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Researchers at the 3rd International Symposium on Lung-Sparing Therapies for Mesothelioma Present Promising Treatments for Extending Survival and Improving Quality of Life for Victims
By Patricia Kirk
An international roster of distinguished Mesothelioma (MPM) experts came together on Saturday, May 18, in Santa Monica, Calif., to discuss their latest research on lung-sparing therapies for MPM.
Hosted by the Pacific Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and UCLA, the 3rd Annual International Symposium on Lung-Sparing Therapies for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma focused on research aimed at preserving vital lung function in mesothelioma patients. This approach has been shown to improve survival and quality of life in patients with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that most often is caused by exposure to asbestos and commonly affects the pleura, or outer lining of the lungs, and chest wall.
Presentations focused on the latest surgical techniques for removal of cancerous tumors and adjunct techniques and therapies to kill residual cancer cells following surgery and stop tumor growth.
By Brian Deagon PMC Board Member
The noon-day temperature at Paramount Ranch was above 90 degrees and so was the excitement level for the 5K Walk and BBQ that raised more than $67,000 on Sunday.
The event was organized by The Pacific Meso Center and the proceeds will be used to support research into promising therapies that will provide better quality of life and increase the lifespan of mesothelioma patients. Asbestos has caused more than 220,000 deaths in the U.S. and millions worldwide.
Several hundred came to the event in Agoura Hills, Calif., on Oct. 14, with entertainment provided by country singer Karen Tobin and her band. Read More ⇒
2nd International Seminar for Lung-Sparing Treatment for Mesothelioma, attracts top physicians, scientists as well as nurses, students and mesothelioma patients and their families.
By Brian Deagon
PMC Board Member
Personal stories at symposium by family members of cancer victims exposed to asbestos reveal frustration, emotional pain endured managing the consequences of this incurable disease
Physicians, scientists and mesothelioma experts gathered at the Sheraton Delfina on Saturday, May 12th for the 2nd International Symposium on lung-sparing therapies for malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Dr. Robert Cameron, Director of the UCLA Mesothelioma Comprehensive Research Program and Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center led the symposium. Dr. Cameron has been a leading proponent of lung-sparing pleurectomy/decortication surgical procedures for over 20 years and has been an advocate for sparing the lung and treating the patient as though they have a chronic disease, similar to high blood pressure or diabetes.
Laboratory is dedicated solely to malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM); pleural mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer of the chest lining (pleura)
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Thanks to continued generous support from mesothelioma victims, their families, friends, and advocates, the Pacific Meso Center (PMC) announces the opening of its new state-of-the-art mesothelioma research laboratory dedicated solely to the discovery of new treatments for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), a cancer of the chest lining caused by asbestos exposure.
Pacific Meso Center (PMC) is a division of the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (PHLBI), a 501(c)(3) non-profit medical research organization established in 2002, and is focused on both the treatment and prevention of MPM.
As the first of its kind in the world, the research lab was established to lead a focused and collaborative mesothelioma research effort that is independent of the limitations often imposed by academic as well as private medical institutions. The lab will focus not only on the development of novel treatments for mesothelioma but also on its prevention.
A team of physicians and scientists will be involved, including one of the foremost experts in the field of mesothelioma research and treatment, Robert B. Cameron, M.D. Dr. Cameron is a cardiothoracic surgeon and surgical oncologist, the director of the UCLA Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the West Los Angeles Veterans’ Administration Medical Center, and a long-time proponent of lung-sparing surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma. He recently chaired the First International Symposium on Lung-Sparing Therapies for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma in Santa Monica, CA.
Others involved in the research program include Warren Grundfest, M.D., Sherven Sharma, PhD, Saroj Basak, PhD, Dongmei Hou, PhD, Marko Kostic, MSc, as well as others. These include a rapidly expanding group of international collaborators who share Dr. Cameron’s vision of an open collaborative effort both in basic and translational science to facilitate the rapid development of the most promising therapies from the lab to the bedside for mesothelioma victims everywhere.
Important initial projects include:
- The establishment of an international tissue bank.
- The development of intraoperative cryotherapy; freezing suggests that cancer cells remaining after resections may be killed using cold gases to freeze the surface lining of the chest cavity.
- Initiation of a stromal cell modification project; the interaction between stromal cells and tumor cells is known to play a major role in cancer growth and progression.
- The identification of a predictive model for drug prevention of malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Dr. Cameron commented, “Although I have operated on hundreds of patients suffering from malignant pleural mesothelioma and have reviewed all the recent and past mesothelioma research, I have never seen such enthusiasm and genuine hope that this laboratory embodies and holds for all mesothelioma victims.” Dr. Cameron went on to say that, “I believe these exciting projects quickly will give us valuable information, some of which I anticipate will be covered in our 2nd International Symposium scheduled for May 12th, 2012 in Santa Monica, California.”
For further information, please contact:
Clare Cameron 310-478-4678
Apply to Join our Board of Directors
Pacific Meso Center** (PMC) now has openings for individuals who want to actively support our mission of research uniquely focused on the treatment and prevention of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). PMC supports specific areas of research that improve mesothelioma victims’ lives and longevity, particularly those that approach MPM as a chronic, treatable disease. Here are some board responsibilities:
Stewards of PMC
- The board actively participates with the executive director in the overall planning process and assists in implementing the plan’s goals.
- The board helps the executive director find the resources needed to grow our organization.
- The board partners with the executive director to raise funds from the community.
- Support and contribute to the public relations efforts of PMC’s strategic plan.
Call Clare Cameron to find out how you can join us in the fight
against this dreaded disease:
(310) 478-4678 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Do the Right Thing, Fund Research, Help Us Clean up Your Mess -
Las Vegas Nevada, Dr. Robert Cameron was invited to speak in front of the Defense Research Institute, an organization of corporate attorneys and giant law firms, with big business clientele that require defending because of the Asbestos products that they have released on a largely ignorant public. Dr. Cameron wanted to pose the question, ‘Why?’ Why, has there been so little money poured into research looking to cure mesothelioma when it has cost these companies billions? Why have there been so many patients lives disregarded by the industries that have harmed them by selling this product that causes this disease?
Doctor Cameron said that he was excited, really excited about new research potential but frustrated at the same time because of lack of research dollars needed to fund these projects and suggested that they could invest in new research and gave several promising avenues that could hold a cure in the future. He reminded them that it was even in their best interest to look for a solution.
To date,600,000 plaintiffs have filed suit involving over 6,000 defendants, with total costs expected to ultimately reach $200 billion.
Large “trust funds” have been created by a number of companies to compensate victims. If as little as 10% was diverted to research, over $20 Billion could be earmarked for mesothelioma research/treatment. A small price tag of only $2-3 million is needed for each to advance IL-4 toxin, cryotheraphy, and stromal cell research.
The audience was interested in his presentation, but suggested that there was going to be expected “push back” on such a logical suggestion. Dr. Cameron suggested that money invested in converting meso from a fatal illness to a treatable disease, would not only engender public good will, but also perhaps limit future damages as successful patients would one day recover.
Dr. Cameron is the first doctor ever to ask the asbestos defense for their help in funding research. The moderator thanked the doctor for his compassion but said on the matter of will they ever step up to the plate and donate to research, he said it was “never gonna happen”. Then went on to say plaintiff lawyers bring in $100 million in fees per year, let them pay.
In this article, Dr. Cameron expresses his opinion regarding the appropriate role of Alimta/cisplatin chemotherapy in the treatment of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.
In 2004, the FDA approved pemetrexed (Alimta®) in combination with cisplatin for the treatment of pleural mesothelioma. To this day, Alimta/cisplatin remains the only FDA approved chemotherapy drug combination for the treatment of mesothelioma.
The Resulting Hype
Following the FDA’s approval, the manufacturer conducted an aggressive marketing campaign of Alimta/cisplatin to general oncologists. This has resulted in the broad acceptance of this chemotherapeutic regimen as the de factostandard of care by general oncologists. Read More ⇒
|Robert Cameron, MD|
LOS ANGELES. This well-designed seminal study from Tom Treasure and his colleagues in England, while small, provides compelling and incontrovertible evidence that supports our long-held position at the Pacific Meso Center that the use of radical lung-removing surgery, ie., EPP, is completely unsupported by medical data.
Tom Treasure compares the EPP to the barbaric and now nearly extinct practice of radical mastectomy for breast cancer. We have been using the same analogy for years to drive the point home that surgery, if any, ought to be targeted and rational. This most recent trial is even more proof that no one suffering from the ravages of mesothelioma should be subjected to the further indignation of a radical, debilitating and useless operation based on “selected” data. Read More ⇒
“Remove the Tumor, Save the Lung and Treat Meso as a Chronic Illness”
Dr. Robert Cameron is a cardiothoracic surgeon and surgical oncologist who specializes in the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. He is the director of the mesothelioma program at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the chief of thoracic surgery at the West Los Angeles Veterans’ Administration Medical Center.
Dr. Cameron has been treating mesothelioma patients for over 20 years. He is the innovator of the lung-sparing Pleurectomy/Decortication surgical procedure for mesothelioma and has performed the procedure on over 300 patients to date. He has also published many articles and is a frequent lecturer on the surgical and multi-modal management of pleural mesothelioma. Read More ⇒
Improved Survival with Interferon Alpha Maintenance Therapy Following Pleurectomy-Decortication and Radiation for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
(As presented by Dr. Robert Cameron to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, January 30, 2006. )
In this presentation, Dr. Cameron demonstrates that “maintenance therapy” such as interferon alpha may have a role in treating mesothelioma patients. The median survival of patients receiving interferon alpha after undergoing pleurectomy with decortication followed by surgery was 37 months.
View the publication abstract and the accompanying slides to see all of the research results by selecting any of the following: