Clinical study of asbestos-related lung cancer diagnosed by asbestos medical examination

Cancer Rep (Hoboken). 2018 Oct;1(3):e1124. doi: 10.1002/cnr2.1124. Epub 2018 Jul 26.


AIM: People with occupational exposure to asbestos demonstrate a high incidence of lung cancer. Asbestos medical examination for those at risk was implemented as a national policy in Japan. This study aimed to characterize patients with asbestos-related lung cancer who were diagnosed by these examinations.

METHODS: We retrospectively investigated 120 individuals exposed to asbestos who were examined from 2008 to 2016 at our institution. Clinical data, including CT findings and time-related exposure variables, were evaluated. Each asbestos-related change was assigned 1 point if present, and the scores were compared between patients with and without asbestos-related lung cancer using the Mann-Whitney U test and Fisher’s exact test.

RESULTS: Five patients were diagnosed with lung cancer, and four underwent surgical treatment. At the time of writing, three of four operated patients were alive without recurrence, with a similar prognosis to patients with lung cancer unrelated to asbestos. Average scores for asbestos-related findings on CT Scan were 1.8 (9/5) for patients with lung cancer and 0.79 (91/115) for those without lung cancer.

CONCLUSION: Patients with lung cancer had significantly more asbestos-related changes on CT scan than those without lung cancer. Concurrent calcified plaque and interstitial changes might be a predictor of lung cancer incidence. Although further investigation with a larger study group is needed, regular medical examination and CT scan every 6 months might contribute to the early detection of lung cancer with asbestos-related changes on CT.

PMID:32721086 | DOI:10.1002/cnr2.1124