The research project entitled "Comprehensive approach on asbestos-related diseases" supported by the "Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology (H18-1-3-3-1)" began in 2006 and was completed at the end of the Japanese fiscal year of 2010. This project included four parts; (1) malignant mesothelioma (MM) cases and specimen registration, (2) development of procedures for the early diagnosis of MM, (3) commencement of clinical investigations including multimodal approaches, and (4) basic research comprising three components; (i) cellular and molecular characterization of mesothelioma cells, (ii) immunological effects of asbestos, and (iii) elucidation of asbestos-induced carcinogenesis using animal models. In this special issue of the Japanese Journal of Hygiene, we briefly introduce the achievements of our project. The second and third parts and the third component of the fourth part are described in other manuscripts written by Professors Fukuoka, Hasegawa, and Toyokuni. In this manuscript, we introduce a brief summary of the first part "MM cases and specimen registration", the first component of the fourth part "Cellular and molecular characterization of mesothelioma cells" and the second component of the fourth part "Immunological effects of asbestos". In addition, a previous special issue presented by the Study Group of Fibrous and Particulate Substances (SGFPS) (chaired by Professor Otsuki, Kawasaki Medical School, Japan) for the Japanese Society of Hygiene and published in Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine Volume 13, 2008, included reviews of the aforementioned first component of the fourth part of the project. Taken together, our project led medical investigations regarding asbestos and MM progress and contributed towards the care and examination of patients with asbestos-related diseases during these five years. Further investigations are required to facilitate the development of preventive measures and the cure of asbestos-related diseases, particularly in Japan, where asbestos-related diseases are predicted to increase in the next 10 to 20 years.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Nihon eiseigaku zasshi. Japanese journal of hygiene|
|Publication status||Published - May 1 2011|
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