SPECIAL PROJECT 2017: ASBESTOS RELATED DISEASES
Leader of the winning Project of the Special Project Call 2017 is the Istituto Nazionale per la Cura e lo Studio dei Tumori di Milano, for almost 1.5 million Euros. Project partners are the Università degli Studi di Milano, Policlinico di Milano, Humanitas and Università degli Studi dell'Insubria
On March 30th, 2018, the new call of the Fondazione Regionale per la Ricerca Biomedica, entitled SPECIAL PROJECT 2017: ASBESTOS RELATED DISEASES has been closed.
The notice is dedicated to the study of diseases caused by exposure to asbestos, a problem that concerns the Lombardy Region closely. The asbestos fibers are so thin that they are inhaled and settle in the tissues causing various pathologies associated with the respiratory system. Some of them are very serious, such as lung cancer, laryngeal cancer, or pleural mesothelioma. The latter is a very aggressive malignant tumor and usually survival is around the year after diagnosis, without a truly effective cure.
Lombardy Region, with the regional law nr. 17 of 29/09/2003 established the Regional Asbestos Plan Lombardy (PRAL), which establishes the obligation to reclaim asbestos-containing materials. Despite these measures, Lombardy remains the region with the highest number of cases of pleural mesothelioma. Out of 21,463 reported cases in the years 1993 to 2012, 4,215 cases were diagnosed in Lombardy, corresponding to around 19% of the total. Even worse, given the long latency period (up to 20-40 years), it is estimated that the peak of onset of mesothelioma will be between 2020 and 2025.
It is therefore important to continue investing in research for the development and improvement of adequate therapies with a multidisciplinary approach, which unites scientists with different expertise (immunologists, geneticists, biochemists) who identify the mechanisms underlying asbestos-related diseases and draw from them information that can lead to the creation of an effective treatment protocol to significantly increase the survival and quality of life of patients suffering from these diseases. In support of this objective, Fondazione Regionale per la Ricerca Biomedica has allocated funds within the 2017 Action Plan for a total of € 1.5 million. These funds are meant for a competitive tender to which projects submitted by partnerships consisting of a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 research groups affiliated to entities of Lombardy Region may participate.
A commission of experts will evaluate the projects and select the best proposals from a scientific point of view, which demonstrates real potential to improve the Regional and National Health System.