Posts Tagged ‘peritoneal mesothelioma’

MicroRNA could help fight peritoneal mesothelioma with further testing

1 Feb 2017 by Sarah Mahan under Research/Treatment

587px Researcher looks through microscope 1 100x100 MicroRNA could help fight peritoneal mesothelioma with further testing While some drugs are working to reduce DNA modification to improve mesothelioma patient outcomes, others are focusing on RNA as the key to causing tumor-cell death, according to Mesothelioma Research News.

A new study published mid-January points to non-coding RNA molecules, ones that are not translated into a protein, as the key to treating diffuse malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (DMPM), an extremely rare subtype of mesothelioma that affects the lining of the heart and is usually fatal due to its difficulty to treat. (more…)

Asbestos found in Tuscan drinking water

15 Dec 2016 by Sarah Mahan under Research/Treatment

drinking water 100x100 Asbestos found in Tuscan drinking waterKnown as home to some the highest quality Italian wine, Tuscany, a region in central Italy, may now be known for another drink—its water. A recent study published by an Italian medical journal warned drinking water in the region contained asbestos fibers, associated with the development of mesothelioma.

According to Surviving Mesothelioma, the researchers warned the presence of asbestos in drinking water could contribute specifically to peritoneal mesothelioma. The cancer affects the lining of the stomach as opposed to the lining of the heart or lungs as is the case in its other forms. (more…)

Young man diagnosed with mesothelioma in both abdomen and lungs; family seeks help

11 Feb 2014 by Wendi Lewis under News, People, Research/Treatment

Olsen family 300x215 Young man diagnosed with mesothelioma in both abdomen and lungs; family seeks helpJust before Christmas last year, a young man, just 33 years old, was diagnosed with mesothelioma. His diagnosis came after two years of puzzling symptoms and pain, multiple doctor visits, surgeries and tests. Finally, on Dec. 23, 2013, doctors confirmed that he had mesothelioma – not only affecting his lungs, but also his abdomen. Now, Christian H. Olsen, Jr., and his family are asking for help as he faces a battle for his life. (more…)

Debbie Brewer’s funeral set for June 20; family welcomes all whose lives she touched

18 Jun 2013 by Wendi Lewis under Events, News, People

debbie brewer 10 2009 100x100 Debbie Brewers funeral set for June 20; family welcomes all whose lives she touchedI was very sad to report earlier this month that our beloved meso warrior, Debbie Brewer, passed away after battling six years against mesothelioma. Her funeral is set for Thursday, June 20, a 1 p.m. at Weston Mill Crematorium, Plymouth, U.K. Debbie’s family says all whose lives she touched are welcome to attend the service. Well-wishers are asked – per Debbie’s request – not to wear black to the services. (more…)

Meso warrior friends flood Facebook with support for ‘Wonder Woman’ Janelle

4 Jun 2013 by Wendi Lewis under Events, News, People

Janelle Wonder Woman 100x100 Meso warrior friends flood Facebook with support for Wonder Woman JanelleFriends of mesothelioma survivor Janelle Bedel – both IRL (web-speak for “in real life”) and those in the virtual online community – have flooded Facebook with support for the young woman who is battling this asbestos-related cancer. They are changing their profile pictures to the symbol used by comic-book hero Wonder Woman, the nickname earned by Bedel for her courage and strength in fighting the life-threatening illness, and hoping to raise awareness by sharing her story. (more…)

Meso Foundation announces five additional research grants

17 Feb 2012 by Wendi Lewis under News, Organizations, Research/Treatment

marf logo square Meso Foundation announces five additional research grantsThis week the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) announced it will provide an additional $500,000 in grant money for research projects directed toward finding treatments and a cure for mesothelioma. This will bring the Foundation’s current level of financial commitment to mesothelioma research projects to $7.6 million. (more…)

Meso Foundation announces 2009 Grant Awards

8 Feb 2010 by Wendi Lewis under News, Organizations, Research/Treatment

MARF logo square Meso Foundation announces 2009 Grant AwardsThe Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2009 Mesothelioma Research Grant Awards. Through the generous contributions of its supporters, the Foundation was able to fund eight promising research projects. Executive Director Christopher E. Hahn reports that this is 60 percent more than the organization funded in 2008, when the Foundation, along with many charitable endeavors were beset by budget cuts resulting from the tough economic climate. In an email to Meso Foundation supporters, Hahn said he is hopeful the organization will soon be able to return to its target goal of funding 10 mesothelioma research projects per year.

Projects funded by the 2009 Grant Awards include vaccine studies offering hope of targeted treatment without drastic side effects; a novel investigation of the role of hormones in mesothelioma treatment; developing pathway targets synergistic with current first-line therapy Alimta/Cisplatin; and a study specifically focusing on improved detection and treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma (affecting the lining of the abdomen). Visit the Meso Foundation online for details of each study.

Each year, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation funds critically needed research to develop more effective treatments and ultimately, a cure. The Foundation has provided more than $6 million in grant funding, advancing mesothelioma science through promising studies around the world. The Meso Foundation’s funding objectives are to directly fund basic research and support clinical trials in worthy, peer-reviewed projects as well as to stimulate additional federal research funding opportunities.

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation is a nonprofit collaboration of patients and families, physicians, advocates, and researchers dedicated to eradicating the life-ending and vicious effects of mesothelioma.

You can help! There are many ways to get involved with the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. These include signing up to receive and respond to Action Alerts, which are specific campaigns for particular aspects of mesothelioma advocacy efforts; visiting your government officials to lobby for mesothelioma funding and awareness; volunteering in the meso community both locally and nationally; education; sharing your meso story; and donating to mesothelioma research.

For more information or to make a donation, visit the How You Can Help page at The Meso Foundation is the recipient of the Charity Navigator “Four Star Charity” award and is recognized as the 2009 Great Nonprofits winner in the category of Cancer Fighters.

Startling statistic revealed during UK pleural plaque debate

3 Dec 2009 by Wendi Lewis under Legal, News, People

There is an ongoing debate in the about whether the country’s Labour department is responsible for compensating workers suffering from pleural plaques. In 2007, the Law Lords ruled that pleural plaques did not qualify for worker’s compensation. Pleural plaques are areas of fibrosis, or scar tissue caused by exposure to asbestos. They are usually found on the inside of the diaphragm.

A champion for the rights of workers who have developed pleural plaques as a result of exposure to asbestos in the workplace is Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn. In a meeting at the House of Commons on Nov. 27, he argued the issue of pleural plaques is “immensely important” to workers and pensioners, and insisted it is the duty of members of both sides of the House to overturn the “disgraceful and unjust decision by the Law Lords to bar this terrible illness from classification as a designated illness for compensation purposes,” according to a report in The Chronicle.

Hepburn also told the Commons that pleural plaques sufferers are 1,000 times more likely to develop a more serious form of asbestos-related cancer. Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer that affects the lining of the chest cavity and lungs (pleural) or the lining of the stomach (peritoneal). It may also rarely affect the lining of the heart (pericardial). There is no known cure for mesothelioma.

During the heated debate, The Daily Mirror reports that statistics were revealed that show mesothelioma rates in the UK have nearly doubled in 10 years. According to the news source, hospitals treated 7,349 cases of mesothelioma in the past year, compared to 3,773 cases during the timeframe of 1998-99. The Mirror calls mesothelioma an “asbestos timebomb,” citing the disease’s long latency period.

The Mirror quotes Hepburn as saying, “We’re seeing the legacy of workers exposed to asbestos in the 1960s.”

Awareness, educational materials available from Meso Foundation

1 Dec 2009 by Wendi Lewis under News, Organizations

MARF logo square Awareness, educational materials available from Meso FoundationThere are tons of new educational, outreach and awareness materials now available from the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. If you do not already subscribe, the latest issue of the Foundation’s “Breath of Hope” newsletter is available. The latest issue provides a recap of activities during the International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma, which was held in Washington, D.C., in June. The newsletter includes photos from the event and a wealth of information about research and advocacy, as well as personal stories from mesothelioma patients and their families and caregivers.

This issue is available to download online. If you are having trouble downloading the newsletter, or just want an original hard copy, please let me know. I have some extra copies of the newsletter graciously provided to me by the Meso Foundation that I would be happy to send to you. You can also subscribe by visiting the Meso Foundation online at There also is an archive of past newsletters on the site.

Another exciting resource available at the Meso Foundation web site is a video library of presentations from the Symposium. There were so many great speakers, and this is a truly valuable resource for excellent educational information. The video library also provides access to the slides used by conference speakers. There really is a fantastic amount of information here on topics ranging from Advocacy & Advancing the Mission, to Integrative Medicine, Nutrition, Cancer and the Immune System, Peritoneal Mesothelioma, Pleural Mesothelioma, Clinical Trials and much more.

While on the Meso Foundation web site, please join their online Mesothelioma Community, which will allow you to exchange information with others through a Bulletin Board, as well as read a number of blogs touching on a wide variety of topics. You can also subscribe to an e-newsletter that will keep you informed about all the great work the Meso Foundation is accomplishing in its mission to find a cure for mesothelioma.

If you have any questions or need assistance, you may call the Meso Foundation at (805) 456-7272 or call them toll-free at 877-END-MESO.

Cooking for the Cure benefits mesothelioma patient

22 May 2009 by Wendi Lewis under Events, People, Research/Treatment

shanna kurtz 21 100x100 Cooking for the Cure benefits mesothelioma patientLast week I shared the story of Shanna Kurtz, a 30-year-old woman in Texas who was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in 1999. She is battling the disease, and recently underwent a surgery to remove some tumors from her abdomen and her liver. She was in the hospital in Washington, DC, for more than a month before finally returning home on May 7.

Shortly after her return, abdominal pain sent her back to the hospital. She was good enough to email me to let me know she had suffered from a condition called illeus, which is when the intestines become paralyzed. She stayed in the hospital in Texas for a few days until finally coming home again on May 13. She said she’s focusing on getting stronger and gaining weight, but is frustrated by the  setback after all her hard work to recover from her surgery.

You can check in on Shanna’s progress by reading her journal on the CaringBridge web site and email her some encouraging words at I know she’d really appreciate hearing from some folks in the meso community!

There was a fundraiser in her honor last weekend, and there’s an ongoing effort in Texas called “Cooking for the Cure” to help raise money for Shanna’s treatments.  Cheri Travis, who is one of the organizers of Cooking for the Cure, reports Shanna is scheduled for another surgery in August, so fund raising efforts continue.

Cooking for a Cure was started by Cheri and two other friends who like cooking, and wanted to use their interests and talents in the kitchen to raise money for Shanna. They gather at one person’s house and prepare food, which they distribute in exchange for donations.

“It’s really spread by word of mouth of people who buy our food,” Cheri explained in an email to me. “Plus, we have fun doing it and helping raise funds for our friend.”

The group is based near Victoria, Texas, so if you live in that area, check out this unique project!

Cheri said there also is another fund raising benefit in Shanna’s honor planned for September 18 in Victoria. I’ll let you know the details when I have them.

In the meantime, if you live near Victoria and would like to purchase food from Cooking for the Cure, you can email Cheri at

Or, if you would still like to make a donation to help with Shanna’s treatment, you can send it to:

Cooking for the Cure
17114 Eagle Hollow Drive
San Antonio, TX 78248