Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine 2015 April 6 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Li X, Brownlee NA, Sporn TA, Mahar A, Roggli VL.



Ionizing radiation has a role in the development of malignant mesothelioma, in several epidemiologic studies, including patients with hematologic malignancies.


To study the clinicopathologic characteristics of patients with malignant mesothelioma and hematologic malignancies with and without a history of radiotherapy.


From a database of approximately 3600 patients with malignant mesothelioma, we identified 45 patients (1%) who also had hematologic malignancies. We examined clinicopathologic features and noted whether the patient had received radiotherapy for malignancy, comparing those with and those without such exposure.


Among the 45 cases, 18 (40%) had Hodgkin lymphoma, 15 (33%) had non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 10 (4%) had chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and 2 (22%) had chronic myelogenous leukemia; 20 patients (44%) had a history of radiotherapy, and 23 (51%) did not. Most patients with Hodgkin lymphoma (16 of 18; 90.0%) received radiation, whereas none of the patients with leukemia (0 of 12) and only 20% (3 of 15) of the patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma did so. Patients without radiation were older than patients who received radiotherapy (median, 73 versus 54 years, respectively; P < .001), had a shorter interval from diagnosis of hematologic malignancy to that of mesothelioma (median, 2 versus 24 years, respectively; P < .001), and had a shorter survival period (median, 6.0 versus 14.0 months, respectively; P = .02). Epithelial mesotheliomas were proportionately more common in patients with a history of radiotherapy.


Patients with mesothelioma and hematologic malignancies with a history of radiation tended to be younger, had a longer interval from diagnosis of hematologic malignancy to that of mesothelioma, had a longer survival period, and were more likely to have the epithelial variant compared with patients without radiotherapy.