Presse Medicale 2016 January 25 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]
Previous occupational asbestos exposure (more rarely environmental or domestic exposure) may induce various pleural and/or pulmonary, benign or malignant diseases, sometimes with a very long latency for malignant mesothelioma (MM). Asbestos has been widely extracted and used in Western countries and in emerging or developing countries, resulting in a peak of MM incidence in France around 2020 and likely in a world pandemic of asbestos-induced diseases. These patients have mostly benign respiratory diseases (pleural plugs) but may also be diagnosed with lung cancer or malignant pleural mesothelioma, and have a global poor outcome. New therapeutic tools (targeted therapies, immunotherapy…) with first promising results are developed. However, it is crucial to obtain a full ban of asbestos use worldwide, and to do a regular follow-up of asbestos-exposed subjects, mostly if they are already diagnosed with benign respiratory diseases. Finally, new cancers (larynx and ovary) were recently added to the list of asbestos-induced tumors.