Saturday, August 06, 2005

Family Values in Mesothelioma

The Specter-Lahey Bill, just reported from the Senate Judiciary Committee, has provisions for familial [take home exposure] asbestos cases.

BrooklynDodger was unable to access the full text of this paper, which has maybe not the best abstract. These are italian data. Of 610 cases, 40 had familial cases. Of the 40, 25 had no blood relationship. It's reported these were all exposed occupationally, and no take home cases are being reported. Latency periods (time intervals between first exposure to asbestos and diagnosis) ranged between 25 and 70 yr (mean 52.0, median 54.0).

BrooklynDodger is all mixed up here. The 40 familial cases, 20 pairs might have had some take home asbestos effect.

There were 530 victims with no familial case. The 530 likely had high asbestos exposure at work and therefore an opportunity to take home. The upper 95% CI on 0/530 is 0.0056. Does this mean we are 95% confident that the mesothelioma risk from take home asbestos for workers with high enough exposure to get mesothelioma is less than .6%?

The median latency may be of value in estimating future meso risk. 55 plus 1945 = 2000; the midpoint of the cases for WW II ship building would have been somewhere before 2000.

Ind Health. 2004 Apr;42(2):235-9.
Familial mesothelioma of the pleura--a report of 40 cases.

Bianchi C, Brollo A, Ramani L, Bianchi T, Giarelli L.

Center for the Study of Environmental Cancer, Laboratory of Pathological Anatomy, Hospital of Monfalcone, 34074 Monfalcone, Italy.

A survey of 610 pleural mesotheliomas disclosed 40 familial cases. ... Occupational data were collected from the patients or from their relatives by personal interviews. Routine lung sections were examined for asbestos bodies in 32 cases. In 15 cases asbestos bodies were isolated after chemical digestion of lung tissue. Familial mesotheliomas included 31 men and 9 women ... In 15 families there were blood relations between (or among) the members involved. [ And 25 not, so the majority had no genetic component.] All the patients had been exposed to asbestos, mostly in the shipyards. Asbestos bodies were found on routine lung sections in 27 cases. Asbestos bodies after isolation ranged from 70 bodies to about 900,000/g dried lung tissue. Latency periods (time intervals between first exposure to asbestos and diagnosis) ranged between 25 and 70 yr (mean 52.0, median 54.0). The occurrence of mesothelioma among subjects with blood relations suggests that genetic factors might play a role in determining the susceptibility to asbestos-related cancer. Familial cases among persons without blood relations raise the question if environmental factors that members of a family share, may act as co-factors in asbestos-related mesothelioma.

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