Mesothelioma Research Grants Awarded

Recently, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation awarded research grant funds amounting to $8.24 million for six new mesothelioma research projects. There were 39 applicants for the funds.

Following is a list of the six winners along with a brief explanation of their projects.

  • Joost Hegmans received the Larry Davis Memorial Grant for the project: Macrophage recruitment/polarization as a prognostic and therapeutic target. The goal of the project is to improve current mesothelioma treatments by studying immune cells that occur in mesothelioma tumors at a density of as much as 60 percent. The cells are associated with the progression of other cancer types. The researchers plan to target or modulate the cells and study the effects.
  • Mitchell Cheung at The Research Institute of Fox Chase Cancer Center received The Anderson Family Grant for the project: BAP1 Mesothelioma Mouse Models and Personalized Therapeutics. This project builds on research that showed how a genetic mutation contributed to tumor formation. The research will be to test the effectiveness of “personalized” therapy based on a tumor’s specific genetic mutation.
  • Dario Barbone at The Regents of the University of California, San Francisco,   received the Belluck and Fox Grant for the project: Role of ANXA4, ASS1 & MVP Genes in Mesothelioma 3D Multicellular Resistance. The research work will aim to improve the effectiveness of mesothelioma treatment by studying how certain genes relate to cancer cells being resistant to chemotherapy drugs.
  • Filippo Giancotti at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center received The Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos Grant for the project: Preclinical Efficacy of a TOR/PI-3K Inhibitor in Malignant Mesothelioma. This research project is testing a new medication for treating mesothelioma.
  • Il-Jin Kim at The Regents of the University of California, San Francisco, received The Bankhead Family Fund of the Kazan, McClain, Abrams, Fernandez, Lyons, Greenwood, Oberman, Satterley & Bosl Foundation Grant for the research project: Fusion genes as therapeutic targets in malignant pleural mesothelioma. This research will study the role of targeted or “personalized” therapy for mesothelioma tumors based on their genetic makeup.
  • The CRAB/ISLAC proposal received the Judith L. Lagana Memorial Grant for the project: Proposal for a Pilot Study on the Use of Tumor Volume Measurement from CT Scans for the Clinical Staging of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM). This study will aim to improve mesothelioma diagnostic methods in order to optimize treatment decisions for each patient.

Meaningful research about mesothelioma is crucial for improving its treatments and prognoses as well as the possibility of discovering a cure for this deadly disease. To determine the winners, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation used a peer review process involving a Science Advisory Board made of mesothelioma experts.

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