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The Meso Foundation — Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation — recently announced it had added an additional $500,000 to put toward researching mesothelioma, bringing the total investment to about $7.6 million.
Our mesothelioma lawyers have reported recently about several efforts that are being made to increase the amount of funding and research done to try to not only find a cure for mesothelioma, but learn how to better detect it and stop it from developing.
Exposure to asbestos is the leading cause of mesothelioma. And while it is no longer actively used in insulation and other products, as it was throughout the 20th Century, it is still contained in many buildings throughout the country.
There is a constant wave of veterans and older adults who were exposed to asbestos when it was being used throughout the middle of the century. Vermiculite tainted with asbestos was being churned out of mines and shipped to manufacturing plants nationwide, causing many people to be exposed without knowledge of the effects.
As the years went on and people became ill with mesothelioma — a form of cancer that is incurable — researchers began looking at what was happening. They found that asbestos was the cause. Many businesses were warned, but did nothing. So, their employees were left to work in this environment without knowing the effects.
While asbestos has now been effectively banned from use in the United States and many other countries, there are still many older buildings, even some that have been renovated in recent years, that still contain asbestos.
This opens up different types of health hazards. For one, if a person lives or works in a building containing asbestos, it’s possible that the mineral can flake off and get into the ventilation system and lead to exposure that way. If workers are called in to renovate a building or clear out known asbestos, done improperly, it could lead to workers and the public being exposed.
That’s why there are specially trained workers who can remove asbestos from buildings to ensure it is done correctly. Even a small amount of asbestos exposure can lead to a diagnosis of mesothelioma one day.
But the Meso Foundation wants to know more about this incurable form of cancer. After 46 applicants attempted to prove that they should get the money to find a cure or at least more treatment options, five were chosen.
All projects were reviewed and ranked by members of the foundation’s board. Projects will look at the molecular characteristics of mesothelioma tumors to see how defective genes impact malignant cells. Another project will look at how the body’s proteins respond to chemotherapy cell death.
It is everyone’s hope that this research continues and researchers and scientists may one day be able to know more about the cancer so that it may be detected and cured in its earlier stages. This will prevent patients from having to hear the bad news of a diagnosis decades after exposure.
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