Mutation Research. 2008 Jun 27. [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Amati M, Tomasetti M, Mariotti L, Tarquini LM, Valentino M, Santarelli L.

Department of Molecular Pathology and Innovative Therapies, Institute of Occupational Medicine, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy.


Epidemiological studies have shown that mortality from malignant mesothelioma (MM) and lung cancer have increased with increasing cumulative exposure to asbestos. To investigate whether tumour-related biomarkers can contribute towards the evaluation of the carcinogenic risk in populations exposed to asbestos, the DNA adduct 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8OHdG), interleukine-6 (IL-6), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-BB), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGFbeta) and soluble mesothelin-related peptides (SMRPs) were analysed in a cohort of workers differently exposed to asbestos fibres at the workplace. To document biomarker levels in an unexposed population, 54 age-matched subjects were enrolled. A total of 119 subjects with a history of occupational exposure to asbestos underwent clinical examination and were interviewed by trained personnel, responding to a detailed questionnaire related to duration of asbestos exposure, smoking, and occupational task. According to the occupational tasks, asbestos-exposed subjects were analysed for their asbestos cumulative dose and the association with the biomarkers was evaluated. Among the occupational groups, maintenance workers, pipe fitters and electricians were exposed to a higher cumulative dose of asbestos fibres. Exposure to asbestos significantly increased the steady-state content of 8OHdG in DNA. Elevated levels of 8OHdG and IL-6 best reflected a high level of SMRPs, which is related to cell transformation. Subjects heavily exposed to asbestos [>60(ff/cm(3))xyears] showed also a higher level of angiogenic factors. A combination of angiogenic biomarkers with a specific mesothelioma-biomarker such as SMRPs could be used for close surveillance of workers with a history of asbestos exposure.