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Familial Malignant Mesothelioma: A Population-based Study In Central Italy (1980-2012).

V. Ascoli, E. Romeo, C. Carnovale Scalzo, I. Cozzi, Laura Ancona, F. Cavariani, Anna Balestri, Letizia Gasperini, F. Forastiere
Published 2014 · Medicine

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Malignant mesothelioma is a sporadic cancer linked to asbestos exposure. Its occurrence among blood relatives (familial mesothelioma) may point to genetic susceptibility or shared exposures. The burden of the familial disease is unknown. The aims of the study were to assess at population level the proportion of familial mesotheliomas among all mesotheliomas and to investigate the family history of cancer among relatives of mesothelioma cases. We actively searched familial clusters based on a mesothelioma registry from central Italy (5.5 million people, 10% of the Italian population) of the National Mesothelioma Register network (ReNaM) as well as a pathology-based archive. Among 997 incident mesotheliomas recorded in a 32-year-period (1980-2012), we detected 13 clusters and 34 familial cases, accounting for 3.4% of all mesotheliomas. The most common clusters where those with affected siblings and unaffected parents. Asbestos exposure was occupational (n=7 clusters), household (n=2), environmental (n=1), or not attributable for insufficient information (n=3). There were 25 additional cancers in nine families. Some were cancer sites for which there is sufficient evidence (lung and larynx) or limited evidence (stomach and colon) of causal association with asbestos. The results suggest potential genetic recessive effects in mesothelioma that interact with asbestos exposure, but it is not possible to estimate the specific proportion attributable to each of these components.
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