Global Asbestos Congress 2004

Time Trend of Asbestos Concentration in the Lung of Lung Cancer Patients in the Japanese General Population

Yuichi Ishikawa1, Yukitoshi Satoh,1, Ayako Takata2and, Norihiko Kohyama3
1Department of Pathology, Cancer Institute, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Tokyo, Japan
2School of Medicine, St. Marianna University, Kawasaki, Japan
3National Institute of Industrial Health, Kawasaki, Japan

Slide Presentation

To investigate the causes of rapidly increasing lung cancer in the general population of Japan, we analyzed time-trends of asbestos concentrations in lungs. We examined primary lung cancers (8 in the 1950s, 47 in the 1970s and 53 in the 1990s) in terms of asbestos deposition in the lung. Also, we compared asbestos concentrations in the lung between primary and metastatic lung adenocarcinomas in 1970s. Mean asbestos body concentrations (AB) (numbers per g of lung (dry)) were 559, 1,842 and 353 in the 1950s, 1970s and 1990s, respectively. AB in primary cancers in the 1970s was 2,050 (n=48) in males, significantly higher than that of metastatic cancers, 703 (n=18), although the difference was not significant in females. A statistically significant increase in the concentration of 1970s primary lung cancers was noted. However, since the lung cancer incidence in Japan has been continuously rising from 1950 to 1990, asbestos exposure is not deemed to be a main cause of the recent increase of lung cancer in the period.