Mesothelioma Foundation Expert Can Answer Your Questions!
Nurse Practitioner, Mary Hesdorffer, is a mesothelioma expert and has worked with mesothelioma patients and their families for the past twelve years. Mary is available to answer your questions about mesothelioma, its symptoms and treatments as well as options available to you. This help is a free service provided by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. We are not a law firm. Read more about the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.
TO GET HELP CALL: (877) End-Meso or (877) 363-6376 or fill out the form to the right to be contacted by her.
Marjorie Zauderer, MD, is a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center specializing in the care of lung cancer and mesothelioma patients, and serves as a member of the Meso Foundation’s Science Advisory Board. Recently, Dr. Zauderer was granted the Career Development Award to fund her mesothelioma research project.
Dr. Zauderer received the Career Development Award for her current research project involving the role of the BAP 1 gene (BRCA associated protein-1) in mesothelioma. Inherited mutations in the BAP1 gene have been shown to predispose patients to malignant pleural mesothelioma. “A better understanding of this gene could mean a better understanding of mesothelioma and how it develops in patients,” Zauderer states.
Dr. Zauderer began working on this project three years ago and has been gathering specimens and samples throughout this time. She predicts that enough samples will be collected within the next year or two to begin analysis that could yield significant insights and statistics. Her goal in 3 to 5 years is to have a plausible drug that has already completed phase 1 testing or is ready to begin phase 1 testing in clinical trials.
In an interview, Dr. Zauderer expressed her passion for her work, citing her many college application essays that she recently came across. “All my applications were about how I wanted to use genetics to help medicine. 20 years later, that’s actually what I do,” Zauderer states.
The Career Development Award provides funding from the Department of Defense to support a specific research project. Funding is provided to the selected project over a three year period, during which certain research components must be met and specific goals achieved. Mesothelioma is a disease of interest to the Department of Defense, as an estimated one third of mesothelioma patients either served in the Navy or worked in shipyards.
On July 24, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Defense Funding Bill that included $16 million in funding that is eligible to be awarded to mesothelioma research.
The House approved the fiscal year 2014 Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 2397) on a vote of 315 to 109. The bill includs funding for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, including the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program in which mesothelioma is a topic area.
Each year, the Meso Foundation advocates to continue and increase this vital funding. As a result, $8.8 million dollars has been given to mesothelioma research to date. This is a victory in today’s tough economic climate.
For more information, read our earlier blog regarding this topic.
Earlier this month, the House Appropriations Committee passed the FY2014 Defense Appropriations Bill, which included mesothelioma as a topic area in their Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program for the third year. Mesothelioma researchers will be eligible to apply for $15 million in research funding.
Mesothelioma has been included on the list of diseases eligible to receive funding through the Department of Defense’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) since Fiscal Year 2008. The CDMRP has funded a total of $8.9 million in mesothelioma research to date. In Fiscal Years 2008, 2009, and 2010 it was included in the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) to compete for $50 million dollars.
In 2011, due to the advocacy of the mesothelioma community, it was moved to the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP), to compete with a smaller number of topic areas for $16 million. In 2012, this sparse amount of funding was decreased to $12.8 million. It returned to $16 million in 2013. The $15 million included in the House Defense Bill is slightly more than a 6% cut from the 2013 amount.
“We are pleased that the advocacy of the mesothelioma community has continued to secure this funding for mesothelioma for the 7th consecutive year,” said the executive director of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, Mary Hesdorffer, Nurse Practitioner. “We commend Congress for recognizing the increased risk of developing mesothelioma for our service men and women and continuing to fund this much needed research.”
This bill will next move to the House Floor, and then on to the Senate. The Meso Foundation will continue to follow the appropriations process, so stay tuned for more information.
Last week, on June 6, 2012, Mary Hesdorffer, MS, APRN, nurse practitioner and medical liaison for the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, appeared before the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations – Subcommittee on Defense, at their Fiscal Year 2013 Appropriations Outside Witness Testimony Hearing. Speaking with the voice of the Meso Foundation and its community, Mary made an appeal to the lawmakers for their attention concerning mesothelioma and its impact on those who served to defend the United States.
The Meso Foundation played a critical role in making peritoneal mesothelioma and pleural mesothelioma eligible topics within the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. The first ever DoD award for mesothelioma occurred in 2008 when one investigator obtained over $1.3 million for research. A total of $7.7 million has been awarded to mesothelioma research through the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program and the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program, both divisions of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, which is administered by the Department of Defense since Fiscal Year 2008. Continue reading “FROM THE HEADLINES: The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation Appears before the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations” »