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First Free-Standing International Mesothelioma Research Laboratory Opens in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Thanks to continued generous support from mesothelioma victims, their families, friends, and advocates, the Pacific Meso Center (PMC) announces the opening of its new state-of-the-art mesothelioma research laboratory dedicated solely to the discovery of new treatments for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), a cancer of the chest lining caused by asbestos exposure.

Pacific Meso Center (PMC) is a division of the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (PHLBI), a 501(c)(3) non-profit medical research organization established in 2002, and is focused on both the treatment and prevention of MPM.

As the first of its kind in the world, the research lab was established to lead a focused and collaborative mesothelioma research effort that is independent of the limitations often imposed by academic as well as private medical institutions. The lab will focus not only on the development of novel treatments for mesothelioma but also on its prevention.

A team of physicians and scientists will be involved, including one of the foremost experts in the field of mesothelioma research and treatment, Robert B. Cameron, M.D. Dr. Cameron is a cardiothoracic surgeon and surgical oncologist, the director of the UCLA Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the West Los Angeles Veterans' Administration Medical Center, and a long-time proponent of lung-sparing surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma. He recently chaired the First International Symposium on Lung-Sparing Therapies for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma in Santa Monica, CA.

Others involved in the research program include Warren Grundfest, M.D., Sherven Sharma, PhD, Saroj Basak, PhD, Dongmei Hou, PhD, Marko Kostic, MSc, as well as others. These include a rapidly expanding group of international collaborators who share Dr. Cameron's vision of an open collaborative effort both in basic and translational science to facilitate the rapid development of the most promising therapies from the lab to the bedside for mesothelioma victims everywhere.

Important initial projects include:

  • The establishment of an international tissue bank.
  • The development of intraoperative cryotherapy; freezing suggests that cancer cells remaining after resections may be killed using cold gases to freeze the surface lining of the chest cavity.
  • Initiation of a stromal cell modification project; the interaction between stromal cells and tumor cells is known to play a major role in cancer growth and progression. 
  • The identification of a predictive model for drug prevention of malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Dr. Cameron commented, "Although I have operated on hundreds of patients suffering from malignant pleural mesothelioma and have reviewed all the recent and past mesothelioma research, I have never seen such enthusiasm and genuine hope that this laboratory embodies and holds for all mesothelioma victims." Dr. Cameron went on to say that, "I believe these exciting projects quickly will give us valuable information, some of which I anticipate will be covered in our 2nd International Symposium scheduled for May 12th, 2012 in Santa Monica, California."

For further information, please contact:

Clare Cameron
310-478-4678 or 

This press release was issued through eReleases(R).  For more information, visit eReleases Press Release Distribution at

SOURCE Pacific Meso Center
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