Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Asbestos and SV40 Virus: A Deadly Combination

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Asbestos and SV40 Virus: A Deadly Combination

Article excerpt

Asbestos alone does not play as much of a role in the development of mesothelioma as previously thought, according to a study published in the Aug. 31 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The research, conducted by Dr. Michele Carbone at the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center of Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill., offers preliminary evidence that the virus, Simian virus 40 (SV40), and asbestos fibers work together to transform healthy cells into malignant ones, resulting in mesothelioma, a rare and fatal form of cancer.

"The results provide us with significant new information about the role of environmental contaminants in the development of disease and enhance our understanding of cancer," said Carbone, the study's principal author and an associate professor of pathology at Loyola University's Stritch School of Medicine.

Approximately 2,500 deaths due to mesothelioma occur annually in the United States, but the number of cases is growing, Carbone said. About 80 percent of patients with this form of cancer have had some occupational exposure to asbestos. …

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