Principal investigator at the Institute of Oncology Ljubljana: Viljem Kovač PhD
Asbestos related diseases still present a major problem in Slovenia as well as in the world. Asbestos exposure has been associated with the development of asbestosis, pleural plaques, diffuse pleural thickening and pleural effusion, and several types of cancer. One of the most aggressive and fatal cancers associated with asbestos exposure is malignant mesothelioma (MM). Asbestos was banned by law in Slovenia in 1996, but the number of new cases of MM is expected to increase at least until 2030 due to the long latency period and the fact that asbestos is still present in the environment.
As most patients present with advanced disease at the time of diagnosis, the average survival time is 14 months with multimodal treatment. Despite improved survival, response rates to chemotherapy are still only up to 40%. The increasing incidence and poor prognosis of MM calls for new more effective detection methods, including the identification of novel biomarkers for early and reliable detection of MM, especially in high-risk populations with a known history of asbestos exposure.
The aims of our study are:
Details about the project are available on the website SICRIS: Serum, genetic and epigenetic markers of risk for developing, progress and treatment response in asbestos related diseases