The following activities are intended to contribute towards achieving the objectives of the ECNM network:
Local Activities and Core Technologies
Several centers in the ECNM may provide core facilities to the network such as flow cytometry or molecular biology. Many centers will also share experience and will take referrals from other centers. Reference Centers will do so by definition. Local activities may also include workshops and conferences, training for doctors and researchers (special technologies), or registry work. Each participating center can work out a local network and thereby become a Center of Excellence.
A number of cooperations within the frame of the ECNM have been started between various centers in Europe during the past few years. The ECNM has been the driving force in these activities and cooperations. As a result, the number of cooperative scientific reports on mastocytosis in Europe has increased tremendously during the past few years. In addition, members of the ECNM have numerous active collaborations with US researchers working in the field of mastocytosis as well as with diverse groups working in related fields, i.e. allergy research, basophil-, eosinophil-, and mast cell research, and cytokine research. The ECNM has also established a board of external (non-European) experts who will serve as advisors in various aspects of research and studies.
Regular Meetings (Members) and Internet Workshops
Since the ECNM has been established in 2002, a number of regular meetings and smaller conferences of the ECNM took place. These meetings include annual ´Hematopathology Conferences´, workshops, and the official Annual Meeting of the ECNM.
Exchange of Information
It is planned to exchange information through the internet, e-mail and telephone. These will include referrals and interactive conferences. In addition, it is planned to intensify ECNM activities by preparing interactive workshops on histopathological and clinical issues to be delivered through the internet.
Exchange of Materials
These include new drugs and research reagents, or antibodies. An important type of exchange will be the cross-validation of diagnostic tests in various laboratories in Europe as basis of a standardization of tests and the respective guidelines to be developed within the frame of the ECNM.
Referral of Patients
The ECNM receives an increasing number of referrals from doctors and patients concerning the disease, its pathophysiology, diagnosis, classification, histology, clinical aspects and clinical problems. Most referrals are based on e-mail contacts or telefon conferences. In select cases, referred patients are seen in Reference Centers or Centers of Excellence.
One aim of the ECNM is to rapidly deliver new scientific information to the community in form of regular publications and overview articles. The ECNM will also deliver review series to cover specific issues in mast cell- and mastocytosis research. The first publication cluster was presented in the year 2002 in the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology.