New Research Finds Pleural Plaques More Closely Linked to Asbestos Exposure than Mesothelioma Development, According to Surviving Mesothelioma

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A new risk analysis has determined that thickening of the lung lining known as pleural plaques does not necessarily mean that a person will develop an asbestos disease such as mesothelioma.

The Link Between Mesothelioma and Pleural Plaques

Pleural Plaques and Mesothelioma

Pleural plaques without other pleural disease are a marker of exposure, rather than an independent risk factor.

Researchers say pleural plaques, while uncomfortable, don’t typically lead to malignant mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted a story on the study. Click here to read it now.

An analysis of the medical literature on pleural plaques released by a Princeton, New Jersey-based medical consulting firm found that these nodules are good indicators of asbestos exposure but not good predictors of mesothelioma.

“The evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that pleural plaques without other pleural disease are a marker of exposure, rather than an independent risk factor,” writes L. Daniel Maxim, an expert in applied mathematics, probability theory, and biostatistics.

According to the report in Inhalation Toxicology, pleural plaques do not typically cause respiratory symptoms or “clinically significant impacts on lung function.”

“Because they are directly related to asbestos exposure, pleural plaques can be an indicator that monitoring is needed,” says Surviving Mesothelioma’s Managing Editor, Alex Strauss. “However, people should find some relief in the idea that these plaques are not a precursor to mesothelioma.”

For details on the new analysis and a better understanding of pleural plaques, see The Link Between Pleural Plaques and Mesothelioma, now available on the Surviving Mesothelioma website.

Maxim, LD et al, “Are pleural plaques an appropriate endpoint for risk analyses?”, June 15, 2015, Inhalation Toxicology, Epub ahead of print,

For nearly ten years, Surviving Mesothelioma has brought readers the most important and ground-breaking news on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. All Surviving Mesothelioma news is gathered and reported directly from the peer-reviewed medical literature. Written for patients and their loved ones, Surviving Mesothelioma news helps families make more informed decisions.

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Cancer Monthy
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