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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

“Malignant pleural mesothelioma incidence and survival in the Republic of Ireland 1994-2009&#8

New mesothelioma data from Ireland. It shows significantly increasing rates of mesothelioma; about a 45% percent increase over 15 years. The abstract states:

Malignant pleural mesothelioma incidence and survival in the Republic of Ireland 1994-2009.

Jennings CJ1, Walsh PM2, Deady S2, Harvey BJ1, Thomas W3.

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Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare malignancy associated with exposure to asbestos. The protracted latent period of MPM means that its incidence has continued to rise across Europe after the introduction of restrictions on asbestos use. In order to obtain a clearer indication of trends in the Republic of Ireland (ROI), incidence and survival were assessed based on all MPM cases reported since the establishment of the National Cancer Registry of Ireland (NCR).


NCR recorded 337 MPM diagnoses in the ROI during 1994-2009. Survival was assessed for all cases diagnosed with adequate follow-up (n=330). Crude and European age-standardized incidence rates were calculated for all cases and for 4-year periods. A Cox model of observed (all-cause) survival was used to generate hazard ratios for the effect of: gender; age at diagnosis; diagnosis cohort; region of residence; histological type; and tumour stage. Single P-values for the variables indicated were calculated using either a stratified log-rank test or stratified trend test.


Over the study period the age-standardized MPM incidence in the ROI rose from 4.98cases per million (cpm) to 7.24cpm. The 1-year survival rate for all MPM cases was 29.6% (CI 24.7-34.6%). Excess mortality risk was associated with age at diagnosis (75-89 yrs vs. 55-64 yrs, HR 1.88, 95% CI 1.35-2.63, P<0.001) and tumour stage (III vs. I HR 1.57, 95% CI 1.00-2.48, P<0.05; IV vs. I HR 1.55, 95% CI 1.08-2.21, P<0.05). Age showed a significant survival trend (P<0.001) but tumour stage did not (P=0.150). There was significant heterogeneity between the survival of patients resident in different regions (P=0.027).


MPM incidence and mortality continued to rise in the ROI after the restrictions on asbestos use and the predictors of survival detected in this study are broadly consistent with those identified for other countries."

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