Do you have questions related to malignant mesothelioma?
Dear Cancer Research Supporter:
Every year the world comes together to fight cancer on February 4th -- World Cancer Day!
This is a chance to raise worldly awareness; encourage cancer cure education; and promote among our community the research for a cure to the deadly disease called Mesothelioma Cancer.
Hi! I'm Dr. Parkash Gill, professor of Medicine and Pathology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC; head of the tumor and vascular biology laboratory at the University of Southern California; the Leader of the Translational and Clinical Sciences Program at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Ezalow Family Chair in Cancer Therapeutics.
My focus, and that of the research team with me, is on the future of mesothelioma cancer care -- and I'm fortunate enough to benefit from funds provided by the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America. Their funds help me, and the young scientists working with me, to explore promising new approaches and technologies to treat mesothelioma cancer.
My work is in the emerging field called: Targeted Cancer Therapy (TCT). Targeted therapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs, however, it is different from traditional chemotherapy. The drugs known as targeted therapy help stop cancer from growing and spreading. They work by targeting specific genes or proteins. These genes and proteins are found in cancer cells or in cells related to cancer growth, like blood vessel cells.
My hope is that Trials for TCT research will be a standard part of the options offered on every mesothelioma cancer patient's treatment plan. Certified clinicians will use TCT models to plan the best care, and select the most effective drug treatment for each person's individual disease, translating to fewer side-effects upon the patient; the patient spends less time in treatment; and more patients have better results.
My research team and I are looking forward to where our studies take us, thanks to the extraordinary funding and support from Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America. If you would like to discover more about Targeted Cancer Therapy and the hope it holds for the future of mesothelioma cancer care, please check out our World Cancer Day page at www.MesoRFA.org and use the form to contact us!
Dr. Parkash Gill, Oncologist
If you would like an answer to your questions please use this form to send a request and our support team will send you a reply by return e-mail.
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Compose your question for our support team here:
The Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America has a mission: fund research that will lead to the quickest cure for mesothelioma.
In 2001, this Research Foundation opened the Mesothelioma Laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Gill at the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles. Since its opening and after two (2) million dollars in donation funding, we are extremely pleased by the results achieved and very excited about the possibilities of a more effective treatment over what presently is available for mesothelioma victims. The Veglin phase III clinical trials are soon to begin. But there is so much more research to be completed and comparatively little support from the Government specifically for treatments and a cure to mesothelioma. There just is not enough public awareness to get the Government's focus on this issue.
For example in 2009, the Department of Defense (DOD) expanded its mesothelioma cancer research program by awarding a few million dollars in funding to several research projects with a focus on the early detection of mesothelioma, identifying potential therapeutic targets, and an objective to launch a clinical trial for new therapy. But, the Government's funding for research on mesothelioma is much less than that of other cancers.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) invested only 0.1 percent of its annual budget or less than $6 million on mesothelioma research from 2004 to 2007. By contrast, two comparisons put this budget number into perspective. Breast cancer research from the NCI alone received $685 million in 2009. And The Washington Post reports in a September 6, 2010 story that Defense Department spending on military music bands is estimated at more than $500 million a year. So it appears that it is more important to fund the blowing of brass instruments than it is to fund research for finding a cure to mesothelioma cancer that effects the lives of many who die from the desease they contracted from exposure to asbestos on the ships and in the shipyards of the US Navy.
These numbers highlight the urgent need to raise more money for mesothelioma research, which is the sole purpose of the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America.
Whereas, mesothelioma cancer is an aggressive, asbestos related disease that affects the linings of the lungs, abdomen, heart or testicles;
Whereas, the heavy use of asbestos in manufacturing, industry and construction has been recognized as the worst occupational health disaster in U.S. history;
Whereas, asbestos was used in the construction of most office buildings, hospitals, public schools, power plants, automobile repair shops, refineries, and residential homes built before 1975;
Whereas, many mesothelioma cancer victims were exposed to asbestos on U.S. Navy ships and in shipyards;
Whereas, asbestos exposure is now believed to include many firefighters, police officers, and rescue workers including those from the 9/11/2001 Ground Zero terrorist attack;
Whereas, exposure to asbestos for as little as one month can result in mesothelioma fifteen (15) years later, or even longer;
Whereas, because of occupational, Navy service related, household, or incidental exposure to asbestos and the long latency of this cancer disease, tens of millions of Americans are now at risk for developing mesothelioma;
Whereas, for decades the need for research to develop effective treatments or cure for mesothelioma has been neglected or omitted;
Whereas, the outcome of neglecting research for a cure to mesothelioma limits today the benefit or effect of existing treatments and many patients with this disease die within twelve to fifteen months from diagnosis;
Whereas, in 2001, the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America was formed to eradicate the life-ending and vicious effects of mesothelioma cancer with early progress in developing an effective treatment and potential cure which is found in Veglin (a non-chemotherapy drug solution) with research and clinical trials continuing to be made; and
Whereas, the establishment of Mesothelioma Awareness Day will help raise public awareness of the disease, how its latency can adversely affect the good health of many people, and for the immediate need to do research and discover an effective treatment or cure for this deadly cancer.
Now Therefore, be it resolved that September 26th be hereby declared Mesothelioma Awareness Day in [the name of your city or state].
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