The Lombardy Mesothelioma Register, Regional Operating Centre (ROC) of National Mesothelioma Register: organizative aspects

Epidemiologia e Prevenzione. 2007 Sep-Oct;31(5):283-9. [Link]

Mensi C, Termine L, Canti Z, Rivolta G, Riboldi L, Pesatori AC, Chiappino G.

Dipartimento di medicina preventiva, ambientale e del lavoro, Fondazione IRCCS-Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Mangiagalli e Regina Elena, Milano.


The Lombardy Mesothelioma Register (LMR) collects all incident cases of Malignant Mesothelioma (MM) occurring since January 1, 2000 in residents of the Lombardy Region. For each "possible case" reported to the Registry by Lombardy hospitals, diagnosis is ascertained through examination of clinical records (including histology reports) according to ISPESL Guidelines. For confirmed cases, a standardized questionnaire is administered to the subject or next-of-kin in order to verify the possible sources of asbestos exposure in his/her lifetime. A panel composed of industrial hygienists, occupational health physicians and occupational epidemiologists evaluate asbestos exposure in the workplace and environmental settings. Case ascertainment completeness is routinely verified using other sources such as hospital discharge records and death certificates coded as 163 (ICD IX). In the period 2000-2004, 1563 cases were collected, of whom 887 have been evaluated: the diagnosis was confirmed for 626 (70.6%) 9 out of 887 evaluated cases. The age and gender standardized incidence rate for pleural mesothelioma in the Lombardy Region, in the year 2000 (the only one with completed data), was 2.4 (males 3.7; females 1.4) per 100,000 residents/year The 70.5% of certain and probable MM has an asbestos exposure, in particular the 64.5% of cases has an occupational exposure. The experience gathered over the years by the LMR has allowed to implement an efficient information network among different institutions and health services. In addition practical skills have been gained in processing epidemiological data, a useful tool to address new scientific hypothesis and to plan ad-hoc researches. In our experience the LMR represents a potential resource transferable to the epidemiological surveillance of different occupational tumours (i.e. sinonasal cancers).