Aims: The Australian Mesothelioma Registry (AMR) was established to collect information on all new cases of mesothelioma in Australia, including detailed information on asbestos exposure.
Methods: The AMR is funded by Safe Work Australia and managed by the Cancer Institute NSW, which coordinates notifications from state/territory cancer registries. Participants are assessed for their past asbestos exposure using tools developed by The Monash Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health. Hunter Valley Research Foundation conducts computer assisted telephone interviews with patients. An expert management committee provide oversight.
Participants complete a job and residential history postal questionnaire and are assessed for their past asbestos exposure by telephone interview using OccIDEAS, an online exposure assessment tool. Clinicians are required to advise if their patient is suitable for recruitment to the asbestos exposure component. Detailed information on occupational and environmental asbestos exposure can only be obtained if clinicians promptly review and respond to AMR requests.
Results: The AMR became operational in 2011. More than 600 cases of mesothelioma were notified to the Registry in the first year. This number will further increase when supplementary notification processes, including from clinicians, are implemented.
The long latency between first exposure to asbestos and onset of mesothelioma is a major reason why incidence is expected to peak over the coming decade. Exposure assessments collected within the AMR framework provide information not previously available, for both occupational and non-occupational asbestos exposure. Data will be presented for patients diagnosed in 2011, the first calendar year of data collection.
Conclusions: AMR information will aid federal and state governments to more accurately define the relationship between work and environmental asbestos exposure sources and the development of mesothelioma. It provides a national resource for researchers to identify preventable risk factors and will assist in preventing mesothelioma in the future.
Conflict of Interest: None.