Collegium Antropologicum. 2008 Jun;32(2):479-83. [Link]

Sarić M, Curin K, Varnai VM.

Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Zagreb, Croatia.


From the Croatian Cancer Registry (period 1991-1997) 194 malignant pleural mesothelioma patients were collected. According to participation in polio vaccination mass campaign in 1961 that covered the entire Croatian population aged 3 months to 20 years, mesothelioma patients were divided in vaccinated (N=58), and non-vaccinated (N=136) subjects. Significantly higher percentage of those with a history of occupational exposure to asbestos was found in vaccinated (79%) compared to non-vaccinated group (63%). This is the opposite to what would be expected if potential SV40 contamination of polio vaccine used had a causative role in the development of the tumour. On the other hand, shorter latency period reflected by very high percentage of 45-year-old or younger mesothelioma patients in vaccinated group (15 out of 58), with all of them having a history of occupational asbestos exposure, raises a question for a possible enhancing effect of the vaccine used to asbestos exposure, if it was contaminated with SV40.