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Advancing Mesothelioma Research

Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation funds eight new research projects to advance critically-needed mesothelioma treatments.

(PRWEB) February 24, 2010 -- The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) announced today awards of an additional $800,000 to researchers, at top national and international medical science centers, devoted to finding a cure for mesothelioma. This brings to almost $7 million the funds the Foundation has awarded to develop better treatment options for mesothelioma patients. To spur the research critically needed to develop treatments for this long-overlooked, asbestos-related cancer, the Meso Foundation annually funds the top research projects from around the world.

“The grants that were selected for funding this year, have the potential to accelerate development of novel therapies that will have a significant impact on how we treat patients with mesothelioma,” says Raffit Hassan, MD, Senior Investigator at the National Cancer Institute and Meso Foundation Science Advisory Board Chairman.

This round, the Meso Foundation received 56 grant applications. Its scientific peer reviewers selected the top eight based on their innovation, research design, and promise. These include studies of a targeted vaccine anticipated to yield effective treatment without the side-effects currently associated with traditional mesothelioma treatment; a novel study of the role of hormones in malignant mesothelioma; several studies looking at improving the specificity and effectiveness in mesothelioma of drugs already available to cancer patients, while reducing their side effects; and a study focused specifically on peritoneal mesothelioma, aimed at targeting residual tumor cells after surgical debulking as well as enabling earlier detection. The full list of projects can be seen in the Mesothelioma Research Grant Awards section of

“We are thrilled that our mesothelioma research funding continues to foster such strong interest among brilliant medical scientists and we have high expectations for these projects. As the national nonprofit advocating for mesothelioma patients today, and for all those who will be diagnosed in the future, we will continue raising funds for life-saving research and we won’t stop until there is a cure,” says Chris Hahn, Executive Director for the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.

Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor of the lining of the lung, abdomen or heart caused by asbestos. Medical experts consider it one of the most aggressive of all cancers. For decades it was regarded as untreatable, deadly and hopeless; and so, in a sad, self-fulfilling prophecy, the need for research to develop effective treatments was mostly ignored. For the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and today’s patients, their families, and the millions of Americans who in the last five decades have been exposed to asbestos and are at risk for the cancer, this is unacceptable. The Foundation believes in a cure for this tragic disease, and is committed to funding the research critically-needed to understand and improve treatment of the disease.

In addition, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation provides patients and families with the most up-to-date information on mesothelioma treatments, clinical trials and medical referrals. The Foundation hosts the annual International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma, which unites doctors, researchers, patients and families, legal advocates, union representatives and other concerned individuals to share information and advance meso research. The Foundation also leads the effort in Washington, D.C. to gain federal investment in mesothelioma research funding and to ban the further use of asbestos. For more information visit the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation’s website at


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