Pacific Meso Center’s “Greatest Escape” Motorcycle Ride Raises Funds and Awareness for Mesothelioma Research

LOS ANGELES , CA, U.S., June 16, 2017 / — The Pacific Mesothelioma Center (PMC) at the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (PHLBI) held its 5th annual “Greatest Escape” Motorcycle Ride on Sunday, June 4. The ride, inspired by The Great Escape movie and starring actor, motorcycle enthusiast, and mesothelioma sufferer, Steve McQueen, is a unique event which honors those who have lost the fight against mesothelioma and raises money for research.

This year’s event enjoyed its biggest turnout ever! Over 200 riders participated and $78,657 was raised for mesothelioma research. For the first time, the ride kicked off from two locations-Top Rocker Harley-Davidson in Canoga Park and Antelope Valley Harley-Davidson in Lancaster. Officers from All Cities Transportation Company escorted riders out of Los Angeles with zero stops—a true luxury for riders accustomed to LA gridlock. From there, all roads led to the “twisties” and breathtaking vistas of Angeles Crest Highway on the way to historic Newcomb’s Ranch.
Riders were joined by a cast of celebrity riders, including actor/model, Fabio, Shades of Blue actor Antonio Jaramillo, American Crime actor Clayton Cardenas, and CHiPS star Larry Wilcox. Fabio, who returned for the third year as Celebrity Grand Marshal, summed up the experience, “I had a great time, it’s such a beautiful ride, one of the most beautiful rides in California”.

Things heated up at Newcomb’s Ranch where riders were joined by supporters who drove up to be part of the event and make a difference for mesothelioma sufferers. “The Sidemen” kept the event rocking with a lively mix of classic rock and blues. Fred and his crew at Newcomb’s rolled out an amazing taco lunch which many enjoyed with cold craft beer donated by Bend, Oregon brewery, Worthy Brewing. An array of vendors were there with a unique mix of items ranging from motorcycle gear to Italian ices. Also on display were over 50 raffle items including gourmet dinners, a vacation getaway to the Glen Tavern Inn, motorcycle gear, and so much more generously donated by sponsors.
With the addition of the second starting location, riders from all over Southern California were able to participate in this worthwhile event. “Motorcycle riders love the freedom of being on their bikes and going to out of the way places like Newcomb’s Ranch,” said John Caron of presenting sponsor, Worthington & Caron Asbestos Law Firm, “so it’s no surprise that more and more riders show up every year to help those who have lost their freedom to mesothelioma.”
PMC thanks everyone who participated in this year’s Greatest Escape, along with all the volunteers and sponsors who make this unique event possible.


PMC Clinical Research Study Uses Fitness Device to Monitor Patient’s Recovery After Surgery


The student intern program at PHLBI was established in 2016 to allow students to have on the site training at PHLBI’s in-house laboratory.  When students are not assisting Lead Researcher Ray Wong they are encouraged to engage in their own research projects.  One such project is clinical research centered on measuring a patient’s recovery after surgery led by student intern Blair Kimble.  Kimble has worked closely with PHLBI staff to recruit patients and monitor their recovery by loaning them FitBit devices that in turn will monitor how much activity they are getting, how much they are sleeping, what their heart rate is, and other valuable health information items on the patient.  Below Kimble discusses her project at greater length including what she hopes the research will ultimately demonstrate.

About the Study

When a surgery is successful, its success is not determined as the incisions are closed up. A surgery is a success when the patient has a smooth recovery and can return back to their daily lives. The comfort and recovery of a patient is a top priority for physicians, but the amount of time available every day to evaluate that recovery is incredibly limited. In having such a small window in which to evaluate a patients progress, a physician may not be able to see everything relevant.

With PHLBI’s newest clinical research project, we have designed a way we hope to measure patient recovery. In giving patients a Fitbit® activity monitor, we are able to collect data about their walking, their heart rate, and their sleep both before and after surgery. Using their data from before surgery as a baseline for their activity, we are then able to track how quickly they return to that normal baseline after surgery.

This research investigates some of the first quantitative measures of surgical patient recovery ever collected. Until now, recovery has been evaluated subjectively, but with objective data, we may be able to correlate certain kinds of physiological factors with a faster discharge from the hospital and smooth recovery after going home from the hospital. We expect that constant monitoring of patients in a quantitative, objective manner will be a more reliable and complete representation of their recovery than anything that has been collected before.

We are currently in the pilot portion of the research, focusing on making sure the data collected is accurate. We plan to soon move on to running a randomized trial where some patients will get access to their activity data measured by the Fitbit® and some will not. This will allow us to compare the pace of recovery between those who get feedback and those who not and hopefully show that the quantitative data is motivating for patients. We hope to ultimately demonstrate that with an activity monitor, we can help patients recover to their own baseline of activity faster and return to their daily life.

About the Author


Blair Kimble is a third year undergraduate student at UCLA. She has been working at PHLBI for two years and has spent one year developing this clinical research. She also does immunotherapy research and plans to apply to medical school this summer. Blair practices martial arts and loves to cook.

Two New Board Members Join The Pacific Mesothelioma Center to Help Fight Mesothelioma

Kellie Sutherland (2)

LOS ANGELES, April 10th 2017 – The Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (PHLBI), a division of which is the Pacific Mesothelioma Center (PMC), has announced the appointment of Kellie Sutherland and Joseph Garland to its board of directors.

Kellie, an engineer who has worked with Northrop-Grumman for the past nine years, received her Masters of Arts in Organization Management and a Bachelors of Science in Business Management at the University of Phoenix. Kellie has volunteered for the Institute for the last 2 years, arranging health fairs and lunch meetings to raise awareness for mesothelioma and has headed up a Northrop- Grumman walk team each year. She is appointed to the role of Secretary of the Board.

“I was impressed with this organization from the very beginning and that is why I have carried a banner for them. Now I am more than excited about being part of this board at this important time for the Institute as they make big strides in their mesenchymal stem cell research” said Kellie. I am honored to be working with such an amazing and dedicated team”.

Joseph Garland (21)The second appointment to the board is Joseph Garland, who is the Managing Partner and CEO at Centennial Harvest Group. Joseph has over 20 years in healthcare. He is board certified in Healthcare management and holds the distinction of Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives.

He received an MBA in Health Services Management at Keller Graduate School of Management and a Masters in Health Administration from USC. Joseph is committed to advancing public health while improving Healthcare organization’s outcomes and sustainability.

“What interests me most about committing my time and energy to PHLBI is their mission and commitment to health advancements through research and innovation, and as such I feel the PMC’s mission is a good fit for me” Joseph stated.

“We are delighted with the appointment of both these dedicated and passionate individuals to the board of directors at a crucial time as we move forward in our fight to defeat mesothelioma”, said Rhonda Ozanian, chair of the board of directors at the PMC.

Fabio Returns as Celebrity Grand Marshal for the 5th Annual “The Greatest Escape” Motorcycle Ride


Model Fabio Returns as Celebrity Grand Marshal for the 5th Annual “The Greatest Escape” Motorcycle Ride for Mesothelioma Research in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, CALIFONIA , USA, April 4, 2017 / — The Pacific Mesothelioma Center (PMC) at the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (PHLBI) is thrilled to announce the fifth annual “The Greatest Escape” Motorcycle Ride, proudly presented by Asbestos Injury Law Firm Worthington & Caron, P.C. The ride will be on Sunday June 4, 2017 and, for the first time ever, will start at two locations: Top Rocker Harley Davidson in Canoga Park and Antelope Valley Harley Davidson in Lancaster. The escorted ride will follow routes through beautiful Angeles National Forrest, concluding at historic Newcomb’s Ranch on Angeles Crest Highway. The event benefits victims of mesothelioma, a devastating cancer caused by asbestos that disproportionally affects veterans who were exposed to asbestos while serving their country.

Both starting locations will open for check-in, registration, and refreshments at 8:30 a.m. At 10 a.m. it’s “kickstands up” as riders are escorted on their way to the twisting and scenic roads of Angeles National Forrest. Riders will be joined by Celebrity Grand Marshal Fabio, along with a host of celebrities including Larry Wilcox of CHiP’s, Sons of Anarchy actor Rusty Coones, Mayans M.C. actor Antonio Jaramillo, Buffy the Vampire actress Kristy Swanson, and Olympic medalist Lloyd Eisler. All roads lead to Newcomb’s Ranch where riders will enjoy a BBQ lunch, refreshing Worthy Brewing craft beers, live music, raffle, and prizes valued at thousands of dollars. K-Earth 101 Morning Show DJ, Gary Bryan, will serve as emcee for the festivities at the Ranch.

Inspired by “The Great Escape” movie and its star, motorcycle enthusiast Steve McQueen who lost his own battle with mesothelioma in 1980, the ride brings hundreds of riders and non-riders together to honor those who fought valiantly against mesothelioma, support those currently fighting the disease, and raise money for research into a cure.

Celebrity model Fabio states “I am honored to once again serve as Grand Marshal for the Greatest Escape Motorcycle Ride to benefit the Pacific Mesothelioma Center. It is a great event for an important cause and I look forward to seeing everyone out there on June 4th”.

The event is open to all–riders as well as non-riders who simply want to join the fun. The registration fee is $35 for riders and $15 for passengers who register online by June 3, 2017. On-site registration is an additional $5. The fee includes a ride pin, bandanna, lunch, entertainment, and parking. For non-riders tickets are $20 for lunch, entertainment, and parking. To register, visit To sponsor this event, contact Clare Cameron at (310) 478-4678 or email All proceeds will go towards mesothelioma research and improving the quality of life for victims of mesothelioma.

About Us: Established in 2002, PHLBI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit institution. The PMC, a division of the PHLBI, is focused on the treatment and prevention of malignant pleural mesothelioma. The PMC serves a growing number of mesothelioma victims by supporting the nation’s first-of-its-kind research lab which provides laboratory-to-the bedside research that improves mesothelioma victims’ lives and longevity.


Global Images USA Presents An Exclusive Showing of Original Photographic Works & Cocktail Party Event

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Pacific Mesothelioma Center for its innovative mesothelioma research.

Global Images USALOS ANGELES, CA, U.S., January 17, 2017 / — On Wednesday, January 25th Global Images USA will host an art gallery viewing and cocktail evening showcasing iconic works from world-renowned photographers at a private Hollywood Hills residence (7044 Los Tilos Ave, Los Angeles, 90068) from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy beautiful art works, great company, and award-winning locally brewed beer and cocktails. A portion of proceeds from the sale of these art pieces benefit The Pacific Mesothelioma Center (PMC), a nonprofit medical research institute that focuses on innovative mesothelioma research. Mesothelioma is a devastating form of cancer that results from exposure to asbestos and commonly affects the lining of the chest– the pleura.

This event is geared towards art collectors, photography fans, and old Hollywood aficionados. The prints and original art works for sale cover a broad spectrum of themes, offering something of interest for everyone. The eclectic assortment includes high fashion prints, intimate portraits, behind the scenes of the old Hollywood elite, aerial photography, and conceptual oil and acrylic paintings. There is no admission fee to attend the party. Guests will have the opportunity to purchase these works through a silent auction with a minimum bid and a buy-out option. The lists of artists whose works will be for sale include Helmut Newton, Frank Worth, David LaChapelle, Timothy White, Daniel Furon, Arney Freytag, Stephan Wayda, Ann McFerran, and many more. Additionally, some of the artists will be present at the event, offering perspective and background on their work and personally signing their sold prints.

The Pacific Mesothelioma Center’s Executive Director Clare Cameron shared “We are excited to partake in this wonderful event that brings together the art and the nonprofit world. Furthermore, we are delighted that Global Images USA thought of including us in this lovely evening,” she concluded.

About Global Images USA:
Global Images USA’s goal is to provide high quality, iconic images that complement any taste, location, or budget and provide great customer and artist experience. Their collections have been carefully selected to elicit an emotion that resonates with everyone and are excellently displayed in someone’s home, office, or as a gift.

5th Annual 5K Walk/Hike for Meso Raises Over $122,000 for Mesothelioma Research

5th Annual 5K Walk / Hike for Meso Raises Over $122,000 for Mesothelioma ResearchLOS ANGELES, CA , U.S., November 17, 2016 / — The Pacific Mesothelioma Center at the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute celebrated the fifth anniversary of its annual 5K Walk/Hike for Meso on Oct. 23rd 2016, at the Paramount Ranch. With over 350 walkers, the event raised $122,000 to find better treatments for malignant pleural mesothelioma, an asbestos-related form of cancer. Mesothelioma affects almost 3,000 people in the US each year, one third of whom are veterans.

Presented by Worthington & Caron, P.C, the event brought together people who can personally relate to the cause. Twenty four teams, consisting of family members and friends of those who have mesothelioma, as well as supporting organizations and individual walkers, gathered at the park at 9 a.m. for check-in and team photos. Each registrant received a free T-shirt before leaving on the 5K or 1-mile hike.

The walkers had an opportunity to test their memory skills by remembering the many “meso awareness” statements dotted around the course. The first 10 correct answers received AMC movie tickets.

After the Walk, participants enjoyed a catered lunch by local Agoura Hills favorite Italia Deli. The event also offered David’s Tea, Duverger Macaroons, Monster energy drinks, Mustache Mike’s Italian Ice and a concert by The Six Billion Dollar Band. The live auction featured items such as a photo safari for two in South Africa and a VIP LA Dodgers package. The silent auction and opportunity drawing featured items such as gift baskets, dining and adventure certificates and weekend getaways.

Prior to the day of the event, participants were also encouraged to fundraise on their own and compete for an engraved Top Fundraising Team award. Besides asking for donations, some teams took a creative route in raising their funds and awareness for the cause, such as a Pasta Party by Team Jarvis, and a Powerball at Captain’s Treasure Chest by Team Ganoe.

Many walk to honor those they have lost to this devastating disease. Returning walker Jennipher Baeza states “Research for this cancer is extremely underfunded, and by walking, not only do we raise money for research, we also raise awareness. My dad, like many others, suffered in a way that no one should have to, and I hope one day that no family or individual has to live through the devastating effects of mesothelioma. I participate in this walk each year because I made a promise to my dad before he passed away that I will continue his fight”.

New Board Member Alexa McCulloch Joins The Pacific Mesothelioma Center

Alexa McCullochAlexa McCulloch Brings Her Expertise to Help Fight Mesothelioma

LOS ANGELES, CA, U.S.A, November 3, 2016 / — The Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (PHLBI), a division of which is the Pacific Mesothelioma Center, has announced the appointment of Alexa McCulloch to the position of treasurer on its board of directors. Alexa is a skilled financial strategist, an experienced fundraiser for public, private and non-profit boards and has personally helped companies raise in excess of $50 million.

Alexa received an M.B.A from Harvard University, has an M.S in Mechanical Engineering and an M.S and B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, graduating with honors. She has served on numerous for-profit and non-profit boards both here in the USA and the UK.

“I am excited about helping this innovative research organization as they try to find answers to this devastating disease that disproportionately affects our veterans”, said Alexa. “My overall board experiences have allowed me to serve on high performing boards as well as those that required improvements. As such, I always work to ensure that boards on which I serve strive to attain the highest performance possible”.

“Alexa has extensive experience in executive leadership at several non-profits, and the financial skills that she gained by working as an investment banker, private equity and venture capital investor at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse, will be invaluable in reviewing our organization’s financial position, prospects and filings” said Rhonda Ozanian, chair of the board of directors at the PHLBI.

The Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute HONORED AS TOP-RATED NONPROFIT for 2016

The Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute HONORED AS TOP-RATED NONPROFIT for 2016The Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute  announced today that it has been honored with a prestigious Top-Rated Award by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations. “We are excited to be named a Top-Rated [enter year] Nonprofit,” says Clare Cameron, Executive Director, at the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (PHLBI)]. We are proud of our accomplishments this year, including  The Top-Rated Nonprofit award was based on the large number of positive reviews that PHLBI received – reviews written by volunteers, donors and clients.

People posted their personal experience with the nonprofit. For example, one person wrote, “As a mesothelioma patient looking for answers for this devastating disease I am very encouraged by the work at this center and the progress being made in the research lab. I had the opportunity to tour the lab when I attended the PMC Holiday Open House and learn about the exciting research being conducted with mesenchymal stem cells in conjuction with immubotherapy.  I learned a great deal and was truly impressed with all of the work and expertise of the staff”.

While the Top-Rated Awards run through the end of October, The Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute  was part of the inaugural group to qualify for the year. In addition, we’ll been added to GreatNonprofits #GivingTuesday Guide—an interactive guide to top nonprofits throughout the years. Look for this near the holidays. “Savvy donors want to see the impact of their donations more than ever,” said Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits, “People with direct experience with PHLBI have voted that the organization is making a real difference.” Being on the Top-Rated list gives donors and volunteers more confidence that this is a credible organization. The reviews by volunteers, clients and other donors show the on-the-ground results of this nonprofit. This award is a form of recognition by the community.

Researchers Offer New Hope to Meso Sufferers at the 6th International Symposium on Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

 6th International Symposium on Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

The Symposium on MPM Draws a Distinguished Panel of Scholars, Researchers, and Clinicians to UCLA to Discuss the Latest Breakthroughs in Detection & Treatment

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, September 30, 2016 / — The 6th International Symposium on Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma was held on Saturday, September 24, at the UCLA Meyer & Renee Luskin Conference Center. The focal point of the symposium was on clinical therapies and research data to prevent, detect and treat malignant pleural mesothelioma. Health care professionals including physicians, nurses, and scientists joined students, mesothelioma patients and their families to attend this informative and educational conference. The Symposium was co-hosted by The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the Pacific Mesothelioma Center (PMC).
The morning session was opened by symposium chair, Dr. Robert B. Cameron, MD, FACS, who discussed options for intraoperative adjuvant therapies. “Adjuvant therapy enhances primary therapy,” said Dr. Cameron, Professor of Clinical Cardiothoracic Surgery and Surgical Oncology. The highlights of his presentation centered on how these therapies supplemented standard of care treatments through preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative therapeutic modalities. Dr. Cameron is a pioneer in the field of mesothelioma, Director of the Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program at UCLA, Senior Professor of Surgery at UCLA, and Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

“This year was incredibly hopeful as there are new biological advances likely to lead to new treatments in the future” said Dr. Cameron. “Immunotherapy is advancing rapidly and many other therapies, including thermal, chemical, gene and cell-based therapies are on the horizon”.
Additional presentation topics included an update on mesothelioma clinical trials, treatment options such as Cryoablation, Immunotherapy, Mesenchymal Stem Cells, HOX Genes, Targeting Dendritic Cells in Vivo, and East-West approaches to cancer. Other subjects such as the benefits of nurse navigators and tissue-banking resources for researchers were also presented during the symposium.

The symposium’s other distinguished faculty included: Edgar G. Engleman, MD, Professor of Pathology and Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine Palo Alto; Thierry M. Jahan, MD, Professor of Medicine, UCSF; Edward K. Moon, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; Richard Morgan, PhD Director of The Institute of Cancer Therapeutics University of Bradford, England; Daniel H. Sterman, MD, Director of Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine NYU; Haining Yang, MD, PhD Professor Cancer Biology Program University of Hawaii; Olga Olevsky, MD, oncologist UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica and assistant clinical professor at UCLA; Fereidoun Abtin, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Radiology, UCLA; Raymond Wong, PhD research scientist at PMC and PHLBI; Ka-Kit Hui, MD, UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, UCLA; Graciela Hoal, R.N., N.P, nurse practitioner at the Mesothelioma Center for Excellence at the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center; and Clare Cameron, PHLBI executive director; PHLBI.

The symposium was supported by: Worthington & Caron, P.C., Eli Lilly and Company, The International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators, and Waters & Kraus.

Making Strides for Mesothelioma Research: At the 5th Annual 5K Walk/Hike for Mesothelioma

5th Annual 5K Walk/Hike for Mesothelioma ResearchGrab Your Walking Shoes and Join Us for the 5th Annual 5K Walk/Hike for Mesothelioma Research on Sunday, October 23rd at The Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills

AGOURA HILLS, CALIFORNIA, U.S., September 23, 2016 / — The Pacific Mesothelioma Center (PMC) at the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute will hold its fifth annual 5K Walk/Hike for Meso on October 23, 2016, at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills, CA. With the previous year’s success of 330 participants and over $100,000 raised, this year, the Pacific Mesothelioma Center is setting an ambitious $150,000 goal for the walk. PMC’s mission is to find better treatment options for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), a devastating cancer caused by exposure to asbestos with sadly few treatment options. Mesothelioma affects thousands of people each year with a disproportionate number of those being veterans. The annual 5K walk raises awareness for mesothelioma, and provides financial support for pioneering mesothelioma research.

The 5K Walk for Mesothelioma, presented by Worthington & Caron P.C, is the only annual 5K walk on the West coast held to raise funds for mesothelioma research. Over the years the walk has brought together people who can personally relate to the cause and as a result has fostered a community. Teams, consisting of family members and friends of those who died of mesothelioma, as well as supporting organizations and individual walkers and volunteers will gather together on October 23rd to raise awareness and funds.

The cost of registering for the walk is $35 online and $40 the day of the walk. Children 12 and under are admitted for free. Each registrant receives a PMC walk T-shirt before leaving on the 5K or 1-mile hike, and a medal upon completion. For participants that do not want to walk or hike, bingo will be available. Create a team, join a team, or register as an individual here: .

After the 5K there will be a catered lunch by famed Agoura Hills restaurant Italia’s Deli, delicious Duvurger macaroons, vendor booths set up, live entertainment by The Six Billion Dollar Band, live auction, and an opportunity drawing. The opportunity drawing and auction offer great prizes including weekend getaways, great restaurant packages, fun excursions gift certificates, jewelry, and much more. All of the proceeds go directly to mesothelioma research

“We walk together in memory of my father, Chuck Jarvis Sr, a wonderful man who passed away from this disease,” said Chuck Jarvis Jr. about this year’s walk. “It is important to me and my family that we continue to fight in his honor.”