The Italian Lymphoma Foundation (FIL) is a non-profit organization that coordinates and carries out scientific research activities for the treatment of lymphomas and lymphoproliferative disorders, involving about 150 centres (Hospitals, Universities, research centres) located in the national territory, with the aim to improve centres skills in terms of research and assistance.
FIL is certified UNI EN ISO 9001:2015 for “Promotion, carrying out and management of clinical trials in the field of lymphomas”.
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FIL is the natural evolution of Italian Lymphoma Intergroup ONLUS (IIL), founded during the first meeting in Florence in 1993. IIL was a group of spontaneous cooperation of clinicians and researchers involved in study and treatment of lymphomas in Italy. IIL activity made official in July 2004 with the registration as non-profit organization. The union of different cooperating active groups into a single national organization gave birth to FIL in Alessandria on 29th September 2010.
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WHAT WE DO
FIL led or co-managed, in a few years, about 70 clinical trials for treatment of lymphoma.
Clinical studies involve the scientific experimentation of new forms of treatment (drugs or new doses and innovative combinations of drugs already used regularly), or the collection of epidemiological data (incidence, causes, diagnosis and treatment adopted regarding the disease) on large numbers of patients. Clinical studies are described in a document called “protocol” that defines the essential elements of the study and the practical arrangements for its management. The goal of each test is to identify therapies more effective and / or less toxic for the treatment of a specific disease to improve the quality of care through the transfer of acquired knowledge in clinical practice thanks to the trials. The studies are conducted simultaneously in several Italian oncology or haematology centres under the responsibility of a scientific coordinator (Principal Investigator – PI). They are directed according to Italian legislation on clinical research and they are approved by the Ethics Committees and AIFA (Italian Drug Agency) to ensure their fairness from all points of view (legal, scientific and ethical). Patients, after receiving detailed information from the doctor who led the study in their centres of reference, have the opportunity to freely express their consent for participation in the trial and have access to innovative drugs and / or new diagnostic techniques or the best treatments available at the time of trial. Participation in a clinical trial does not guarantee obviously the certainty of a successful outcome, but it still guarantees the availability of treatment at least equal to those existing in clinical practice for that type of disease at the time of implementation of the study. The conduction of these studies contributes to the improvement of research of lymphomas by collecting, processing and publication in scientific journals of clinical data (always anonymous) and of the results obtained at the end of the trial.
FIL works through appropriate Scientific Commissions composed by experts from Italian centres that deal with evaluating proposals for studies and provide guidance on the treatment or diagnostic techniques for the different types of lymphoma. Commissions assess, in terms of scientific validity, economic sustainability and possibility of realization, the proposals for studies submitted to FIL by doctors and researchers. During the meetings of the Scientific Commissions experts will discuss the proposed study, they suggest possible changes and evaluate the proposals to be submitted to the Steering Committee (Board) for final approval and activation in Italian sites. Scientific Commissions also have the task of following the progress of ongoing studies, submitting any comments to the PI and FIL Board. The Scientific Commissions currently active are: Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Aggressive Lymphoma, Indolent Lymphomas, T Lymphomas, Cutaneous Lymphomas, Lymphomas of the elderly, Long survivors, co-morbidity and quality of life, Biological Studies, Imaging and Radioimmunotherapy, Pathologists, Radiotherapy.
FIL also makes use of the collaboration of a network of laboratories for the analysis of the minimum residual disease (MRD).
FIL is working with several European and International research groups, such as:
- International Extranodal Lymphoma Study Group (IELSG),
- European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC),
- The Lymphoma Study Association (LYSA),
- Grupo Español de Linfomas/Trasplante Autólogo de Médula Ósea (GELTAMO),
- European Mantle Cell Network,
- German High Grade Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Study Group (DSHNHL),
- German Hodgkin Study Group (GHSG)