very aggressive and resistant to the majority of conventional therapies. Asbestos exposure is nearly the only recognized cause of mesothelioma in men observed in 80% of case. In 1990, the projections based on mortality predicted a raise of incidence in mesothelioma for the next three decades. Nowadays, the diagnosis of this cancer is based on pathology, but the histological presentation frequently heterogeneous, is responsible for numerous pitfalls and major problems of early detection toward effective therapy. Facing such a diagnostic, epidemiological and medico-legal context, a national and international multidisciplinary network has been progressively set up in order to answer to epidemiological survey, translational or academic research questions. Moreover, in response to the action of the French Cancer Program (action 23.1) a network of pathologists was organized for expert pathological second opinion using a standardized procedure of certification for mesothelioma diagnosis. We describe the network organization and show the results during this last 15years period of time from 1998-2013. These results show the major impact on patient's management, and confirm the interest of this second opinion to provide accuracy of epidemiological data, quality of medico-legal acknowledgement and accuracy of clinical diagnostic for the benefit of patients. We also show the impact of these collaborative efforts for creating a high quality clinicobiological, epidemiological and therapeutic data collection for improvement of the knowledge of this dramatic disease.Annales de Pathologie 02/2014; 34(1):51-63. DOI:10.1016/j.annpat.2014.01.009 · 0.29 Impact Factor