New Staging System

One of the most significant contributions to the field of mesothelioma research and patient care is the development of a new staging system.  This is a collaborative effort among IMIG, the International Association for the study of Lung Cancer (IALSC) with partial funding by the Meso Foundation.  To characterize which patients will benefit from what type of surgery, what patients should be grouped together for clinical trials and to better understand the biology of mesothelioma, an enormous data collection is now taking place and will be stored in an international database.

The buzz word recently has been “personalized medicine” and this international database, once collected and analyzed, will lead to the implementation of personalized medicine for mesothelioma patients.  This database, through a combination of accurate medical, surgical and pathological data, will yield the most important advances for our patient population and will have protections built-in to avoid any risk of violation of privacy. On the other hand, a patient-based database project, which we had initially considered and studied through our SAB, will not be pursued, as it has been deemed to have no scientific value and not serve the interests of current and future patients and might prove vulnerable for subpoena in litigation cases.

~Mary Hesdorffer, NP

Click here to contact Mary Hesdorffer, Nurse Practitioner or call 877.363.6376

Meso Awareness Day on Rockefeller Plaza

This year, Meso Foundation staff and over 70 voluteers made it to New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza for an attempt at national visibility. Although we personally didn’t get to speak, mesothelioma and mesothelioma awareness day was mentioned on-air. Here is the video of what viewers saw at home.


And if you’re someone who enjoys photos more than video, you can view some stills by following this link.


Janice Huff of Today Show Announcing Mesothelioma Awareness Day


Meso Foundation went to IMIG

Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation at IMIG

Kathy Wiedemer, Executive Director for the Meso Foundation (middle) with Dr. Steve Mutsears and Hedy Kindler.

The International Mesothelioma Interest Group (IMIG) met in Kyoto Japan August 31st through Sept 3rd 2010 and both Kathy Wiedemer and I attended.  IMIG was founded in 1991 and conducts an international conference every two years for scientists with a special interest in mesothelioma. Many groups will hold a conference with some sessions dedicated to mesothelioma but only IMIG and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation focus solely on malignant mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma rates continue to soar in developing countries and the scientists and clinicians are in the early stages of providing treatment as well as establishing research programs in their countries and this meeting provides them with an opportunity to develop collaborative partnerships with some of the more senior scientists and clinicians.

In 2005 the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation joined forces with IMIG and held a joint conference in Chicago, attended by the scientific and lay mesothelioma community.

This year we were proud, once again, to be sponsors of this important meeting. The conference took place over three days and much of the work discussed was by researchers whose initial work was funded through the Foundation’s peer reviewed research program.  We were proud to hear time and time again that “this work was made possible by a grant from the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation”.

As you may know our relationship with IMIG has been strong and there is much collaboration between the two organizations.  Past presidents have included members of our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB): Dr Courtney Broaddus, Dr Valerie Rusch, Dr Daniel Sterman, Dr Hedy Kindler and the newly elected Dr Steven Mutsaers. Dr Harvey Pass, who was one of the founders of the Meso Foundation, is on the Board of Directors for IMIG.  This year Dr Steven Albelda received the prestigious Wagner Award, well deserved, and of course made us proud as he also sits on our SAB. Dr Hedy Kindler had served these past four years as IMIG president and was responsible for the meeting in Kyoto.  She did a terrific job and our Japanese hosts made us feel most welcome.

~Mary Hesdorffer, NP

Click here to contact Mary Hesdorffer, Nurse Practitioner or call 877.363.6376