Eighth International Mesothelioma Interest Group

Oncogene. 2007 May 14; [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

M Carbone1, S M Albelda2, V C Broaddus3, R M Flores4, G Hillerdal5, M-C Jaurand6,7, K Kjaerheim8, H I Pass9, B Robinson10 and A Tsao11

  1. 1Thoracic Oncology, Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA
  2. 2Thoracic Oncology Research Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA
  3. 3Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
  4. 4Thoracic Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Keltering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA
  5. 5Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
  6. 6INSERM, U674, Fondation Jean Dausset-CEPH, IFR105, Paris, France
  7. 7Université Paris 7, Paris, France
  8. 8Cancer Registry of Norway, Oslo, Norway
  9. 9Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA
  10. 10School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
  11. 11Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

Correspondence: Professor M Carbone, Thoracic Oncology, Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, University of Hawaii, 651 Ilalo St, BSB Room 231, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA. E-mail: mcarbone@crch.hawaii.edu


The eighth International Mesothelioma Interest Group (IMIG) meeting was held in Chicago, IL, United States, in 19–22 October 2006 to discuss mesothelioma – the cancer often linked to asbestos exposure. It is a very aggressive malignancy with a median survival of less than 1 year from diagnosis. Millions of people have been exposed worldwide to asbestos, especially during the second half of the twentieth century when asbestos use increased significantly. The tons of asbestos utilized in the past remain a health hazard for current and future generations because asbestos is difficult to be disposed off. This makes asbestos and mesothelioma research a public health issue in addition to a medical problem. Moreover, the very high costs of asbestos litigation have a significant impact on the whole economy. In the United States, up until 2001, defendant companies had paid 54 billion dollars in claims and estimated future liabilities ranged from 145 to 210 billion. Therefore, asbestos research is of great interest to a large audience that includes patients, millions of asbestos-exposed individuals, scientists, physicians, public health officials, politicians, unions of asbestos workers, lawyers and the public at large. During the past few years, there has been significant progress in understanding the process of mineral fiber carcinogenesis and mesothelioma pathogenesis. With improved understanding of the pathogenesis of mesothelioma, new diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic options are being developed. A total of 247 papers were presented at the IMIG: the abstracts of these presentations were published in Lung Cancer, Supplement 1, October 2006. Here, experts in different disciplines critically review some of the most exciting presentations of the IMIG meeting. The result is a comprehensive review of the research field of asbestos carcinogenesis and mesothelioma, and of the progress that has been made in recent years in both basic and clinical sciences.

Keywords: mesothelioma, asbestos, SV40, gene-environment