PMC Receives $100,000 Donation for Ongoing Stem Cell Research Program
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Citing the need to invest in a long range cure, Roger Worthington of the Worthington & Caron, P.C. donated $100,000 to The Pacific Mesothelioma Center (PMC) at The Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (PHLBI) to support its ongoing stem cell research program. Worthington jump-started the research effort last year with a similar donation.
The PMC is dedicated to finding a cure for mesothelioma, a potentially life-threatening cancer affecting the pleura – the lining of the chest. Tens of thousands of veterans exposed to asbestos during their military service are now at risk for developing mesothelioma. Thousands of veterans have already been diagnosed with this disease.
“Veterans need our help,” Worthington said. “I’m hopeful that with this donation the Federal Government will recognize the potential therapeutic merits of stem cell research and more than match it, for veterans and all Americans struggling with mesothelioma.”
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) – “pluripotent” adult stem cells that can differentiate into several types of cells — are currently one of the most promising areas of anti-cancer research. Mr. Worthington’s donation will help fund critical clinical studies affiliated with the new Comprehensive Meso Center at the West Los Angeles (WLA) Veterans’ Administration (VA). Robert B. Cameron, MD, FACS, a Scientific Advisor to the PMC, is the Founder and Director of the WLA VA Comprehensive Meso Center.
The Comprehensive Meso Center will not only offer essential patient services – including specialized diagnostics and therapeutics – to meet the healthcare needs of Veterans with mesothelioma in Southern California, but will also sponsor innovative clinical trials on patients with mesothelioma. In 2014 the PMC joined forces with the West LA VA to launch a seminal stem cell research program aimed at developing innovative therapeutic approaches to mesothelioma, which disproportionately affects veterans. In keeping with the PMC’s mission to eradicate this cancer, the overreaching goal of the stem cell research project is to discover breakthrough treatments that halt the rapid progression of mesothelioma and to eventually find a cure for this aggressive cancer.
The PMC’s end-of-the-year goal is to match Mr. Worthington’s gift with an additional $100,000 from our donors at large. Contributors from all walks of life have helped to sustain the PMC. Donations, large and small, are a key to translating the organization’s laboratory research into effective pharmaceutical treatments in the clinic.
“We are very fortunate to have continued with significant support from Mr. Worthington,” Dr. Cameron said. “We are also grateful to all those who can contribute to this special campaign at this turning point in the PMC’s history. Their collective donations will accelerate our search for novel therapies to improve both the longevity and the quality of life of those battling this devastating disease.”
The Pacific Mesothelioma Center at the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute is a 501(c) (3) non-profit medical research institute that provides the promise of future treatment breakthroughs by exploring innovative ideas, educating the public on asbestos-related diseases and finding the best treatment options for newly diagnosed patients with MPM.
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