New “Meet the Mesothelioma Experts” Series Organized by Leading Non-Profit Organization

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Last month, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation started a new educational program for mesothelioma patients, their families, and other interested parties. The program consists of teleconference interviews with mesothelioma experts discussing their newest clinical trials and research advances.

Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation Logo

Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation Logo

We have received excellent feedback and expect that these calls will be invaluable to those seeking up-to-date treatment information

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) is pleased to report that its ‘Meet the Experts’ series, which was launched in October, has garnered much attention and enabled patients and their families to learn about exciting new research protocols. The teleconference interviews, conducted by Meso Foundation’s medical liaison, Mary Hesdorffer, Nurse Practitioner, have so far focused on new clinical trials with an emphasis in immunotherapy, and will expand into other topics as new speakers are scheduled.

The new interview-style conference calls from our ‘Meet the Expert’ series will allow patients and their families to explore current clinical trials and, at the same time, obtain treatment information directly from the source.

“We have received excellent feedback and expect that these calls will be invaluable to those seeking up-to-date mesothelioma treatment information,” said the Meso Foundations’ executive director, Kathy Wiedemer.

Mesothelioma experts are spread out across many cancer centers around the country, and visiting even a handful of them, to learn about their protocols, is nearly impossible for a patient.

“The Meso Foundation has made it its role to bring together this information and present it to patients in a format that is easy to understand and evaluate,” Ms. Wiedemer added.

In October, Dr. Andy Haas, from the University of Pennsylvania, discussed his new study, the purpose of which is to ascertain if a vaccine can be effective in patients who have recurrent or persistent disease despite having received the standard of care. The study consists of the collection of the patient’s T cells (natural killer cells), which following some manipulation in the lab, are then infused back into the patients via a series of vaccines.

In November, Ms. Hesdorffer interviewed Dr. Lee Krug of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center about his WT1 vaccine. This trial is available to patients who have undergone either a pleurectomy or extrapleural pneumonectomy, and is aimed at preventing a relapse following surgery.

Mesothelioma, which experts consider an extremely difficult cancer to treat, currently has only one FDA-approved chemotherapy treatment, Alimta. An effective vaccine would provide doctors with a new approach to add to their slim arsenal of treatments for this disease.

The schedule of upcoming interviews for the ‘Meet the Experts’ series with be announced on the website in December, 2011.

To learn more about the two vaccine trials or for more information about mesothelioma treatment, patients and their loved ones are encouraged to contact Mary Hesdorffer, NP at mhesdorffer(at)curemeso(dot)org or by phone at (703) 879-3820.

The Meso Foundation is the leading organization dedicated to eradicating mesothelioma as a life-ending cancer by funding peer-reviewed mesothelioma research, providing patient support services and education, and advocating Congress for increased federal funding for research. Mesothelioma funding, per death, has historically been extremely low, and even as recently as 2007, the NCI reported that mesothelioma receives as little as 9 times less funding than other cancers. The Meso Foundation was founded in 2000 to address this imbalance and since then has independently funded over $7.1 million in peer-reviewed mesothelioma research. More information is available at


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