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Cancer. 1988 Aug 15;62(4):787-90.

Acute myelocytic leukemia after exposure to asbestos.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Investigation, Kure Kyosai Hospital, Japan.


While the carcinogenicity of asbestos has been established in malignant mesotheliomas and lung cancers, and has recently been suspected in several other types of cancer, asbestos has not been implicated in the pathogenesis of acute leukemias. This article includes two cases of acute myelocytic leukemia in individuals with a long history of exposure to asbestos. Significant numbers of asbestos bodies were detected in specimens of their lungs and bone marrow. In addition, the kind of asbestos in both organs was crocidolite, which is implicated in carcinogenesis. No asbestos bodies were detected in the bone marrow specimens from a control group consisting of ten patients with lung cancer with similar occupational histories. The role of asbestos exposure in the development of leukemia requires further study.

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