Media Coverage Raises Mesothelioma Awareness

Mary HesdorfferOn Friday, September 26, the Meso Foundation and the mesothelioma community recognized Mesothelioma Awareness Day.

Among the many efforts to raise awareness on Friday, some took to the media to have their message broadcast to a wide audience.

We are listing here just two of those (if you obtained media coverage, please let us know so we can include it in our comprehensive list – email mbelamaric@curemeso.org)

As part of a Meso Awareness Day media tour, Mary Hesdorffer, the nurse practitioner and executive director of the Meso Foundation, served as an expert interviewee on nearly twenty television and radio stations. Mary spoke about mesothelioma and explained the role of clinical trials as part of a patient’s treatment. Below, we include one of the interviews that took place live on Friday morning.

 

Mesothelioma community members Yvonne Hall and Donna Bruszewski also took to the media, as they interviewed with WTVQ in Kentucky. Yvonne’s son lost his battle with mesothelioma at the age of 39. Donna lost her husband to the disease when he was 68-years-old. The pair used the media interview to tell people about mesothelioma, the risks involved, and what need to be done to stop it in the future. View the interview below.

Meso Foundation volunteers also gathered on Friday morning at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City to raise national awareness at the Today Show. View the video clip below of Al Roker speaking with Erica Iacono, a member of the Meso Foundation’s Board of Directors.

To learn more about mesothelioma and see how you can get involved, visit curemeso.org/answers.

Today is Mesothelioma Awareness Day!

Meso Awareness DayToday, September 26, 2014, is Mesothelioma Awareness Day. The Meso Foundation and its volunteers are hard at work raising awareness for this cancer, and we want to fill you in on all of the events: This morning, Meso Foundation volunteers appeared on the Today Show; Mary Hesdorffer, NP, the executive director of the Meso Foundation, was part of an educational media tour; the Meso Foundation and Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center are hosting a regional mesothelioma conference in Philadelphia; and the Foundation has launched a social media campaign to raise awareness.

There is still time for you to get involved in today’s events. Below, find the Meso Foundation’s Facebook post that can be shared with your friends and family to raise mesothelioma awareness. You can also visit curemeso.org/answers to learn more about mesothelioma and see what you can do to help.

ROCKEFELLER PLAZA

This morning, Meso Foundation volunteers gathered at Rockefeller Plaza to raise national mesothelioma awareness on the Today Show. Below, view photos from the event and a video of Erica Iacono, a member of the Meso Foundation’s Board of Directors, speaking with the Today Show’s Al Roker.

Meso Foundation Volunteers on Rockefeller Plaza Meso Foundation Volunteers on Rockefeller Plaza

MEDIA EDUCATION PROGRAM

In other major news from this morning, the Meso Foundation’s Executive Director, Mary Hesdorffer, NP, took part in a media education program to raise mesothelioma awareness by participating in interviews with multiple television and radio stations across the country.

Mary_MediaTour1


PHILADELPHIA CONFERENCE

In Philadelphia, Focus on Mesothelioma is currently taking place. This regional conference presented by the Meso Foundation and Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center is a way of bringing together area experts in the field of mesothelioma. The conference is open to the public, and topics of discussion include clinical trial participation, latest advances in peritoneal and pleural mesothelioma, palliative care, early detection, genetics, coping with mesothelioma, and survivorship. The Meso Foundation will be providing conference updates throughout the day via social media.

Philadelphia Conference


SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN

The mesothelioma community is also raising awareness through Facebook. The Meso Foundation created a graphic that outlines facts about mesothelioma and asbestos that was posted on Facebook yesterday. The Foundation’s followers have been tasked with sharing the graphic with their friends and family to get the word out about this cancer. View the post below and share it with your own Facebook network to raise mesothelioma awareness.


GET INVOLVED

Perhaps the quickest and simplest way to support the Meso Foundation’s mission is to make a donation. Given the long latency of mesothelioma, for thousands of Americans, the damage has already been done — the asbestos has been inhaled. Now it is our responsibility to invest in prevention research, and to make sure that if they develop mesothelioma, life-saving treatments and a cure are waiting for them. The Meso Foundation is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating mesothelioma and easing the suffering caused by this cancer. If you still need convincing, click here for more reasons why you should give.

Another easy way to get involved is to get informed and share this information with others. Visit curemeso.org/answers for facts about mesothelioma and asbestos, and to view more ways you can help.

Common Asian Spice Shows Promise in Slowing Progression of Mesothelioma

SpicesIt has recently been discovered that the use of curcumin appears promising in slowing the progression of mesothelioma. As Medical Xpress reports, “Scientists from Case Western Reserve University and the Georg-Speyer-Haus in Frankfurt, Germany, demonstrate that application of curcumin, a derivative of the spice turmeric, and cancer-inhibiting peptides increase levels of a protein inhibitor known to combat the progression of this cancer. Their findings appeared in the Aug. 14 online edition Clinical Cancer Research.”

Medical Xpress goes on to explain, “The culprit in sparking many cancers, particularly mesothelioma, is the intracellular protein and transcription factor STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3). A signal transducer and activator is a pathway for instructing the growth and survival of cells, and a transcription factor is a protein that controls genetic information directing cells how to perform. STAT3 is notorious for sending signals to trigger the onset of human cancers and to fuel their continued growth. The great neutralizer of STAT3 is PIAS3 (protein inhibitor of activated STAT3). PIAS3 possesses the strength to inhibit and block STAT3′s ability to cause cancer.”

As the article continues, the logistics of the study are explained in further detail. “Investigators assessed PIAS3 expression in tissue samples of mesothelioma solid tumors and the protein inhibitor’s subsequent effects on STAT3 activity. Tissue samples came from three different locations in the country, and information logged for each specimen detailed how long the patient lived and the types of mesothelioma they had. Investigators then linked the levels of PIAS3 with STAT3 activity in each sample. Additionally, investigators examined the effects of curcumin and peptides extracted from PIAS3 segments on malignant mesothelioma cells in vitro.”

Medical Xpress spoke with Afshin Dowlati, MD, a professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and the director of the Center for Cancer Drug Development at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center. Dowlati stated, “In those mesothelioma patients where PIAS3 is low, indeed STAT3 is activated. Mesothelioma patients who have low PIAS3 and high STAT3 have a greater chance of dying early. On the flip side, those patients with a high PIAS3 levels have a 44 percent decreased chance of dying in one year, which is substantial.”

In explaining the findings of the study, Medical Xpress continues, “Investigators also found that curcumin and PIAS3 peptides raised PIAS3 levels, which brought down STAT3 activity and caused mesothelioma cells to die. Their study served as proof of principle about the effectiveness of these two compounds in treating malignant mesothelioma, a first step in moving a treatment toward clinical trials. Additionally, their findings demonstrated that PIAS3 could serve as a predictive marker for managing mesothelioma because the disease’s tumors do not always progress in a consistent, predictable manner, even when tumor stages, grades and clinical presentations appear similar.”

Dowlati further explained the results, stating, “Our findings suggest that PIAS3 expression positively affects survival in mesothelioma patients and that PIAS3 activation could become a therapeutic strategy. Our interest for the future is that we want to find better, more simple ways to increase intracellular levels of PIAS3 for malignant mesothelioma through the use of synthetic PIAS3 peptide or curcumin analogs. We must develop a curcumin analog that is absorbable by the human body. Currently, curcumin ingested as the spice turmeric has practically no absorption within the gut.”

Visit Medical Xpress to read the full article.

The Meso Foundation Now Accepts Bitcoin Donations

BitcoinThe Meso Foundation is now accepting donations in Bitcoin, in addition to all of the traditional ways to give. The Bitcoin donation page can be found at curemeso.org/bitcoin.

“As more and more businesses are accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment, we decided it was important for us to do the same,” said Melinda Kotzian, the chief executive office of the Meso Foundation.

Bitcoin is an online-only, internet currency, started in 2009. Bitcoin donations can be easily and immediately following a donation, converted into any other currency, including the US Dollar.

“We do not want anything to stand in our way of raising funds to fund mesothelioma research, education, support, and advocacy. Our goal is to save lives, and we’ll do whatever it takes to get there,” Ms. Kotzian added.

The Meso Foundation’s bitcoin donation page can be found at curemeso.org/bitcoin.

Meso Foundation’s Annual Report 2013 Released

Annual Report 2013The Meso Foundation recently released its 2013 Annual Report, featuring the organization’s audited financial information, as well as details about its 2013 programs.

According to the report, in 2013, the Meso Foundation spent 86 cents of every dollar on programs versus 14 cents on fundraising and administration.

“The Meso Foundation strives to keep costs to a minimum,” wrote the Foundation’s chief executive officer, Melinda Kotzian.

“As a result of the Foundation’s fiscal responsibility, we have been recognized as a four-star charity through Charity Navigator, named an accredited charity by the Better Business Bureau, and awarded the prestigious 2013 Top-Rated Award for GreatNonprofits,” Ms. Kotzian added.

The Meso Foundation is also listed through the National Cancer Institute as a mesothelioma support service organization, an honor attributed only to a select number of national nonprofit organizations that fit very strict criteria.

In addition to education, support services for patients and their families, and advocacy for increased federal funding of mesothelioma research, the Meso Foundation lists its total research funding at $8.7 million, which to date has yielded 180 articles published in 83 scientific journals.

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation’s 2013 Annual Report is available at curemeso.org/annualreports.