Asbestos-Induced Gastrointestinal Cancer: An Update | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2161-069X

Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System
Open Access

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Review Article

Asbestos-Induced Gastrointestinal Cancer: An Update

Seok Jo Kim, David Williams, Paul Cheresh and David W Kamp*

Department of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, USA

*Corresponding Author:
David W Kamp
Department of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
McGaw M-330, 240 E Huron Street, Chicago, USA
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: August 27, 2013; Accepted date: September 05, 2013; Published date: September 10, 2013

Citation: Kim SJ, Williams D, Cheresh P, Kamp DW (2013) Asbestos-Induced Gastrointestinal Cancer: An Update. J Gastroint Dig Syst 3:135. doi: 10.4172/2161-069X.1000135

Copyright: © 2013 Kim SJ, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Asbestos-related diseases, such as malignancies and asbestosis, remain a significant occupational and public health concern. Asbestos is still widely used in many developing countries despite being a recognized carcinogen that has been banned over 50 countries. The prevalence and mortality from asbestos-related diseases continue to pose challenges worldwide. Many countries are now experiencing an epidemic of asbestos-related disease that is the legacy of occupational exposure during the 20th century because of the long latency period (up to 40 years) between initial asbestos exposure and exhibition of disease. However, the gastrointestinal (GI) cancers resulting from asbestos exposure are not as clearly defined. In this review, we summarize some of the recent epidemiology of asbestos-related diseases and then focus on the evidence implicating asbestos in causing GI malignancies. We also briefly review the important new pathogenic information that has emerged over the past several years that may account for asbestosrelated gastrointestinal cancers. All types of asbestos fibers have been implicated in the mortality and morbidity from GI malignancies but the collective evidence to date is mixed. Although the molecular basis of GI cancers arising from asbestos exposure is unclear, there have been significant advances in our understanding of mesothelioma and asbestosis that may contribute to the pathophysiology underlying asbestos-induced GI cancers. The emerging new evidence into the pathogenesis of asbestos toxicity is providing insights into the molecular basis for developing novel therapeutic strategies for asbestos-related diseases in future management.