December 5, 2013 Posted by Clare Cameron
The West Los Angeles VA Medical Center has established a “Mesothelioma Center of Excellence”. The problem is that the Mesothelioma Center of Excellence remains a virtual secret. There is no mention of the Center on the VA website and even most doctors in the VA system have never heard of it. As a result, patients are suffering through delayed diagnoses and ineffective outdated treatments, while their aggressive cancer progresses.
How many news stories have we seen about our vets being subjected to deplorable conditions and inferior treatment at VA medical centers across the country? The Mesothelioma Center at the West LA VA is a shining example of vets receiving a level of treatment that is unsurpassed by the nation’s most prestigious private hospitals. But when vets are deprived of this treatment simply because doctors in the VA system don’t know about the Mesothelioma Center of Excellence, the results are no less upsetting.
Furthermore, with only modest additional funding of $5 million per year, the Mesothelioma Center of Excellence at the West Los Angeles Veterans’ Administration Medical Center, can be expanded so that it can provide its unsurpassed level of treatment to a greater numbers of vets and conduct research and clinical trials that will benefit ALL patients, vets and non-vets, who are diagnosed in the future.
Families of veterans who are casualties of mesothelioma are strongly behind this effort. The family of Navy Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, who died of mesothelioma in 2000, has agreed to lend their name to the program. The new center will be called the “Elmo Zumwalt Mesothelioma Treatment & Research Center.” Other families have pledged financial support to kick-start the program, including a pledge of $500,000 from the family of John Johnson, a Marine infantryman who lost his battle with mesothelioma in 2012.
We are requesting two simple things:
1) Sign our petition now, so that the VA can take action by funding this important center. It will only take a few minutes of your time.
2) Send it out to everyone you know via email, Facebook and Twitter and ask them to sign the petition and sent it out to their contacts.
Our goal is to gather at least 5,000 signatures by the end of December.
It is free and only takes a few moments on your computer. Click Here to Sign Petition
November 19, 2013 Posted by Clare Cameron
In 2013, we at the Pacific Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute (PHLBI) embarked upon an aggressive and unparalleled expansion of our existing programs at the Pacific Meso Center (Lung Division), while simultaneously initiating new program areas in thymus cancer (Lung Division), heart failure and coronary artery disease (Heart Division), and stem cell therapies (Blood Division). By combining resources and coordinating research in all four areas, we have accomplished far more in each area than we would have as a foundation and research organization focusing on a single disease. Our most notable achievements for 2013 are proudly summarized below:
The Pacific Meso Center (PMC) and UCLA jointly hosted the 3rd Annual International Symposium on Lung-Sparing Therapies for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM). For the third year in a row, PMC recruited and sponsored MPM experts from the around the world, including Dr. Raffit Hassan from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Marco Trovo from Aviano, Italy, Dr. Joseph Friedberg from the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Michael Becich from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as a number of well-known experts from UCLA. Attendance reached nearly 100 scientists, physicians, nurses, as well as mesothelioma patients and their families. Participant evaluations, the third consecutive year, were among the best of any continuing medical educational (CME) activity provided by UCLA.
The Pacific Meso Center laid the foundation for a new Southern California Mesothelioma Consortium (SCMC) by hosting and funding the planning of this unique and joint collaborative research endeavor with UCLA’s Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program, the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Healthcare System, and the Cancer Research and Biostatistics Foundation (CRAB). The creation of the SCMC, as a comprehensive multidisciplinary mesothelioma treatment and research program, is a critical step in providing access to such an invaluable resource to all mesothelioma patients and their families nationally as well as worldwide.This project, generously supported by Sue Johnson and the entire Johnson family, who pledged $500,000, in loving memory of John Johnson, is a striking example of exactly how much can be accomplished when mesothelioma patients and their families generously give back in support of the Institute’s work.
The Pacific Meso Center reported major progress in our research program using mesothelioma spheroids as a model of human MPM. In 2013, Dr. Raymond Wong characterized the growth and histologic characteristics of a variety of MPM, lung, and normal cell spheroids, while Dr. Irina Ianculescu generated exciting data regarding differences in gene expression between mesothelioma spheroids and traditional culture systems but also potential similarities between mesothelioma spheroids and normal human MPM tumors. We continue to exploit this spheroid model system as a way to rapidly test potential therapies for destroying MPM (and other tumors) and speed translation of promising agents into human clinical trials.
The Pacific Meso Center continued its pioneering work in MPM cryoablation through our partnership with Drs. Marko Kostic and Warren Grundfest in the Biophotonics Laboratory of the Department of Bioengineering and UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering. This work utilized PMC’s own thermal camera to design the world’s first intra-operative MPM cryosprayer and model the effects of this innovative freezing technology on the treatment of MPM.
The Pacific Meso Center in 2013 also initiated a MPM screening and prevention program working with Dr. Michael Phillips from Menssana Research in New Jersey to test and characterize a second generation of breath test to determine a MPM breath profile and correlate those findings with whole genome sequencing which is one of the leading areas of current cancer research. This program, when fully funded, will recruit 50 people with mesothelioma, 50 people exposed to asbestos but without mesothelioma, and 50 “normal” people and compare all three groups.
The Pacific Thymus Center (PTC) was initiated in 2013 and is dedicated to finding new treatments for these tumors, which are even rarer than MPM. Tumors of the thymus gland, a gland which sits in the upper front of the middle of the chest, often act similarly to MPM spreading diffusely in the lining of the chest cavity, and treatment strategies are often identical. By leveraging the work of the Pacific Meso Center, the Pacific Thymus Center is employing many of the same strategies. Cryoablation as well as other common therapies are beginning to be examined, and promising therapies are just beginning to be evaluated with tumor spheroids.
The Pacific Stem Cell Center was established in 2013 in order to take advantage of the use of stem cells, and specifically mesenchymal stem cells in cancer therapy. MSCs are a unique type of cell isolated from fat tissue, bone marrow, other bodily tissues and placenta. These cells are not easily rejected and can remain in the body for long periods of time, during which they may be used to deliver biological molecules that fight cancer. The Pacific Meso Center has chosen human placental stem cells (HPSC’s) as a vehicle for delivering therapeutic proteins into the tumor microenvironment. This may be particularly helpful following surgery for MPM and thymic cancer when a small number of residual cancer cells are left in the “pleura.” The potential use of HPSC’s modified to express high levels of interferon alpha and placed in the area of the “pleura” at the end of surgery holds tremendous potential to obliterate any remaining MPM and other cancer cells, thereby obviating the need for further treatment, including radiation and chemotherapy. This exciting approach to genetic therapies may be used in therapies for MPM, thymic malignancies, and even heart disease.
The Pacific Heart Center was established after exploring the idea of such a center with UCLA scientists who are eager to explore the use of stem cells in the genetic treatment of heart failure and coronary artery disease. With the establishment of the Pacific Stem Cell Center as a resource, the Pacific Heart Center is now working to establish a basic science research program to leverage HPSC therapy in the area of heart failure and coronary artery disease. This approach will attempt to deliver stem cells capable of revitalizing the heart through catheter-based delivery systems. Genetically-modified HPSC’s have already shown the capability of maturing into heart muscle cells and may open a whole new therapeutic area for patient with heart diseases. Our center seeks to lead in this area of research.
Public Education remains a center piece of our Institute with a particular emphasis on internet and social media outlets. We have invested in recording equipment to facilitate the production of short video clips discussing relevant topics involving MPM, thymic tumors, heart diseases, and stem cell therapies. Although we have employed a medical liaison to help in this regard in the past, we are now shifting our focus to a “super” nurse educator who will be able to divide attention between the Institute, UCLA, and the VA system in order to provide more uniform information to the different patient populations and their families. With relatively tight budgets, however, this aspect remains a challenge.
PHLBI continues to make an impact on translational medical research by targeting coordinated cutting-edge basic science research that holds particular promise to quickly lead to effective clinical treatments, and possibly even cures for a variety of diseases. We remain focused on MPM, but we are expanding our research to other diseases with similar problems.
We know that many of you have donated to the PHLBI in 2012 and in the years before; and some have donated numerous times over the years. For all who have given in the past, we offer our deepest gratitude. Yet our work remains unfinished and we desperately need your continued support to maintain the aggressive pace that we have set for our research programs. As you reflect upon 2013, we ask you to remember all the lives already needlessly lost and the opportunity to stem the tide with your financial assistance. Help take our research to the next level, the one that finally brings solid hope to diseases like mesothelioma. Our commitment, our expertise, and our compassion are unrivaled. Please join Sue Johnson, her family, and our team by making a generous year-end gift.
PMC Lays Foundation at West LA VA’s Comprehensive Mesothelioma Center to Launch New Center of Mesothelioma Excellence
November 13, 2013 Posted by Clare Cameron
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare and devastating cancer that affects the lining of the chest. Nearly 3,000 new cases of this “orphan disease” are diagnosed annually in the United States. The disease is usually caused by exposure to asbestos in the workplace, home, or areas with natural asbestos deposits. It often manifests 15 to 60 years after asbestos exposure.
Nearly one-third of all patients with MPM develop the disease through inhaling asbestos fibers during their military service and many times following their service while continuing to work in the same trades learned while serving. This risk also extends to Veterans families since the dangerous fibers often were brought home on clothing, exposing spouses and children to the same deadly problem. Despite this significant Veteran health problem, which has existed since World War II, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Department of Defense (DOD) have yet to provide specific treatment or research resources for Veterans who have, are suspected of having, or are at risk of having mesothelioma.
The Pacific Mesothelioma Center (PMC) at The Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (PHLBI), a 501(c)(3) non-profit research organization, was established in 2010 and remains the only public charity to promote organized mesothelioma research into novel therapies and methods of cancer prevention for asbestos-exposed individuals.
In 2011, PMC launched the first free-standing national mesothelioma research laboratory with the expressed mission to discover novel treatments and ultimately a cure for mesothelioma. The PMC is associated with world renowned mesothelioma programs, such as UCLA’s Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program, which is led by Dr. Robert B. Cameron, an internationally recognized surgeon and research scientist, who is widely recognized for his groundbreaking lung-sparing surgical technique to extend patients’ lifespans without sacrificing vital lung tissue.
Since its inception, PMC has tirelessly worked to join forces with the Veterans Health Administration to create a Comprehensive Mesothelioma Center of Excellence at the Greater Los Angeles (GLA) VA. The GLA VA Meso Center, to be named after Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, who was an inspirational leader to many naval service men and women and who lost his life to mesothelioma, will be established to provide specialized care for Veterans who have, are suspected of having, or are at risk of having mesothelioma. The new Elmo Zumwalt (EZ) Comprehensive Mesothelioma Center will offer the latest innovations in diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, radiology oncology, surgery, and other medical specializations for Veterans nationwide and will work with the UCLA Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program, the Pacific Meso Center, and the Cancer Research and Biostatistics (CRAB) non-profit foundation to establish a Mesothelioma Research Consortium to actively conduct both clinical and basic science research in this disease. The EZ Mesothelioma Center will utilize TeleHealth/TeleMedicine initiatives for remote computerized medical consultations already active within the VHA system to ensure that all Veterans, not just those in Southern California will have access to state-of-the-art mesothelioma medical care as well as social/financial support services.
PMC is proud to lead the effort to secure urgent specific programmatic support for Veterans who contracted mesothelioma because of their military service. PMC is joined in this effort by Veterans, themselves, and their families, including many whose care could have benefited from such a specialized national center. Some have volunteered to help and some have even made donations to help this effort go forward. PMC now is seeking to work with Veterans service organization, like the American Legion, to educate Veterans as to the services already available and to work together with Veterans and the VHA to make the EZ Comprehensive Mesothelioma Center a reality for current and future Veterans who so faithfully served their country only to develop this dangerous disease. Donations to PMC are tax deductible and help to support continued biomedical research and education for patients with mesothelioma.
November 7, 2013 Posted by Clare Cameron
Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills was bright, crisp and beautiful the morning of Sunday, October 27th, the day Pacific Meso Center (PMC) held their second annual fundraiser for mesothelioma – a 5K Walk/Hike throughout the park. Over 200 attendees enjoyed the scenic views Paramount Ranch has to offer, as well as a delicious lunch and an exciting raffle hosted by PMC.
Twenty one teams and several individuals braved the approximate three-mile walk/hike along the beautiful trails at Paramount Ranch. Fortunately the weather was perfect – high seventies with a nice cool breeze. Among the 200 attendees were several patients of mesothelioma and their loved ones, who all enjoyed the activities of this special day. “The weather was perfect, the people were fantastic, and the money raised crucial in the fight against this horrible disease” said Dr. Robert Cameron, the PMC’s Scientific Advisor and a leading expert on MPM.
This event helped prove the generous spirit of those in the mesothelioma community. With the help of sponsors (Worthington & Caron PLC, Michael Mandlebrot Lawfirm, Gold Law Firm Trial Lawyers, The Johnson Family, Amorbear Security & Safety Consultants, and Marc Willick Attorney), dedicated teams (such as the winners The Irish Stampede, who raised $13,460 alone) and other highly benevolent individuals, PMC raised close to $75,000, with donations still arriving! This is a cause that is very dear to those who were involved, such as Rosanne McCarthy, the leader of The Irish Stampede, who lost both her husband and brother-in-law to mesothelioma; therefore, these individuals are highly dedicated to supporting the research and treatment of this devastating disease.
This year marking the trail, there were kilometer signs sponsored by mesothelioma families. And in addition, there were signs on facts on mesothelioma and asbestos, and a friendly quiz after the walk, where 15 winners received a prize package of Duverger Macaroons.
Following the walk, PMC organized a delicious lunch donated by The Belvedere Family of Ottavio’s Italian Restaurant, one of PMC’s most generous donors. Ottavio Belvedere passed away from mesothelioma several years ago, and since then the family has played a major role in continuing to support research and treatment of present and future mesothelioma patients. They have raised over $117,000 over the past 6 years, and PMC is extremely grateful for their persistence and dedication. While eating lunch, guests were also able to enjoy the upbeat folk music provided by Chris Murphy and his band, which had everyone dancing and happy! “I love how these events bring everyone [in the mesothelioma community] together,” said Clare Cameron, executive director of PMC. “It was wonderful seeing familiar faces and meeting new people. The event has grown enormously since last year and will continue to do so each year”.
There were several individuals that also went out of their way to continue to support this cause and helped make the event a complete success. Jeana Radovcich is the author of “A Lizard in the Roses,” a beautifully illustrated children’s book in which all proceeds are donated to the cause. She signed books while at the event and to date has raised over $700! In addition, Rosemarie Ganoe of Captain’s Treasure Chest Jewelry donated a beautiful pearl and gold bracelet and Seiko men’s watch for the individual man and woman who raised the most money. The winners both thoroughly enjoyed receiving these exclusive prizes! Another notable individual is Chuck Jarvis Jr., who has always been a huge supporter of PMC. His team raised just under $3,000 a week before the event, when his sister Sonia had a pasta party fundraiser to raise money for the day of the event. Chuck’s company Amorbear Security and Safety Consultants also generously donated Oakley Sunglasses to the raffle, which was a huge hit. “We walked together [today] in memory of my father, Chuck Jarvis Sr., who was a wonderful man who passed away from this disease,” says Chuck. “It is important to me and my family that we continue to fight in his honor.”
Overall, the 2nd Annual 5K Walk/Hike for mesothelioma proved to be a huge success. Not only was an incredible amount of money raised for treatment and research, but fun was had by all who attended, and many of the guests were fortunate enough to walk away with some amazing prizes! But even for those who did not win a prize, everyone was able to take away some beautiful memories. This was certainly a day that PMC will remember forever, and we look so forward to hosting our next wonderful fundraiser, continuing to fight for those who suffer from mesothelioma. Check our Facebook page for more pictures from the walk!
November 5, 2013 Posted by Clare Cameron
“SECOND ANNUAL 5K WALK/HIKE FOR MESOTHELIOMA RESEARCH RAISES OVER $75,000″
01.11.13 | 15:04 Uhr | 4 mal gelesenLOS ANGELES, Nov. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Nearly 200 families and friends of people with mesothelioma attended the Second Annual 5k Walk/Hike for Meso, sponsored by the Pacific Meso Center (PMC) on Sunday, October 27th at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills, CA. The event raised $75,000 to benefit medical research at the PMC, a division of the Pacific Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (PHLBI). Donations are still arriving as word rapidly spreads about the PMC’s groundbreaking research to discover new treatments for mesothelioma and to improve mesothelioma victims’ lives and longevity.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an asbestos-related cancer of the lining of the chest. There is no cure. Effective treatments are limited. Several patients with mesothelioma participated in the event at the historic Paramount Ranch movie set nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains. (more…)
October 30, 2013 Posted by Raymond Wong
Written by Raymond Wong, Ph.D.
October 30, 2013
What types of immunotherapies have been tested in cancer patients?
A wide variety of immunotherapeutic modalities have been tested in cancer patients – cytokines, synthetic vaccines, engineered immune cells, and immune-modulating antibodies. The most significant progress in the field has undoubtedly been the clinical development of antibodies that release the “brakes” of the immune system. This class of immunotherapies, called immune checkpoint inhibitors, has yielded improved clinical outcomes in melanoma. Ongoing clinical trials suggest that immune checkpoint inhibitors may be effective against a wide array of cancers, including malignant pleural mesothelioma.
What are immune checkpoint inhibitors?
The first immune checkpoint inhibitor drug, called ipilimumab (Yervoy®), was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2011 for treating melanoma. Ipilimumab blocks an immune checkpoint receptor called CTLA-4, thus triggering a patient’s immune system to mount an attack on their tumors. Another drug that blocks CTLA-4, called tremelimumab, is now being tested in advanced pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma patients. Dr. Luana Calabrò, M.D. (University Hospital of Siena, Siena, Italy) recently reported that tremelimumab immunotherapy might confer disease stabilization in a subset of mesothelioma patients – particularly those with epithelioid histology . Follow-up clinical trials are now planned to evaluate a more intensive tremelimumab treatment schedule in mesothelioma patients, and also to determine if this treatment results in statistically significant extension of patient survival time. Twenty-four hospitals around the world are participating in these studies. ClinicalTrials.gov identifiers NCT01655888 and NCT01843374.
How do immune checkpoint inhibitors work for treating cancer?
While the complete mechanism of action of immune checkpoint inhibitors is still being elucidated, studies in humans and animal tumor models show that these drugs enhance T lymphocyte infiltration into tumors. T lymphocytes are specialized cells of the immune system that mediate clearance of viral infections and are also centrally involved in destroying tumors. When cancer develops, it appears that T lymphocytes lose the ability to detect tumor cells. Blocking immune checkpoints through pharmaceutical intervention partially restores the normal function of T lymphocytes that are otherwise suppressed in cancer patients. The overall effect is slowing of tumor progression, with tumor shrinkage in certain cases, resulting in extended patient life span. Another effect of this immunotherapeutic modality is that patients who respond to treatment often continue to benefit even after treatment cessation. This likely occurs because activated T lymphocytes multiply repeatedly, producing daughter cells that continue to react against tumors for months, possibly even years.
Combination immunotherapies utilizing immune checkpoint inhibitors.
Overall, the successful clinical translation of immune checkpoint inhibitors demonstrates that altering the immune system to promote T lymphocyte infiltration and activity within tumor tissue can benefit some patients. Because side effects of immune checkpoint inhibitors are generally manageable, there is now ongoing research to identify synergistic combinations with other immunotherapies. In melanoma patients, clinical trials are showing dramatic, unprecedented tumor shrinkage upon combination immunotherapy with ipilimumab plus nivolumab , the latter being an experimental immune checkpoint inhibitor that blocks the Programmed Death-1 (PD-1) receptor. In pleural mesothelioma patients, cytokine therapy with interferon-α may have utility for combination immunotherapies. Dr. Daniel Sterman, M.D. (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA) reported that intrapleural instillation of recombinant virus encoding the interferon-α gene might confer disease stabilization in some patients, particularly those with early stage mesothelioma . Interferon-α and immune checkpoint inhibitors act on different pathways of the immune system, and thus could potentially synergize to control tumors beyond what could be achieved with either therapy alone.
Developing new technologies to improve interferon-α delivery into mesothelioma tissue may be a worthwhile effort. The effectiveness of interferon-α is limited by its short biological half-life and toxicity on normal organs. Mesenchymal stem cells – a type of adult stem cell that can be expanded from healthy bone marrow, fat tissue, umbilical cord blood, and placenta – are now being explored as potential “universal” vectors for delivering therapeutic agents deep into the stroma of tumors. Our group at the Pacific Meso Center is currently evaluating the feasibility of engineering human mesenchymal stem cells to deliver immunotherapeutic agents (including interferon-α) into solid tumors. Pleural mesothelioma is particularly amenable to this approach, since the disease generally remains localized to the chest cavity and is directly accessible for local administration of therapeutics.
September 30, 2013 Posted by Clare Cameron
September, 27th 2013
“The Greatest Escape” Motorcycle Ride Generates over $100,000 for Mesothelioma Research
Sept. 27, 2013: The Pacific Meso Center (PMC) at The Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (PHLBI) held its inaugural fund-raising benefit, “The Greatest Escape”
motorcycle ride, this past Sunday. The event was a 50th year celebration of the film classic, The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen, who lost his life to mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer.
Hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts joined in the scenic, 32-mile ride up Pacific Coast Highway that started at Bartels’ Harley Davidson in Marina Del Rey and ended at Sycamore Cove Beach in Malibu. The parade of motorcyclists cruising under the glittering sunshine drew hundreds of spectators. A dozen California Highway Patrol officers joined the ride. The action-packed day featured auction prizes, the Phoenix Girls, music by The Walking Phoenixes, and an array of vendors. With plenty of tri-tip, craft beer, laughter, and hope, the crowd had a great day.
September 17, 2013 Posted by debi
Motorcycle enthusiasts and humanitarians unite! Pacific Meso Center’s upcoming fundraiser is sure to engage those looking for adventure and those looking to contribute to a notable cause.
Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that costs the lives of thousands every year. The Pacific Meso Center (PMC) aims to change this grim reality through its unique and innovative research program as well as public outreach and education. PMC takes pride in hosting events that will both educate the community about this potentially fatal disease as well as raise additional funds for necessary research and treatment.
On Sunday, September 22nd, PMC will host one of its largest fundraisers: The Greatest Escape, a motorcycle ride commemorating the 50th anniversary of the film The Great Escape starring Steve McQueen, who passed away from mesothelioma. The theme of this ride is inspired by Chuck Jarvis Jr., who sadly lost his father to mesothelioma in 2012. His father was an avid Harley rider and McQueen fan.
Riders participating in The Greatest Escape will be able to enjoy the beautiful, scenic views of the Pacific Coast Highway, starting in Marina Del Rey and ending in Malibu. And the fun won’t stop once the ride is over – there will be plenty of activities awaiting the riders and their families and friends at Malibu’s breathtaking Sycamore Cove State Beach, including a tri-tip lunch, BJ’s craft beer, raffle prizes and a live auction. “This has been an incredibly exciting even to plan, with so many moving parts” says Clare Cameron, Executive Director of PMC. “The logistics are all in place, now we just want everyone to join us either on the ride or at the beach for lunch and a fun time!”
The raffle prizes and live auction are sure to be a success, as there are some amazing and exclusive packages. For example, one lucky bidder will have the once in a lifetime chance to ride in the Goodyear blimp. Because Goodyear will be retiring the blimp within the next three years, reserving a spot on one now is nearly impossible. This is a perfect opportunity for anyone who has dreamed of being in this notable vessel before it no longer graces the Los Angeles skyline. Also available for the live auction – a two-night stay and dinner at the haunted Glen Tavern hotel, gourmet dinner package on the Napa Valley Wine Train, as well as dinner for four at the exclusive chef’s table at Firenze Osteria, a popular and delicious Italian dining experience.
One of the highlights of this event will be a concert by the Walking Phoenixes, a Johnny Cash tribute band with a huge fan base and an equally impressive set list. Accompanying the band are the Walking Phoenix girls – a group of fun-loving line dancing girls that are sure to get everyone up off their feet and on the dance floor!
PMC is excited to host this exciting event that is targeted towards a particular group of hobbyists. “Motorcycle riders are some of the kindest, most charitable people I have ever met,” says Victoria Adams, who is helping coordinate The Greatest Escape. “I am confident that we will be able to have fun and raise money for this great cause!” Motorcycle groups such as Eaglerider Motorcycles, Los Angeles Young Riders (LAYR), Society of Riders and Free Riders, to name a few, will be in attendance and are also helping promote the event. In addition, The Greatest Escape will also feature celebrity motorcycle riders, such as Lorenzo Lamas and stars of the 1980s hit series CHIPS that are helping promote and will ensure a fan following.
PMC makes a valiant effort to not only raise funds to further support research of mesothelioma but also to promote awareness. PMC takes pride in fundraising in a way that accomplishes both of these tasks while bringing the community together in a fun yet meaningful way. As a result, this organization is looking forward to throwing its largest fundraiser yet, and is expecting an amazing turnout as well as much success in the way of curing this life-threatening disease.
July 31, 2013 Posted by Clare Cameron
On Friday, July 26, a family who has dealt with malignant pleural mesothelioma visited thePacific Meso Center (PMC) at the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (PHLBI) and presented the institute with a generous donation in the amount of $1000 – proceeds from a book written by 8 year old Luke.
Like many fathers, Don W. wanted to play the role of superhero for his family. He would assume the names and birthdates of superheroes, and enjoyed pretending he was Superman or Batman. But unlike many fathers, Don suffered from sarcomatoid malignant pleural mesothelioma: an illness that ultimately cost him his life at the mere age of 43. Despite having a terminal illness, Don managed to maintain his sense of humor while visiting the hospital for treatment. According to his family, Don would play jokes with the nurses and would tease them that he was Superman or Batman, even going to the extent of providing them with the actual birthdates of these superheroes. Don’s 10-year-old son Ryan said, “Every time my dad went to chemotherapy, he would always go as a different superhero. When my dad passed away, we thought of Superman as a good way to resemble [him] as a strong man with powers that could make us feel happy.” (more…)
July 8, 2013 Posted by Clare Cameron
New Board Member Joins Pacific Meso Center
Dr. Rhonda Ozanian, Veteran and Prestigious Health Policy Fellow, Brings Expert Guidance in Health Policy and Military Healthcare to Fight Mesothelioma
LOS ANGELES, June 27, 2013 — The Pacific Meso Center (PMC) has announced the appointment of Rhonda Ozanian, Ph.D. recipient of numerous awards and accolades, to its Board of Directors. Rhonda recently moved to Los Angeles from Washington D.C. where she was a 2010-2012 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow, working first in the U.S. Senate and then at the Brookings Institution. She is a veteran, having previously served as a U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel in the Department of Defense and the Senior Policy Analyst to the Assistant Secretary. Deployed to Afghanistan in 2006, she served in 2007 on the President’s Commission for Care of America’s Returning Wounded Warriors. Dr. Ozanian has amassed over a million dollars in funding for innovative technology programs in healthcare, including veteran services. (more…)