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||Clinical features of hematopoietic malignancies and related disorders among benzene-exposed workers in China. Benzene Study Group.
||Linet MS, Yin SN, Travis LB, Li CY, Zhang ZN, Li DG, Rothman N, Li GL, Chow WH, Donaldson J, Dosemeci M, Wacholder S, Blot WJ, Hayes RB
||Environ Health Perspect
||OEEB, BB, REB
||Previous occupational cohort studies of benzene-exposed workers have for the most part used only death certificates to validate diagnoses of workers developing leukemia and other hematopoietic and lymphoproliferative malignancies and related disorders (HLD). In a follow-up study of 74,828 benzene-exposed workers and a comparison group of 35,805 nonexposed workers from 12 cities in China, we sought to characterized clinicopathologically and to confirm diagnoses of all cases of HLD. Using medical records, laboratory hematology results, and histopathology, U.S. and Chinese expert hematopathologists, blinded to exposure status, carried out a detailed review using standardized evaluation forms. Key among the findings were a notable diversity of malignant and nonneoplastic hematopoietic and lymphoproliferative disorders, documentation of excess myelodysplastic syndromes among benzene workers, and widespread dyspoiesis involving all hematopoietic cell lines. As sophisticated clinicopathologic characterization and corresponding classification schemes for HLD become increasingly widespread, it is recommended that future epidemiologic investigations of benzene workers incorporate similarly detailed morphologic evaluation. In extending follow-up of this cohort of young workers, we will continue to use all available clinical, laboratory hematology, and pathology data as well as cytogenetic and biochemical markers to characterized various HLD outcomes. These careful surveillance mechanisms should also provide additional insight into carcinogenic mechanisms of benzene and allow comparison of the molecular pathogenesis of HLD induced by benzene versus chemotherapy, radiation, or other exposure.