I woke up this morning with a renewed sense of optimism and found myself looking forward to the new leadership in Washington DC. We are in a recession, close to a depression by some accounts. We are fighting the war on terror on many fronts and we all recognize the crumbling infrastructure in this country. Despite this I woke up feeling optimistic as did many Americans. It feels good to have hope for the country and a keen interest in watching this new administration mature and tackle some of these pressing complex issues that America is facing.
With this in mind I started to reflect upon the current trends in mesothelioma treatment and research and found that for this too I have optimism. For over a decade I have been involved in the treatment and research into this disease. I have had the unique opportunity to interact with many of the bright young scientists who are dedicating their careers to finding a cure for this disease. It is fascinating to follow the development of ideas as they begin in infancy in the labs and end in clinical trials available to patients across the country. I remember when Alimta was in Phase I testing with reports trickling out that mesothelioma patients were responding in this dose finding phase I study. We sent patients from NY across the country to participate in this study. Who knew that in just a few short years it would become the only FDA approved drug for the treatment of mesothelioma. I know that there are many new drugs in development, many phase I studies being conducted, and we have funded grants that will move the field forward. Just yesterday I heard from one of members of our Scientific Advisory Board and the following is a quote from his correspondence to me in response to an invitation to join us in June at the symposium “I really enjoyed talking with the patients and families as it gave me a different perspective about my research. The fun of science is one thing but the reality of knowing there are people suffering out there that desperately need help was an overpowering emotion. I would sincerely like the rest of my group to experience what I experienced. Maybe one day when finances allow it.” You as a community are in a powerful position, not only do your dollars fund research but your stories and interactions with the scientific community at the symposium have put a face to the disease. I have optimism, will you join me?
~Mary Hesdorffer, NPClick here to contact Mary Hesdorffer, Nurse Practitioner or call 877.363.6376