New Funding Awarded for Mesothelioma Cancer Research

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The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation awarded grant funding to seven promising mesothelioma research projects.

Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation Logo

Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation Logo

The Foundation has selected proposals that will lead to new treatment options for patients with mesothelioma.

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) awarded $700,000 of funding to seven new mesothelioma research projects from around the world, bringing its total to over $7.1 million. The Meso Foundation’s Grant Program supports the Foundation’s mission of ending the suffering caused by mesothelioma through development of better treatments and a cure.

Meso Foundation’s Grant Program requires that all projects undergo a rigorous peer-review process managed by the organization’s Science Advisory Board. Only the best and most promising research projects, as ranked by world renowned mesothelioma experts, go on to being funded. This year, in addition to high quality proposals submitted by scientists dedicated to mesothelioma research, the call for grant applications also garnered the interest of brilliant scientists from other fields whose projects build upon a body of science from other cancers and medical conditions.

“The Foundation has selected proposals that will lead to new treatment options for patients with mesothelioma. Clearly, the Meso Foundation Grants Program continues to have a significant impact on mesothelioma research conducted world-wide,” said Dr. Raffit Hassan, Senior Investigator at the National Cancer Institute and former Chair of the Foundation’s Science Advisory Board, under whose leadership this round of research was selected.

“We selected seven exceptional grants for funding, but certainly wish we could have funded more,” said Dr. Lee Krug, Director of the Mesothelioma Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the incoming Chair of Meso Foundation’s Science Advisory Board.

Among exciting studies in this year’s group, one comes from the University of Minnesota where Dr. Manish Patel is evaluating biomarkers in a Phase I trial to determine which patients might respond and benefit from one particular targeted immune therapy. The therapy in question involves the administration of the measles virus into the tumor cells in the chest cavity, thereby infecting them and causing them to die.

Another study, conducted by Dr. Morgan Schulz at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, if successful, may be a promising option for both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma patients. Through localized drug delivery via nanoparticles, Dr. Schulz’ study attempts to prevent recurrence of disease, by targeting the hard-to-get-to microscopic cells left behind after surgery.

The full list of projects awarded grant funding is available at

The Meso Foundation instituted its grant funding program in 2000 and has since awarded over $7.1 million to critical research, stimulating the field of mesothelioma research and encouraging scientists to devote their life-work to this under-researched cancer. Four researchers who had previously been funded by the Meso Foundation were able to multiply their impact through the Department of Defense (DoD), which in the last three years has awarded a cumulative total of over $5 million for mesothelioma research. The Meso Foundation was instrumental in spearheading and executing the inclusion of mesothelioma as a disease eligible for funding by the DoD.

Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor of the lining of the lung, abdomen, or heart known to be caused by exposure to asbestos. Medical experts consider it one of the most aggressive and deadly of all cancers. Approximately 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year.

The Meso Foundation is the leading organization dedicated to funding peer-reviewed mesothelioma research, providing patient support services and education, and advocating 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.

The Foundation hosts an annual conference, the International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma, which unites doctors, researchers, patients and families, legal advocates, union representatives, and other affected and concerned individuals, to share information and advance mesothelioma research. This year the Symposium takes place June 23-25 in Washington, DC. For more information, please visit


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