Mesothelioma Research Garners Interest of Scientists and Volunteer Fundraisers

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Mesothelioma patients and their families play an increasingly active role in generating funds for mesothelioma research, while scientists, encouraged by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation's research funding, show more interest toward this previously ignored field.

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, the primary independent funding source for mesothelioma research, has seen a significant rise in the number of grant applications competing for funding. In 2000, when the Foundation began its research program, only seven applicants applied for funding consideration. At 56 applications received, funding requests for 2009 reveal an eightfold increase.

Mesothelioma is a deadly, painful and incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The cancer's latency can be decades, and so millions of Americans exposed anywhere within the past 50 years are at risk today. In fact, U.S. and global incidence of the disease is still increasing. For all those suffering from mesothelioma today, and all those who will inevitably develop it in the future, advances in mesothelioma treatment are the only hope of survival. Yet, for decades, research to develop treatments for mesothelioma was largely overlooked.

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation established its peer-reviewed research funding program to counteract this lack of interest and financial support and to create hope for mesothelioma patients. Through rigorous annual project reviews by the world's foremost mesothelioma experts, the Foundation has awarded over $6 million in research funding aimed to cure mesothelioma.

The Foundation's research budget is funded privately, often through the personal generosity of mesothelioma patients and their families, and through extensive fundraising efforts. Since 2007, three $100,000 grants have been entirely funded by individual families honoring their loved ones with mesothelioma. This year, Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation volunteer Erica Ruble, who lost her father to mesothelioma, will honor his memory with a grant. The Lance S. Ruble Memorial Grant will be funded by letter campaigns and several fundraising events coordinated and organized by Ms. Ruble.

Chris Hahn, Executive Director of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, stated, "Through nearly a decade of leading the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, I am continuously inspired by the strength and compassion of the mesothelioma community. This community, despite grave challenges, does not give up hope or commitment to a cure. Volunteers and donors like Erica and hundreds of others, who despite their own deep personal losses and struggles, remain committed to a better future for all mesothelioma patients and families, will help us find new treatments and, one day, a cure."

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation is the national non-profit dedicated to finding a cure for mesothelioma by funding mesothelioma research, educating and supporting mesothelioma patients, and advocating for a national commitment to end the mesothelioma tragedy. More information is available on the Foundation's website: http://www.curemeso.org.

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