Asbestos, which is a naturally occurring hydrated silicate fiber,is ideal for a variety of construction and insulation purposes. In
industry, utilization of asbestos began in the 1850s, but its harmful risks for causing pulmonary malignancies (pleural mesothelioma and
bronchogenic carcinoma) and other nonmalignant disease (pleural plaques, asbestosis) as well as other type of cancers were increased by
the middle of the 20th century. The first cases of asbestos associated pulmonary fibrosis were evident in the early 1900s, and Cooke
coined the term âasbestosisâ in 1927. Bronchogenic carcinoma caused by asbestos exposure was established by the mid-1950s. The
relationship between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma as well as with gastrointestinal (GI) cancers was recognized by the 1960s. In the
early 1970s, the United States placed a moratorium on asbestos use, and over 50 countries have banned or severely restricted asbestos use.
Although asbestos mainly causes pulmonary diseases resulting from inhalation of dusts containing asbestos fibers, there are accumulating
studies suggesting that GI malignancies can also result, possibly by oral ingestion of asbestos fibers. The purpose of this review is to summarize
the important epidemiological, in vivo, and in vitro information that has increased our understanding of asbestos-related GI cancers as well
as emerging novel molecular targets.
Last date updated on July, 2014