Five New Mesothelioma Research Projects Funded

We are pleased to announce the funding of five new mesothelioma research projects by the Meso Foundation. To date the Meso Foundation has funded 99 projects amounting to over $9.4 million awarded toward mesothelioma research.

The Meso Foundation’s research program follows a rigorous peer-review system modeled after that of the National Institutes of Health. Each year, the Meso Foundation’s Science Advisory Board, a body comprised of world renowned mesothelioma experts, examines and critiques the submitted projects. Those evaluated to be the most promising are submitted to the Foundation’s Board of Directors for funding. The number of grants awarded is based on the amount fundraised by the organization.

This last cycle’s recipients include studies by Dr. Andrea McClatchey of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston; Dr. El Bachir Affar from the Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont in Montréal, Canada; Dr. Sean Carlin of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York; Dr. Jill Ohar of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC; and Dr. Carlo Follo of the University of California, San Francisco.

The 2015 studies cover a number of topics including research into biomarkers, drug testing, and genetics, all which, once completed, will give researchers additional knowledge in their work toward effective mesothelioma treatments.

One study, in particular, proposed by Dr. McClatchey, seeks to expand on twenty years of research into the NF2 tumor suppressor gene, which is mutated or inactivated in over half of all mesotheliomas. She will be looking into the differences between the mesotheliomas that have NF2 mutations versus the other half that don’t.

“The goal of our proposal was to take these 20 years of knowledge that we’ve been accumulating and continue to focus on it, and bring it to the mesothelioma problem,” said Dr. McClatchey in an interview with the Meso Foundation, which will be released later this week.

A different study, proposed by Dr. Sean Carlin, looks to test new drugs to be used to identify and treat mesothelioma. If successful, the knowledge obtained from this study would help in development of new drug clinical trials in the future.

“The drugs are designed to attach to a protein which is found at higher levels in mesothelioma than in normal lung tissue,” explained Dr. Carlin.

“We will test how effective these drugs are at both detecting and treating mesothelioma, and also obtain some estimates on potential unwanted effects,” he added.

More information about all of the 2015 studies, including summaries can be found at www.curemeso.org/find.

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