The EU made a definite health oriented investment deciding to stop use of asbestos. The asbestos legacy however takes long time to disappear because of both biology (the long latency of asbestos related cancers) and presence of large amounts of asbestos materials. Regarding the latter, the increased awareness of asbestos risks will contribute to the implementation of the EU legislation at the local level, i.e. the proper identification and management of risk.
Asbestos exposed and asbestos victims have the right to information, support and therapy research. The project will contribute to address the social needs related to asbestos exposure.
A contradiction is reported by patients advocacy groups between the correct and firm attitude against asbestos exposure and lack of firm therapeutic orientation in the treatment of MPM. Even if a successful therapy for MM is missing, recent experiences regarding guidelines (e.g. Pinto et al. Second Italian Consensus Conference on Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: State of the art and recommendations. Cancer Treat Rev. 2012 Dec 11. doi:pii: S0305-7372(12)00236-8. 10.1016/j.ctrv.2012.11.004) indicate a direction for the reduction of variability in medical decisions. Besides the positive effect on patients, we also expect a reduction in cost of treatment with better standardization (see Pinto et al for cost data).
The development and dissemination of scientific based practices (according to the guidelines that will be produced by MINE) and the aggregation of diagnostic and treatment capacity in the network centers will determine economies of scale as well as more appropriate medical practices for MPM.
The MINE guidelines will set a reference (a benchmark) of the best practices according to scientific literature. The network will also produce new scientific evidence with the participation to clinical trials. The diffusion of the guidelines will be a strong action promoting the best practices for MPM.
The project follows scientific and organization lines that are similar to those adopted for rare cancers (www.rarecancerseurope.org) but addresses the specific needs of MPM, in particular those related to the association with asbestos exposure.
The EU dimension of the MINE network will reduce cross border variation in risk awareness and in therapeutic options, therefore reducing casual and inefficient movement of uninformed MPM patients in search of appropriate therapy.