Hotspots of malignant pleural mesothelioma in Western Europe
Malignant pleural mesothelioma, a highly invasive tumour, has been epidemiologically linked to an occupational or environmental exposure to asbestos. Although asbestos has been widely used in diverse industrial applications and in construction, some industrial sectors have been affected much more than others. The objective of this review was to describe the existence of clusters of malignant pleural mesothelioma in Western European countries, based on epidemiological studies published between 2000 and 2015. MEDLINE (PubMed) and Embase were searched for relevant studies on spatial clustering of mesothelioma in Western European countries. Eventually, 16 different studies published between 2000 and 2015 were selected for a comprehensive analysis. Relevant studies on spatial clustering of mesothelioma were found for Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Denmark. Clustering of pleural mesothelioma was found mainly around shipyards (16 studies) and asbestos cement industries (10 studies). Although malignant pleural mesothelioma may be found throughout Western Europe, the present study indicates specific areas with higher past and also probable future incidence.