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MARF Grants And Other Good News - End Of The Year, 2002

Dear friends of MARF,

As the year draws to a close, MARF has hopeful news to report

2002 MARF Grants. MARF has awarded grants of $100,000 each to two excellent new mesothelioma research projects, which should translate directly to improved treatment. One will use state-of-the-art technology to identify chemical patterns in DNA that are specific for mesothelioma. This should yield a number of benefits, including more accurate and rapid diagnosis, early detection, increased ability to predict and follow patient response to treatment, and eventually, identification of tumor-suppressor genes that are silenced in mesothelioma.

The second project follows up on the success of Alimta in treating mesothelioma. Applying the new field of pharmacogenetics, this study seeks to further improve Alimta's effectiveness and lower its toxicity by individualizing it to the patient's particular genetic profile. For full details on both of these new projects, see the top heading on the MARF website homepage < http://www.marf.org >.

Alimta Available Now. Following the announcement in May of the effectiveness of Alimta in improving the survival of malignant mesothelioma patients, there has been continued and growing interest in the drug. For the benefit of patients, and their doctors, MARF has posted on the website full details on the Phase III study establishing Alimta's effectiveness, as well as how patients may obtain the drug now through the Expanded Access Program established by Lilly in conjunction with the FDA. See the second heading on the MARF website homepage <http//www.marf.org>.

MARF Annual Meeting. In mid November, the Board of Directors and Science Advisory Board met for MARF's annual meeting -- a very productive two days of reviewing our research and other programs and planning for next year. (By coordinating with a separate meeting, we were able to avoid any travel or accommodations costs to MARF). In 2003, we plan to fund more critically-needed mesothelioma research, and continue to educate patients, family members and physicians about the disease and treatment options. Also, we will be undertaking a major advocacy effort. Due to a number of events, including MARF's own awareness efforts, asbestos issues and mesothelioma are discussed in the news and in Washington like never before. We plan to capitalize on this attention, and push for a commitment of federal research funding for mesothelioma proportionate to other cancers.

Support for the Mission. In the last few weeks, we have received a number of incredibly generous gifts from patient and family-member friends of MARF. (These are being processed now and will be posted on the MARF Sponsors page of the website very soon.) The timing of these gifts is perfect, since we have expended in the last 6 weeks $200,000 directly on research -- $100,000 for the second year of the grants we awarded last year, and $100,000 for the first year of this year's grants. We are profoundly grateful to these and all our supporters -- it is your gifts which make possible our progress against the disease.

Wishing you joy and the love of family and friends this holiday season,

Christopher E. Hahn
Executive Director
The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
1609 Garden Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
tel (805) 560-8942
fax (805) 560-8962
< http://www.marf.org >

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