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Date:2/20/2008

Travel Grant Program For Mesothelioma Patients

CHICAGO, Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) has established the Mary and Bob Cosentino Travel Grant Program to help newly-diagnosed patients consult with an expert on this very grave asbestos-related cancer.

Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor that aggressively and painfully invades the lining of the lungs, heart or stomach until it destroys the vital organs. Research to understand mesothelioma and to develop effective treatments has lagged far behind other cancers. As a result, most available treatments are experimental and available only at one of the handful of medical centers that specialize in mesothelioma.

"Mesothelioma patients and their families typically face huge financial losses," explained Chris Hahn, Executive Director of The Meso Foundation. "They lose employment income due to disability and the need for the caregiver to stay at home with the patient. The available treatments often are not covered by medical insurance, and even accessing those treatments are expensive because many patients do not live in close proximity to centers with mesothelioma expertise, and travel and lodging can be costly."

Mary Cosentino served on the Board of Directors of the Meso Foundation. Mary passed away last month last month, on January 26, from peritoneal mesothelioma, more than five years after she was diagnosed. Statistically, the disease's prognosis is only about a year, but Mary sought and benefited from several clinical trials and experimental protocols offered by specialists across the country. She and her husband Bob have been long time supporters of The Meso Foundation.

"There are some patients unable to consult with experts at major mesothelioma centers because they cannot afford travel expenses," said Bob Cosentino. "Those concerns are what prompted us to contribute to the Travel Grant Program established by The Meso Foundation."

The Meso Foundation is the not-for-profit collaboration of patients and families, physicians, advocates, and researchers dedicated to eradicating the life-ending and vicious effects of mesothelioma. The Foundation funds $1 million per year of innovative, critically-needed research to develop more effective treatments for the disease. The Foundation provides patients and families with information on mesothelioma treatments, clinical trials and medical referrals through its full time mesothelioma nurse practitioner and its website, http://www.curemeso.org.

Each year, the Foundation hosts the annual International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma, which brings together doctors, researchers, patients and their families, and other concerned individuals to share information and advance mesothelioma research. This year's conference is scheduled for June 26 through June 28, 2008 in Washington, D.C. For more information on the conference, or to apply for a travel grant, contact The Meso Foundation at (805) 563-8400.


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SOURCE Meso Foundation
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