Dose-response relationship between amphibole fiber lung burden and mesothelioma

Cancer Detect Prev. 1999;23(3):183-93. doi: 10.1046/j.1525-1500.1999.99018.x.


In a mesothelioma case-control study, asbestos and other mineral fibers from lung burden were examined as causal factors. Diagnosis was confirmed by a panel of pathologists. For 66 cases and 66 controls from hospitals in five German towns, lung tissue fiber analysis by transmission electron microscopy was available. Control patients were treated by a surgical lung resection mostly because of lung cancer. For chrysotile and other mineral fibers a significantly increased odds ratio (OR) was not observed. A clear dose-response relationship was demonstrated for the concentration CA of amphibole fibers longer than 5 microm. Between 0.025 and 2.5 fibers/microg dry weight (f/microg) the relationship can be approximated as OR = CA/(0. 025 f/microg). Similar but less distinct dose-response relationships were found in a Canadian and an Australian study. It is concluded that among German mesothelioma patients factors not associated with amphibole fiber concentration are not predominating.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Asbestos, Amphibole / adverse effects*
  • Asbestos, Amphibole / analysis
  • Asbestos, Serpentine / adverse effects
  • Asbestos, Serpentine / analysis
  • Asbestosis / epidemiology
  • Asbestosis / etiology
  • Body Burden
  • Carcinogens / adverse effects*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma / chemically induced*
  • Mesothelioma / epidemiology
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning Transmission
  • Middle Aged
  • Mineral Fibers / adverse effects
  • Mineral Fibers / analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking


  • Asbestos, Amphibole
  • Asbestos, Serpentine
  • Carcinogens
  • Mineral Fibers