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2017 Stop-Cancer! World Awareness Day: February 4th

World Cancer Cure DaY

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!

Best regards,

Dr. Parkash Gill, Oncologist

Southern California Pipe Trades District Council 16 – 2017 Holiday Luncheon

Southern California Pipe Trades District Council 16
2017 Holiday Luncheon

International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators
(Left to Right) Foundation Assistant Executive Director Shane Rucker, DC 16 Organizer John Ferruccio, Foundation Board Member Jerry Neil Paul, Executive Director Elizabeth Ann Paul, Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board Dr. Parkash Gill and DC 16 Business Manager Mike Layton together one last time for 2016 ! We look forward to seeing you all in 2017.

On December 6, 2016, the Southern California Pipe Trades District Council 16 held their annual holiday luncheon at The Reef restaurant in Long Beach. With DC16 Business Manager, Mike Layton, at the helm and Director of Organizing, John Ferruccio, running the show, the 14th Annual Alta Vista Golf Tournament and the Aim to Cure Moore & Moore Clay Shooting Events were once again smashing successes! Business managers, representatives and contractors were in attendance for the presentation of proceeds from all DC16 events held on behalf of the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America.

The Foundation’s Executive Director, Elizabeth Ann Paul, Board Member Jerry Neil Paul and Assistant Executive Director, Shane Rucker were on hand to watch John Ferruccio present Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board, Dr. Parkash Gill, the generous donation of $200,000.00!

International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators
John Ferruccio presents Dr. Parkash Gill with the proceeds from this year’s events! 2016 was a great year of fundraising and we applaud DC 16’s continued efforts in making mesothelioma a disease of the past!

During the presentation, Mrs. Paul first spoke about the importance of the DC16 fundraising efforts to fund research on Eph-B4, the latest estimations for bringing a drug from conception to market, and the challenges of being an orphan cancer. Dr. Parkash Gill then highlighted the current development of Eph-B4 at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and the great hope it has given to patients actively participating in the clinical trials. Our hope is that one day Eph-B4 will be a standard treatment for those diagnosed with mesothelioma. We are so proud of the progress Dr. Gill has made and hope for continued success in the lab translating to successful patient outcomes.

Thank you Mike Layton and John Ferruccio, and the DC16 staff for all of your hard work and dedication to this cause that effects so many in the trade. They continue year after year to make these events both successful and fun while raising a significant amount of money! Thank you all!

International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 16 Retirees Luncheon

International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators and
Allied Workers Local 16 Retirees Luncheon

International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators
Local 16 Insulators Business Manager, Mel Breshers, the Foundation’s Executive Director, Elizabeth Ann Paul and Foundation’s Founding Board Member Jerry Neil Paul. We express great thanks and gratitude to Mel and the Local 16 staff for their dedication and efforts in bringing back the Roger Hamilton Golf Invitational 

On December 2, 2016, Local 16 Heat and Frost Insulators Retirees held their annual holiday luncheon at Zio Fraedo’s. Friends gathered, toys in hand, to donate and support the United States Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program. The luncheon was hosted by Local 16 Business Manager Mel Breshears, along with Retirees President Alan Pierce. Members of the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America were invited to attend this Christmas event.

International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators
The Foundation’s Jerry and Elizabeth Paul with Local 16 Insulators Retirees President Alan Pierce. The Foundation proclaims its thankfulness to Alan for volunteering his time and camera during the Hamilton golf event. We look forward to 2017 and our continued partnership with the Local 16 Retirees.

Mel Breshears and Local 16 President Bill Hodges spoke about the great teamwork witnessed during the planning of this year’s Roger Hamilton Memorial Golf Tournament, which resulted in both an excellent turnout and result.

The Foundation’s Executive Director, Elizabeth Ann Paul and Founding Board Member Jerry Neil Paul spoke on the advancements of current research and the difficulty of funding orphan cancers. Mel Breshears presented the Foundation’s Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee, Dr. Parkash Gill, with the proceeds from the event, approximately $73,000.00!

International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators
Local 16 Business Manager, Mel Breshears, highlights the great turnout of both golfers and volunteers at the 2016 Roger Hamilton Memorial Golf Tournament. Their combined efforts resulted in netting $73,000 for mesothelioma cancer cure research.

Dr. Gill then highlighted the development of Eph-B4 and the promise it has shown in studies. With the continued development and results seen in mesothelioma patients, Eph-B4 is moving forward in its march to becoming a first line treatment for mesothelioma.

International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators
Mel Breshears presents the Foundation’s Chairman of Medical Advisory Board, Dr. Parkash Gill, with a check for $73,000 ! A fantastic result, which will help continue the research and development of new mesothelioma treatment options at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

A big “THANK YOU” to Mel Breshears, Doug Gamble, Local 16 Officers and Staff, The Roger Hamilton Golf Tournament committee members, and Alan Pierce for the opportunity to attend the luncheon and for all their dedication towards making mesothelioma a disease of the past.

2016 Roger Hamilton Memorial Golf Invitational

The 14th Annual event for the Roger Hamilton Memorial Golf Invitational, was held this year at the pristine Napa Valley Country Club in Napa, California. The event was for the benefit of research into treatments for mesothelioma cancer.
The 14th Annual event for the Roger Hamilton Memorial Golf Invitational, was held this year at the pristine Napa Valley Country Club in Napa, California. The event was for the benefit of research into treatments for mesothelioma cancer.

We are happy to announce the return of the Roger Hamilton Memorial Golf Invitational!  We were overjoyed to hear from International Vice President of the Heat & Frost Insulators, Doug Gamble, and the Business Manager of Local 16 Heat & Frost Insulators, Mel Breshears, who decided to bring back the event that had become a staple of the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America. The event was held on June 6, 2016 at the always pristine Napa Valley Country Club in Napa Valley, CA. Doug and Mel organized a great event that witnessed a large turnout and generated approximately $60,000 for mesothelioma research! As always, 100% of the event’s proceeds will go to mesothelioma research. Everyone at the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of American would like to say THANK YOU to all of our supporters, sponsors, committee members and volunteers who made this event possible.

We cannot thank enough, Vice President of the Heat & Frost Insulators, Doug Gamble (far left) and Business Manager of Local 16 Heat & Frost Insulators, Mel Breshears (far right) for working hard to bring back this great event! Doug and Mel did an amazing job in planning such a successful event, and we thank you!
We cannot thank enough, Vice President of the Heat & Frost Insulators, Doug Gamble (far left) and Business Manager of Local 16 Heat & Frost Insulators, Mel Breshears (far right) for working hard to bring back this great event! Doug and Mel did an amazing job in planning such a successful event, and we thank you!

You may recall that the event was established in 2002 by U.A. International Representative of the Pipetrades Jim Kellogg, California Building Trades President Bob Balgenorth, and then California Building Trades Vice President Roger Hamilton, who was also a past Business Manager of the Heat & Frost Insulators. It was Roger’s idea to support research into a cure for mesothelioma. Although, Roger had been diagnosed with cancer several months before the first tournament, Roger was determined to make the first event a success while having a great time out on the course. After Rogers passing, Cindy Hamilton had taken over as chairwoman and together with the California State Building Trades Council, grew the event into what it is today. She has done a magnificent job, dedicating many hours of hard work to bring friends and supporters together, and will continue to be an integral part of the event.

Foundation Executive Director Elizabeth Ann Paul (center) had a great time with all of the volunteers from Local 16 Heat & Frost Insulators who all had a hand in making the event such a success.
Foundation Executive Director Elizabeth Ann Paul (center) had a great time with all of the volunteers from Local 16 Heat & Frost Insulators who all had a hand in making the event such a success.

After a great round of golf and the always popular putting contest that saw both official and unofficial single putts by Doug Gamble and Elizabeth Paul, supporters came together in the clubhouse for drinks and a delicious dinner. Doug Gamble and Mel Breshears kicked off the event speaking together, thanking sponsors for their continued support and the great support that was received during the planning of the event. They turned the mic over to Elizabeth Paul and Dr. Parkash Gill who informed sponsors of the history of the Foundation while highlighting how the support has helped in the development of progressive treatments for mesothelioma. They thanked sponsors for their continued support, Local 16 Heat & Frost Insulators for taking over the reins of the event and all of the Local 16 staff and family volunteers who turned out to help make the event a success.

Golfing on behalf of the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America (left to right) were Assistant Executive Director Shane Rucker, and Founding Board Members Jerry Neil Paul and Jim Kellogg.
Golfing on behalf of the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America (left to right) were Assistant Executive Director Shane Rucker, and Founding Board Members Jerry Neil Paul and Jim Kellogg.
Local 16 Heat & Frost Insulators team included event committee members, Chris Greaney, Mark Plubell and Bill Hodges who worked tirelessly in the planning and preparation of the event and did a fantastic job!
Local 16 Heat & Frost Insulators team included event committee members, Chris Greaney, Mark Plubell and Bill Hodges who worked tirelessly in the planning and preparation of the event and did a fantastic job!

We would like to thank everyone who had a hand in making this year’s event a great success! Without Committee Chairman, Doug Gamble, Co-chair Mel Breshears, Stan Danielson, Bill Hodges, Mark Plubell, Ben Espinoza, Jerry and Elizabeth Paul, Chris Greaney, Fortino Curiel, Geoff Millar, Shane Rucker and all of the volunteers form Local 16 who came out to help, this event would not be possible. We truly appreciate your dedication, and efforts that went above and beyond. Your support ensures research into mesothelioma will continue and a cure will be found!

2016 AIM to CURE hosted by Jim Kellogg

Participating in this year's Aim to Cure Event on behalf of the Foundation were Board Member, Jerry Neil Paul (left) and Assistant Executive Director, Shane Rucker (right). Jerry and Shane are pictured here together while meeting and greeting this year's participants.
Participating in this year’s Aim to Cure Event on behalf of the Foundation were Board Member, Jerry Neil Paul (left) and Assistant Executive Director, Shane Rucker (right). Jerry and Shane are pictured here together while meeting and greeting this year’s participants.

The June 2016 “Aim to Cure” event hosted by Foundation Board Member and Retired International Pipetrades Representative Jim Kellogg saw another great turnout of over 100 supporters. The event netted over $51,000 for mesothelioma research, 100% of which will be used in the research and development of new mesothelioma treatment options! Shooters and supporters of the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America converged on the Birdslanding Hunting Preserve and Sporting Clay facility near Concord, California to raise awareness and donations for mesothelioma cancer research. Representing the Foundation were Board Members Jim Kellogg and Jerry Neil Paul and Assistant Executive Director Shane Rucker.

(Left to Right) Foundation Assistant Executive Director, Shane Rucker and Board Member, Jerry Neil Paul, were paired together with UA Local 343 Plumbers, Paul Shultz and John Hernandez. The team had a great time shooting sporting clays while supporting the great cause!
(Left to Right) Foundation Assistant Executive Director, Shane Rucker and Board Member, Jerry Neil Paul, were paired together with UA Local 343 Plumbers, Paul Shultz and John Hernandez. The team had a great time shooting sporting clays while supporting the great cause!

After a great day of strolling through the Birdslanding Sporting Clay facility, where supporters took their chance at breaking 100 sporting clays, Jim Kellogg thanked everyone who attended, as well as all of the sponsors who have a hand in making this event such a success year after year. Founding Board Member, Jerry Neil Paul, then spoke on behalf of the Foundation, providing a history of the Foundation and the advances being made by Dr. Parkash Gill at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. He noted the development of mesothelioma treatments, such as EphB-4, currently being administered to mesothelioma patients and a pharmaceutical company currently providing support, as being milestones we can all be proud of. With the support of participants and continued support from our event sponsors, advances in the development of mesothelioma treatment options are becoming a reality.

Local 16 Heat & Frost Insulators Geoff Millar (left), Mark Plubel (second from right) and Mel Brashear (far right) join Shane Rucker and Jerry Neil Paul while they share a laugh and a quick picture before hitting the course.
Foundation Board Member and Event Planner, Jim Kellogg speaks to the event's sponsors and participants while running the always popular raffle. We cannot thank Jim enough for everything he has done to organize this event on behalf of the Foundation! THANK YOU JIM!
Foundation Board Member and Event Planner, Jim Kellogg speaks to the event’s sponsors and participants while running the always popular raffle. We cannot thank Jim enough for everything he has done to organize this event on behalf of the Foundation! THANK YOU JIM!

Everyone at the Foundation would like to thank the event sponsors, volunteers, participants for supporting this great event. We would also like to acknowledge and thank Jim Kellogg for all of his hard work and dedication in making the Aim to Cure event a success year after year! THANK YOU JIM!

 

 

 

 

USC Norris earns best-ever rating from National Cancer Institute

USC Norris earns best-ever rating from National Cancer Institute
The USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Centered earned an “outstanding” distinction from the National Cancer Institute rating as part of its five-year core grant renewal process.

U.S.C. Norris earns best-ever rating from National Cancer Institute

The USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center has received an elite score from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as part of its five-year core grant renewal process.

The June site review produced the best result ever for the cancer center, earning an “outstanding” distinction from the NCI reviewers.

“This highly laudatory review is a validation by the nation’s cancer experts of all the considerable effort and talent of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center senior leaders, program, and core directors and administration, “said Stephen B. Gruber, MD. PhD, MPH, director of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer.

“The NCI recognition reaffirms the center as a scientific leader as well as a vital community and regional resource,” said Carman A. Puliafino, MD, MBA, dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Established in 1971, the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center has benefited from continuous recognition and funding from the NCI since 1973, when it was named one of the original eight comprehensive cancer centers in the country. In its previous review, USC Norris had received a score in the range classified by the NCI as “excellent.”

“We are now poised to build upon the incredible accomplishment to further strengthen our efforts to push the boundaries of cancer discovery in order to better prevent, diagnose, treat and cure cancer,” said Gruber, an oncologist and geneticist who holds the H. Leslie and Elaine S. Hoffman Cancer Research Chair at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

The review recommends continued full funding from the NCI to continue its support of a broad range of clinical, research and educational programs at USC Norris. The award is designed to reduce the impact of cancer upon the lives of people in California and beyond.

GRAPHENE strips as “flying carpets” deliver cancer cure drugs

GRAPHENE – New Research
That May Help Mesothelioma Victims

Graphene-molecule

An international team of researchers has developed a drug delivery technique that utilizes GRAPHENE strips as “flying carpets” to deliver drugs to cancer cells.  The technique was found to perform better well when tested in a mouse model targeting a human lung cancer tumor.

Graphene Tests Succeed

GRAPHENE successfully proved itself in lab tests against six kinds of cancer cells. Flaked Graphene oxide preferentially hits these cancers right in the stem cells.

The Graphene strip works when a cancer drug treatment can be physically integrated and bound to it because of similar molecular structures of Graphene and the drug.  So, various drug treatments can be attached to the surface of the Graphene by a combination of amino acids known as peptides.

Dr. Parkish Gill, on behalf of the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America will determine if there is a way to apply and proceed with his non-chemotherapy treatments using the Graphene strip technique.

Click this link to read the complete story

Money Goes to Effective, Ongoing Cancer Research and Treatment

DISTRICT COUNCIL 16 GIVES $200,000 FOR CANCER RESEARCH

Money Goes to Effective,
Ongoing Cancer Research and Treatment

By Robert Buscemi

The United Association Southern California Pipe Trades Council 16 presented the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America with a check for $200,000 at the Council’s annual holiday lunch.

2015-02-district-16-donation
DC 16 gives a landmark amount to a worthy cause: (l-r) Shane Rucker, Dr. Parkash Gill, Elizabeth Paul, Jerry Neil Paul and John Ferruccio.

The money, all raised in 2014, will go toward a cure for mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. District Council 16 Director of Organizing John Ferruccio emceed the event December 12 at the Dodger Stadium Club. He held off announcing the impressive dollar figure until after the speeches, when a drum roll from the house band built the excitement.

“Every year, as you know, one of our main fundraisers is to find a cure for this unfortunate disease,” Ferruccio told more than 150 attendees. “Mostly, mesothelioma is affecting our grandfathers, fathers and fathers-in-law. It’s gotten a lot better over the years.”

Ferruccio said the Council hosts an annual golf tournament and skeet-shooting events. In addition, the State Building and Construction Trade Council of California raises money through the annual Roger Hamilton golf invitational.

The foundation, known as MESORFA, was founded in 2001 by attorney Jerry Neil Paul, his wife Elizabeth Ann Paul and retired California Pipe Trades Representative and past Vice President of the State Building and Construction Trade Council, Jim Kellogg.

2015-02-district-16-donation-elizabeth-paul
“To bring a treatment to the public costs tens of millions of dollars,” Elizabeth Paul tells the crowd.

In thanking District Council 16, MESORFA Executive Director Elizabeth Paul explained that all funding goes toward research rather than administration.

“All of this money goes directly to fund a lab at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center here in Los Angeles. We use 100 percent of every dollar donated toward research, for clinical trials and to fund the lab. Nothing goes for the foundation – those costs are privately underwritten.”

Cancer Research Costs Millions

Paul said such research is never cheap, and other cancers get more attention and funding than mesothelioma, especially in a tight economy. Indeed, she said, MESORFA operates on a shoestring budget. “I know people don’t understand that, but to bring a treatment to the public costs tens of millions of dollars.”

As such, Paul said District Council 16’s annual contribution is crucial.

“Everybody was extremely generous. Families took care of families. My husband Jerry and I are big on family. Your leaders at District Council 16 view your members as family. Because they have gone out of their way to make sure that there are treatments and cures for this horrible disease.”

The disease hits especially hard at workers who have been exposed to asbestos, as many Pipe Trades and other Building Trades were before protections were put in place against the toxic substance. Even now, workers confront the hazard at some job sites.

Paul then introduced Dr. Parkash Gill, who reported that he has made huge strides at his lab through the development of Veglin, a drug that treats the disease.

“I’m honored to be part of it,” Gill said. “It’s a worthy cause. I’m a cancer research doctor, so finding a treatment for patients really is a rewarding experience. When somebody is ill and they get better and they go home and never see you again, it’s wonderful.”

Gill said that patients are already seeing positive results at treatment advances. He said certain efforts have been completely successful.

“This medicine, we have given to a 78-year-old patient. Two or three years out now, there’s no cancer left and no side effects.”

Study Shows Asbestos Bans are Slow to Reduce Malignant Mesothelioma Rates

It has been more than 32 years since Denmark began in 1972 a ban on the use of asbestos insulation. In the late 1980s, Denmark also extended its ban to include other products containing asbestos.  And now, Denmark is one of 55 countries who have completely banned asbestos  products.  

But according to the new study of mesothelioma in Denmark, a steady rise in cases of this asbestos-linked cancer that began in the 1950s is still going on.

Mesothelioma and Asbestos

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer of the membranes around internal organs, most often the lungs or abdomen of the patient. It is a deadly disease that comes from exposure to the mineral asbestos.

Asbestos was made into a popular insulator and component in building materials worldwide back in the 1930s because it was readily available, cost little, and its very resistant to fire and corrosion.  The use of Asbestos in the building materials has put hundreds of thousands of workers at risk for mesothelioma.

Many countries, including Denmark, began in the 1950s and 60s to reduce their use of Asbestos products after it was linked to mesothelioma cancer as well as other unhealthy conditions.Pleural Mesothelioma Asbestos Lung Cancer

In a Danish study, the research team used data from the years 1943 through 2009 about mesothelioma stored at the Danish Cancer Registry. The researchers discovered the total incidence of mesothelioma continued to rise throughout the study period showing a peak of 1.76 cases per 100,000 people during the years 2008-2009.

The study also identified more cases in the Region of Northern Jutland in comparison to Southern Denmark.  While mesothelioma survival rate has improved slightly, the researchers noted that the  prognosis for getting mesothelioma continues to remain poor based on a median rate of 12.5 months survival for men and 13.3 months survival for women in the years 2008 through 2009.

In the Danish Medical Journal, the authors conclude:

“The national malignant mesothelioma incidence for men continues to increase, perhaps showing a slight tendency towards deceleration in the most recent decade,”

But they go on to say that:

“A clear long-term effect of the Danish asbestos ban has not yet occurred.”

Lag Time between Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma Diagnosis

With mesothelioma, the lag time  (latency period) between exposure to asbestos  and the development of the disease can be many decades.   It is during the latency period that the disease is very difficult to detect and diagnose, much less tracing its source.  Frequently mesothelioma cancer is diagnosed late in its development, and it tends to progress quickly.  Estimates from the World Health Organization show that since 1994, more than 92,000 people have died from mesothelioma cancer.

RESULTS:

In Denmark, the national incidence of malignant mesothelioma cancer for men has been rising during the study period, reaching its total maximum of 1.76 in 2008-2009.  The incidence rate has remained relatively steady for women with a maximum of 0.5 in 1973 through 1977.

Northern Jutland and the surrounding region records the highest male incidence rate of mesothelioma since the late 1980s. The difference in relative risk for men in the Region of Southern Denmark and the Region of Northern Jutland was 1.53 during the period of 2008-2009.  The relative risk of developing mesothelioma cancer in the Region of Northern Jutland for the entire study period when collectively compared to the whole of Denmark was 1.38.  The study showed there are no notable regional differences for women at risk of developing mesothelioma.  Therefore, survival has slightly improved for both genders, but still remains poor with a median survival of 12.5 months for men and 13.3 months for women in the period of 2008 through 2009.

CONCLUSION:

Within Denmark the national malignant mesothelioma incidence for men continues to increase, perhaps showing a slight tendency towards deceleration in the most recent decade. A measurable long-term mitigating effect of the Danish ban on asbestos products  has not yet occurred.

The original Danish study appeared in the Danish Medical Journal. (Skammeritz, E, et al, “Regional difference in incidence of malignant mesothelioma in Denmark“, March 2013, Danish Medical Journal.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23484611

The Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America has brought readers the most important and ground-breaking news on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. All Surviving Mesothelioma news is gathered and reported directly from the peer-reviewed medical literature. Written for patients and their loved ones, Surviving Mesothelioma news helps families make more informed decisions.

Related Mesothelioma Cancer Press Releases

Possible New Treatment for Mesothelioma with MicroRNA Research

Today’s cancer cure researcher will frequently dig deep into the genetic makeup of the cancer disease to understand how it grows.  While in search for the most effective treatment to cure lung cancer and mesothelioma, and by genetically figuring that out, the researcher can stop the aggressive cancers by halting its growth.  Currently, Oncologists believe that a pair of microRNAs should be focused on for suppressing tumor growth in lung cancer.microRNA genetic research mesothelioma

microRNAs, or miRNAs, are tiny molecules found within cells that serve a function in primary biological processes.  These processes include organ development, fat metabolism, and cell proliferation.  A person remains healthy when miRNAs are functioning properly.  And, miRNAs can inhibit tumor growth when used as a therapeutic agent.

While miRFAs let-7 and miR-34 are known to be effective individually at stopping cancer growth, researchers at the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) found that by combining these two molecules the pair are even more effective.

MicroRNA and Lung Cancer

Specifically, the miRNAs were unleashed on cancer pathways RAS and p53, two oncogenes, genes that have the potential to transform a cell into a cancer cell, known to lead to the aggressive growth of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).  The resulting two-molecule agent was found to be safe and effective in a lung cancer mouse model and demonstrated efficacy showing survival advantage.

According to one of the authors, Frank Slack, PhD (Director of the Institute for RNA Medicine in BIDMC):   “We know that miRNAs target many oncogenes.  We, therefore, hypothesized that a combination of two miRNAs could similarly offset resistance.  We have performed these timely in vivo studies using a liposomal microRNA delivery agent already in clinical trials, which could accelerate the translation of this combinatorial miRNA therapeutic approach into the clinic.”

Dr. Slack also said that currently there are no approved drugs that are effective for patients with RAS and p53 mutations. He mentioned reports that the K-RAS mutation is found in 25 percent of NSCLC patients while 50 percent are affected by the p53 mutation.

Pleural Mesothelioma

Pleural mesothelioma, an asbestos-caused cancer equally as aggressive as NSCLC, is diagnosed in close to 3,000 Americans each year.  And while microRNA research is focused on lung cancer, every new breakthrough in lung cancer research also brings new hope to patients with mesothelioma cancer.

The study was published in the Sept. 1 issue of Oncogene.