International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 2019 April 15 [Link]
Boffetta P, Donato F, Pira E, Luu HN, La Vecchia C
A ‘risk reversal’ has been observed for several human carcinogens following cessation of exposure, but it is unclear whether it also exists for asbestos-related mesothelioma.
We conducted a systematic review of the literature and identified nine studies that reported information on risk of mesothelioma after cessation of asbestos exposure, and performed a meta-regression based on random effects models. As comparison we analyzed results on lung cancer risk from four of these studies.
A total of six risk estimates from five studies were included in the meta-analysis. The summary relative risk (RR) of mesothelioma for 10-year interval since cessation of exposure was 1.02 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.87-1.19; p-heterogeneity 0.01]. The corresponding RR of lung cancer was 0.91 (95% CI 0.84-0.98).
This analysis provides evidence that the risk of mesothelioma does not decrease after cessation of asbestos exposure, while lung cancer risk does.