RIA (Research and Innovation Action)

H2020MM04 Denim is funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. Grant Agreement No 668769.

01/01/2016 – 31/12/2021 (6 years)

Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam


Marche Polytechnic University

The Netherlands Cancer Institute

University Hospital Antwerp

University of Leicester

Lille University Hospital

European Cancer Patient Coalition


Why it matters

Asbestos is one of the major causes of work-related cancer. Although asbestos is banned, it is still present in many buildings across the European Union. Millions of workers and consumers were and are exposed to asbestos, despite all the measures. Inhalation of even very low quantities of asbestos fibres tremendously increases the risk of developing malignant mesothelioma (MM), a rare cancer of the thin lining of the lung, chest wall and abdomen. MM is a rare but highly aggressive cancer that kills about 43 000 people worldwide every year.

Despite EU action, mesothelioma incidence is still increasing. Unfortunately, there is no effective therapy for mesothelioma, which makes it a highly fatal disease. Most malignant mesothelioma patients do not live more than a year after the first signs of illness. To date, there is no curative therapy; the current standard of care includes a combination of pemetrexed and cisplatin. The H2020MM04 Denim project is further testing a promising personalised immunotherapy to treat malignant mesothelioma with very limited side-effects. The study is a randomised phase II/III clinical trial. Initial clinical results show a considerably prolonged average survival with limited adverse events. The EMA and the FDA granted this therapy Orphan Designation (EU: 16 January 2014 – EU/3/13/1229; FDA – US: 06 May 2014).

“Due to several delays in the country approvals for the clinical studies, the actual study date has been postponed to June 2018 with a completion date of January 2021. An amendment has been initiated.”

What ECPC does

ECPC enables H2020MM04 Denim to directly engage with expert patient representatives to ensure research is designed and adapted to better respond to patient needs. Specifically, ECPC is leading a patient panel consisting of ECPC members and other patient groups. ECPC is working to empower European cancer patients by ensuring the project reflects the needs of cancer patients, collaborating with project partners to organise Denim educational days specifically for patients and their caregivers, providing an easily consultable, layman-language source of information on H2020MM04 cancer therapy to patients and their caregivers, and effectively disseminating project news and results.

EU flag logo

This project is funded by the European Union