The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation announced today it has awarded an additional $1 million in research funding aimed at curing the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma. Meso is an aggressive, painful cancer of the linings of the lungs, abdomen, heart or testicles. After a very long latency, ten to fifty years, it can afflict anyone who has been exposed to asbestos, even in small amounts. For decades, it was mostly ignored in terms of medical interest or research funding. As a result, until recently there were no treatments that were better than doing nothing at all.
However, in the past few years, meso science has begun to progress rapidly, and there is now new hope for meso patients and those at risk. Researchers are discovering the particular genes and proteins involved in the disease. This is enabling development of powerful biomarkers, which can aid in detecting and monitoring the cancer. It also offers promise for development of targeted therapies, aimed at controlling the pathways that turn a normal cell into meso.
Since 1999, much of this progress has been supported by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. Says Executive Director Chris Hahn, “Thanks to generous donors, this is now the third year in a row in which we have been able to support critically-needed meso research at the million-dollars-per- year level. This consistent support is enabling brilliant investigators around the world to invest their careers in meso, and to pursue the detailed scientific studies needed to develop effective treatments. As a result, we are seeing the whole field make great strides forward.”
Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation