SOURCE: Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation

Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation

February 09, 2016 07:30 ET

Five New Mesothelioma Research Projects Funded

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) Announced Today the Recipients of Its 2015 Grant Funding Cycle for Mesothelioma Research

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwired - February 09, 2016) - Today, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) announced the funding of five new mesothelioma research projects. 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 Mesothelioma Applied Research 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.

Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor of the lining of the lung, abdomen, or heart known to be caused by exposure to asbestos. With the life expectancy of less than one year after diagnosis, medical experts consider it one of the most aggressive and deadly of all cancers. An estimated one-third of those who develop mesothelioma were exposed while serving in the Navy or working in shipyards. Currently, few treatment options exist. There is no cure.

ABOUT THE MESOTHELIOMA APPLIED RESEARCH FOUNDATION

The Meso Foundation is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating mesothelioma and easing the suffering caused by this cancer. The Meso Foundation actively seeks philanthropic support to fund mesothelioma research; provide patient support services and education; and advocate Congress for increased federal funding for mesothelioma research. The Meso Foundation is the only non-government funder of peer-reviewed scientific research to develop life-saving treatments for this extremely aggressive cancer. To date, the Foundation has awarded over $9.4 million to research. More information is available at www.curemeso.org.

Contact Information

  • Maja Belamaric
    Director of Communications
    Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
    703-879-3822
    mbelamaric@curemeso.org