The British Journal of Cancer reported on an Italian study of asbestos company workers. Researchers computed standardized mortality ratios of the workforce and found higher death rates from mesothelioma than in the general population. The ratio for mesothelioma was “stongly related to time since first exposure.” This should come as no surprise as it has been known that the latency period before mesothelioma shows up can be decades
Environmental Health Perspectives has another Italian study on spatial variation of mesothelioma rates as the relate to distance to an asbestos plant. There is strong evidence that industrial source of asbestos raises the risk of mesothelioma and the authors conclude that “relative risks from occupational exposure were underestimated and were markedly increased when adjusted for residential distance.”
There was a paper in the Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery about four women with mesothelioma and another type of cancer.
The paper concludes that physicians should consider mesothelioma in all cancer patients who have pleural effusions, regardless of the patient’s history of asbestos exposure. The authors suggest that the video-assisted surgical biopsy as a way to help doctors diagnose mesothelioma because needle aspiration and cytology are not as reliable.
They also raise the concern of radiation therapy in tissue with asbestos particles embedded in them, suggesting that there could be “synergy” and increased risk of further cancer.