The Pacific Mesothelioma Center Receives $1 Million Anonymous Challenge Grant to Help Fight Mesothelioma

LOS ANGELES, CA, USA, August 15, 2017 / — The Pacific Mesothelioma Center (PMC), a division of The Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (PHLBI), is pleased to announce a generous $1 million grant from an anonymous donor. The challenge grant is committed over the next four years with the challenge for the PMC to raise matching funds for additional immunotherapy research.

The grant will be used to support a molecular biologist and an immunologist working on novel immunotherapies for mesothelioma. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer that affects the lining of the chest – the pleura. Immunotherapy is an exciting and promising cancer treatment that uses the body’s immune system to fight cancer. It is the PMC’s firm belief that the future of mesothelioma treatment will involve combination therapy, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Further, rational combinations of various immunotherapies combined with traditional cancer therapies, holds the greatest promise for real progress in the treatment of mesothelioma and other cancers. The donation will help propel this initiative forward.

Upon an annual review by the anonymous donor, a grant of up to $250,000 will be awarded each year until 2021. Gifts can be made by mail (10780 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 101, Los Angeles, CA 90025) or online, at

As a result of this generous grant, the PMC are pleased to announce the appointment of two new Molecular Immunologists who have worked at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, the University of Pennsylvania and Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Masahide Tone, Ph.D will bring his immense knowledge, vast skills and leadership capabilities to the PMC lab as Senior Researcher and Director of Research. Yukiko Tone, DSc will be a senior research scientist. Their positions commence on August 21st, 2017.

“This pledge 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 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.