Progress in Mesothelioma Research is Possible, Requires Collaboration

Researcherby Mary Hesdorffer, NP, Executive Director, Meso Foundation

Through our peer reviewed research grant program, the Meso Foundation supports the most promising research projects in the field of mesothelioma. Cutting edge research is crucial to the lives of those affected by mesothelioma, and it is the key to finding a cure for this cancer.

The Meso Foundation’s grant program has been ongoing for 14 years. Until the Foundation was founded and the program was developed, there was little movement in the field of mesothelioma research. In fact, there was no treatment yet approved for this disease. Pharmaceutical companies and Bio Tech companies were producing new agents every year, but in order for mesothelioma to be considered for these drugs, a better understanding of the disease was needed.

This year, I am pleased to announce that pharmaceutical companies have taken a big interest in mesothelioma. Companies are hosting global and national clinical trials based upon much of the groundwork that developed from the research funded through our grant program.

To date, the Meso Foundation has funded 94 projects and awarded $9 million. The funded research has taken place in 6 different countries and has resulted in 180 published pieces. We are taking mesothelioma research to the next level.

Among the research we have funded, there has been an interest in examining patients’ responses, or lack thereof, to therapies. Tumors are unique to the individual, and we know that some patients will have a very good response to a therapy and some will not. The goal is to understand why they differ in order to filter out those who will not benefit from a prescribed treatment and refer them to more appropriate therapy.

Over the past few years, I have attended a number of mesothelioma conferences, both here and abroad. I am proud to inform you that our funded researchers are the most recognized names in the field. They have made a personal commitment to both the Meso Foundation and the scientific community to continue this work.

Our current grant cycle recently ended, and we received applications from 39 research projects. After the peer review process, our Scientific Advisory Board submitted 10 projects to be considered for funding. In the current economic climate, we cannot fund all of these grants, and it is a shame that promising research will go unfunded this year. We are a small disease with little outside interest, and to remain a viable organization and continue funding research, we depend upon philanthropy.

Please consider donating to the Meso Foundation through our year-end fundraising campaign. Visit curemeso.org/savelives to support our research grant program, among our other vital programs and patient services. Your support saves lives!

Multiply Your Impact on Giving Tuesday!

GiveIn addition to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, in recent years, a new movement has emerged: Giving Tuesday. This year, we hope you can take part in Giving Tuesday through the Meso Foundation.

On Giving Tuesday, December 2nd, here’s how you can multiply your impact in our fight against mesothelioma by supporting the Meso Foundation:

1. Donate online here, or mail a check to:
Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
1317 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

2. Start an online fundraising page. You can customize a fundraising page that will share your story and explain why you support the Meso Foundation. You can consider asking for donations to be made in lieu of gifts, and we will track all donations that come in through your network in real time.

3. Send out appeal letters. We have created a generic appeal letter for you to customize with your personal story. Click here to download the sample letter. Customize it and send it to your contacts. Donations can be mailed directly to the Meso Foundation (1317 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314), and we will alert you when someone has donated in your name.

Donate

You can learn more about our year-end fundraising efforts at curemeso.org/savelives. Thank you for your participation in our year-end fundraising efforts. Your support saves lives!

Chicago Conference Photos Now Available

Panel at Chicago ConferenceThe 2014 Chicago Regional Conference on Malignant Mesothelioma was held on Friday, October 10 at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, Illinois. The conference was a collaborative effort between the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and The University of Chicago Medicine.

Topics of discussion were presented by area experts in the field of mesothelioma and geared towards patients, caregivers, family members, and general health practitioners. These topics included imaging, genetics, surgery, chemotherapy, novel treatments, stem cells, immunotherapy, and resources for patients and families.

The conference was chaired by Mary Hesdorffer, MS, APRN-BC, the executive director of the Meso Foundation, and Hedy Lee Kindler, MD, a Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago and Director of the mesothelioma and Gastrointestinal Oncology Programs at the University of Chicago Medicine.

All of the Meso Foundation’s photos from the Chicago conference are now available on the Foundation’s Facebook page.

For Those Attending the Chicago Regional Conference on Friday

Chicago brochure coverWe’re so happy that you will be joining us this Friday, October 10th for the Chicago Regional Conference on Malignant Mesothelioma! In this blog post, you will find all of the information you will need to prepare for the conference.

The 2014 Chicago Regional Conference on Malignant Mesothelioma will take place on October 10, 2014 at the Palmer House Hilton at 17 E Monroe Street, Chicago, IL 60603. Registration will begin at 8:30AM in the Monroe Room and the conference will begin at 9:30AM.

8:30AM Registration & Breakfast Monroe Room
9:30AM First Session Begins Monroe Room
10:40AM Break Monroe Room
12:30PM Lunch Adams Room
5:00PM Cocktail Reception Adams Room

There is no dress code for this conference, and we encourage you to dress comfortably. You may want to check the weather for the day when deciding what to wear. The forecast is currently calling for a partly cloudy day with a high of 56 degrees and a low of 47 degrees.

VIEW THE FULL AGENDA

Additional conference details can be found at curemeso.org/chicago.

BREAKING NEWS: Mesothelioma Trial Results Show No Improvement in Overall Survival

Recent mesothelioma drug trials for CBP501 showed little improvements in the survival rates of patients with malignant mesothelioma.

In the July 5, 2014 edition of Lung Cancer, Dr. Lee Krug of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who was the lead investigator of the CBP501 trial, reported that the trial was found not to improve overall survival in patients with malignant mesothelioma.

CBP 501 is a drug in that interrupts DNA repair of transformed cells. It was thought to add synergy to the combination of our first line therapy.

Cisplatin/pemetrexed coupled with a placebo or CBP501, at first glance, appeared to hold promise, having met their endpoint of progression-free survival at 4 months. However, in further evaluation, it was found not to increase overall survival or response rate.

Though we are disappointed to learn of these results, the science from this study nonetheless adds to our knowledge of this disease. We are grateful to all volunteers who participated, because only through a clinical trial are we able to learn what works and what doesn’t.

Read the abstract here. http://www.lungcancerjournal.info/article/S0169-5002(14)00266-9/abstract