Mesothelioma and Analysis of Tissue Fiber Content

  • Volker Neumann
  • Stefan Löseke
  • Andrea Tannapfel
Part of the Recent Results in Cancer Research book series (RECENTCANCER, volume 189)


The strong relationship between mesothelioma and asbestos exposure is well established. The analysis of lung asbestos burden by light and electron microscopy assisted to understand the increased incidence of mesothelioma in asbestos mining and consuming nations.

The data on the occupational exposure to asbestos are important information for the purpose of compensation of occupational disease No. 4105 (asbestos-associated mesothelioma) in Germany.

However, in many cases the patients have forgotten conditions of asbestos exposure or had no knowledge about the used materials with components of asbestos. Mineral fiber analysis can provide valuable information for the research of asbestos-associated diseases and for the assessment of exposure. Because of the variability of asbestos exposure and long latency periods, the analysis of asbestos lung content is a relevant method for identification of asbestos-associated diseases. Also, sources of secondary exposure, so called “bystander exposition” or environmental exposure can be examined by mineral fiber analysis.

Household contacts to asbestos are known for ten patients (1987–2009) in the German mesothelioma register; these patients lived together with family members working in the asbestos manufacturing industry.

Analysis of lung tissue for asbestos burden offers information on the past exposure. The predominant fiber-type identified by electron microscopy in patients with mesothelioma is amphibole asbestos (crocidolite or amosite). Latency times (mean 42.5 years) and mean age at the time of diagnose in patients with mesothelioma are increasing (65.5 years). The decrease of median asbestos burden of the lung in mesothelioma patients results in disease manifestation at a higher age.

Lung dust analyses are a relevant method for the determination of causation in mesothelioma. Analysis of asbestos burden of the lung and of fiber type provides insights into the pathogenesis of malignant mesothelioma. The most important causal factor for the development of mesothelioma is still asbestos exposure.


Lung Tissue Malignant Mesothelioma Asbestos Exposure Asbestos Fiber Peritoneal Mesothelioma 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Volker Neumann
    • 1
  • Stefan Löseke
    • 1
  • Andrea Tannapfel
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.German Mesothelioma RegisterUniversity Hospital BergmannsheilBochumGermany
  2. 2.Institut für PathologieRuhr-Universität Bochum, BG Kliniken BergmannsheilBochumGermany

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