Frequency And Level Of Asbestos Exposure In Ovarian Cancer Patients: A Multicenter Study

Béatrice FERVERS, Centre Léon Bérard, France
BEURRIER F. 4 , CHOPIN N. 4 , DUBERNARD G. 5 , GOLFIER F. 7 , HEUDEL P. 6 , FORT E. 3 , FEVOTTE J. 3 , BOUNIN A. 3 , MEEUS P. 4 , RAY-COQUARD I. 6 , RAUDRANT D. 7 , TREDAN O. 6 , CHARBOTEL B. 3,8

1 Cancer Environment Departement, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France
2 University Lyon 1, Lyon, France
3 UMRESTTE, University Lyon 1, Lyon, France
4 Department of Surgery, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France
5 Department of Gynecology Obstetrics, Hôpital de la Croix-Rousse, Lyon, France
6 Department of Medical Oncology, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France
7 Department of gynecological surgery and Oncology Obstetrics, Centre Hospitalier Lyon Sud, Pierre Bénite, France
8 Departement of occupational diseases, Centre Hospitalier Lyon Sud, Pierre Bénite, France

Purpose : Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer and the fourth cause of cancer death in women in Europe. Its etiology is still not fully understood. Following the conclusion by IARC in 2009 on a causal relation between asbestos exposure and ovarian cancer, we examined the frequency and level of asbestos exposure in ovarian cancer patients.
Population : A descriptive multicenter cases study among patients with histologically-confirmed ovarian cancer between January 2010 and December 2012, and managed in one of three specialized hospitals in Lyon, France.
Methods : Individual, medical and occupational data were collected by a standardized questionnaire administered by phone. Exposure levels were assessed by an industrial hygienist using national and international classifications. Assessment included direct asbestos exposure at work, indirect exposure via nearby colleagues working with asbestos, and occupational environmental exposure. Familial exposure was assessed based on questions relating to family members’ occupations. We compared the frequency of asbestos exposure among our cases to the data from a cross-sectional survey conducted in 2007 by the French Institute for Public Health Surveillance in a representative sample of 10,010 subjects, involving 5,252 women from the French population aged 25 to 74 years in 2007.
Results: The 162 patients (mean age of 58 years; response rate 50%) reported on average 2.4 different jobs (median overall working duration 27.1 years). The prevalence of occupational asbestos exposure was 18% (median duration 14 years), almost 5% of patients had non-occupational exposure, 4% through their relatives, and 1% through environmental sources. Lifetime prevalence of occupational asbestos exposure was significantly higher compared to asbestos exposure of women of the same age in the French general population (4%).
Conclusion: Future research should investigate the association between asbestos exposure and histology subtypes as well as mechanisms involved using genetic and molecular biology techniques.
Funding: INCa/ANSES