Curti S, Gallo M, Ferrante D, Bella F, Boschetti L, Casotto V, Ceppi M, Cervino D, Fazzo L, Fedeli U, Giorgi Rossi P, Giovannetti L, Girardi P, Lando C, Migliore E, Miligi L, Oddone E, Perlangeli V, Pernetti R, Piro S, Storchi C, Tumino R, Zona A, Zorzi M, Brandi G, Ferretti S, Magnani C, Marinaccio A, Mattioli S.

Med Lav. 2024 Apr 24;115(2):e2024016. doi: 10.23749/mdl.v115i2.14649.


Background: Recent studies supported the association between occupational exposure to asbestos and risk of cholangiocarcinoma (CC). Aim of the present study is to investigate this association using an update of mortality data from the Italian pooled asbestos cohort study and to test record linkage to Cancer Registries to distinguish between hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and intrahepatic/extrahepatic forms of CC.

Methods: The update of a large cohort study pooling 52 Italian industrial cohorts of workers formerly exposed to asbestos was carried out. Causes of death were coded according to ICD. Linkage was carried out for those subjects who died for liver or bile duct cancer with data on histological subtype provided by Cancer Registries.

Results: 47 cohorts took part in the study (57,227 subjects). We identified 639 causes of death for liver and bile duct cancer in the 44 cohorts covered by Cancer Registry. Of these 639, 240 cases were linked to Cancer Registry, namely 14 CC, 83 HCC, 117 cases with unspecified histology, 25 other carcinomas, and one case of cirrhosis (likely precancerous condition). Of the 14 CC, 12 occurred in 2010-2019, two in 2000-2009, and none before 2000.

Conclusion: Further studies are needed to explore the association between occupational exposure to asbestos and CC. Record linkage was hampered due to incomplete coverage of the study areas and periods by Cancer Registries. The identification of CC among unspecific histology cases is fundamental to establish more effective and targeted liver cancer screening strategies.