Meso Foundation Representative Submits Testimony to Congress Urging Funding of Medical Research Including Mesothelioma

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The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation submitted patient testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies urging for an increase in medical research and mesothelioma funding.

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I participated knowing I could face devastating side effects but with the hope I could help doctors learn how to treat mesothelioma and possibly add precious minutes to my time with my family

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation announced last week that Bonnie Anderson, a peritoneal mesothelioma patient and a representative for the Meso Foundation and the mesothelioma community, submitted testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee to urge Congress to fund medical research through the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute. Bonnie is a rare example of a ten year survivor of mesothelioma, a cancer known to claim its victims in less than one year after diagnosis.

This crucial funding would enable mesothelioma researchers to compete for federal funds urgently needed to explore new treatments, fund clinical trials and build a better understanding of this life-ending disease. With only one FDA-approved treatment, mesothelioma patients face devastatingly short life expectancies and depend on clinical trials for other possible treatments.

When diagnosed, Ms. Anderson was told she had about six months to live. With that information, she decided to enroll into a mesothelioma clinical trial.

“I participated knowing I could face devastating side effects but with the hope I could help doctors learn how to treat mesothelioma and possibly add precious minutes to my time with my family,” explained Ms. Anderson.

Ms. Anderson went through many agonizing rounds of appeals with her insurance company in order to cover her surgeries and experimental treatment, but she felt this was the best course of treatment.

“I knew if I was going to die from mesothelioma, I was going to put it to good use in a clinical trial,” she added.

In 2010, the National Cancer Institute funded $8.3 million in mesothelioma research. This is a 6% decrease from the 2009 funding level, which had declined 14% from 2008. In reaction to these statistics, Ms. Anderson said, “This steady decline in funding terrifies me as a patient anxiously awaiting development of new treatments. At this juncture, unless researchers have the funds to continue, patients like myself will have run out of treatment options and will die from this disease.”

The Meso Foundation is the nonprofit collaboration of patients and families, physicians, advocates and researchers dedicated to eradicating the life-ending and vicious effects of mesothelioma. The Foundation spurs meso research through peer-reviewed research funding, with over $7.6 million awarded to date. The Foundation also provides patients and families with personalized and up-to-date information on mesothelioma treatments, clinical trials and medical referrals.

The Meso Foundation is the host and organizer of its annual Symposium, a two day conference for the entire mesothelioma community, including patients, medical experts, researchers and advocates. This year the conference takes place on July 12-13 in Washington, DC.

More information is available at http://www.curemeso.org.

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