Professor Alberto Mantovani, Scientific Director of Humanitas, spoke in the Radio programme also broadcasted on Rai Radio 1, about Scientific Research. The professor was asked about the treatment of cancer in Italy and offered a look at our system, also in comparison with the international scene.
“Cancer patients in our country have a higher survival rate than the European average. Our system ensures Italian cancer patients a survival equal to or greater than that of the richest countries in northern Europe.
This is a combination of several elements: a national health system that on average means that we do not have to worry about the economic aspects of the disease, and intensive research work because where scientific research is carried out, the patient is better treated. Research is supported by charities, such as the Italian Association for Cancer Research. It is also a question of investment, but we must remember that the investment in health in our country has not changed in more than ten years and therefore in ensuring research and care for our patients we are doing little miracles,” said Professor Mantovani.
“The data show that in the South of Italy there is less cancer, but here the early detection systems work less (colon cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer) and therefore the problems are greater than in the North. We therefore have a problem of North-South inequality within the country and we have an even greater problem of inequality between North and South on a global scale,” said the professor.
Nodes for the future of research
“From the point of view of scientific research in the biomedical field, which also translates into well-being for our patients, I think that our country has no future unless it decides to invest in research. I believe that there are three central issues: increasing investment in research on a national scale in a planned way; having a reliable and merit-based system for basic research; and supporting innovation.
If we were to imagine a Lombardy-Germany football match in terms of scientific research, we would beat Germany 120 to 100. In terms of innovation, however, we are defeated about 30 to 100, so we need shared efforts for long-term planning,” concluded Prof. Alberto Mantovani.