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LOS ANGELES, CA, October 15, 2015 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Pacific Mesothelioma Center (PMC), a division of the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (PHLBI), is pleased to announce the receipt of a generous $100,000 gift from Roger G. Worthington, of the law office Worthington and Caron PC. The donation will be used to further the PMC's ground-breaking immunotherapy research in malignant pleural mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer affecting the lining of the chest.
Immunotherapy, which uses the body's immune system to fight cancer is now an accepted fourth type of cancer treatment in addition to surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Immunotherapy works by stimulating patients' own immune systems to attack cancer cells or by eliminating specific cancer mechanisms that often allow cancer cells to evade the immune system.
PMC believes that the future of mesothelioma treatment will involve combination therapy, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. In fact, rational combinations of various immunotherapies that work in different ways combined with mesenchymal stem cells likely holds the most promise in finally making significant strides towards truly effective therapies. Combination immunotherapy with the FDA-approved drugs nivolumab + ipilimumab has already been shown to be effective against melanoma and lung cancer, and PMC is dedicated to bringing similar combination immunotherapy into clinical trials soon. Mr. Worthington's donation will help propel this initiative forward.
The scientists at the PMC are particularly excited about genetically-engineered mesenchymal stem cells and cryoablation based vaccines. PMC will work with its collaborators, the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center and Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, to use this donation to translate its basic science findings into clinical trials and to stimulate the development of a larger mesothelioma consortium to include potential collaborators from the pharmaceutical industry who can facilitate this critical process in order to benefit mesothelioma patients.
"I am pleased to provide this donation to the PMC to support their fundraising efforts, and additionally to support the effort to bring novel stem cell and immunotherapy research to bedside clinical trials" said Roger Worthington. "It is also my sincerest hope that the pharmaceutical industry will join with the PMC in its effort to bring the latest, potentially life-saving combination immunotherapy into clinical trials for mesothelioma patients."
Roger Worthington is a long-time advocate for mesothelioma research. In 2005, in honor of his father Punch Worthington, Ph.D., Roger helped establish the David "Punch" Worthington Lab at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. The Punch Worthington Lab is the home of innovative research on novel strategies for the treatment of mesothelioma, lung cancer and other occupational cancers. Sadly, his father passed away in 2006 from lung-cancer caused by asbestos.
"This gift from Roger Worthington comes at a really exciting time in immunotherapy research," said Dr. Robert B. Cameron. "For the first time ever, we are seeing real benefit of immunotherapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Combining different immunotherapies with more traditional cancer treatments, like surgery, in rational ways holds great promise for finally improving the survival of patients with this formerly uniformly fatal disease."
Dr. Cameron is a pioneer in the field of mesothelioma, Director of the Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program at UCLA, Professor of Surgery at UCLA and Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the West LA Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He is also one of the PMC's Scientific Advisors.
About Us: Established in 2002, PHLBI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit institution. The PMC, a division of the PHLBI, is focused on the treatment and prevention of malignant pleural mesothelioma. The PMC serves a growing number of mesothelioma victims by supporting the nation's first-of-its-kind research lab which provides laboratory-to-the bedside research that improves mesothelioma victims' lives and longevity. www.PacificMesotheliomaCenter.org.
Contact: Clare Cameron
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