Mesotheliomas in Lebanon Witnessing a Change in Epidemiology


Department of Hematology-Oncology, Hotel-Dieu de France University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Saint Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon


Background Mesotheliomas are relatively rare tumors in Lebanon The only previous study goes back to 14 years ago when we published epidemiological characteristics of mesotheliomas in Lebanon showing that the pleural location accounted for the vast majority of cases with a clear evidence of asbestos exposure from the Eternit factory of Chekka region The objective of this current study was to estimate the incidence of mesothelioma in the past decade and to identify its epidemiological clinical and therapeutic characteristics making comparisons with our first study published in 2001 Materials and Methods Between 2002 and 2014 patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma at HotelDieu de France University Hospital were investigated Epidemiological data focusing on asbestos exposure history were collected from medical records and interviews with the families Results A total of 26 patients were diagnosed with mesothelioma 21 of which were successfully investigated. The mean age of these 21 patients is 625 (1982) Only 3 (1429) are women 18 (8571) were smokers Among the 21 available mesotheliomas 15 (714) are pleural while 5 (238) are peritoneal and 1 (48) pericardial Only 60 of patients with pleural mesothelioma and 50 of those with an obvious exposure to asbestos lived andor worked in Chekka region The mean time of asbestos exposure in patients with mesothelioma is 245 (150) years and the mean latency is 374 (461) years Of the 21 patients 10 (476) underwent surgery during their treatment 16 (762) received chemotherapy and 3 (143) received best supportive care Conclusions Compared to the previous study (19912000) substantial changes in the epidemiology of mesothelioma in Lebanon were observed such as an increase in peritoneal localizations and a lower correlation with Chekka region asbestos contamination