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Mesothelioma Research Update From The Pacific Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute (PHLBI) Los Angeles, California

Update for March 3, 2010

Pacific Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute is nearing the launch of a new mesothelioma databank that will allow mesothelioma patients to safely store and share pertinent medical information with other mesothelioma patients and researchers alike. Ultimately, this internet databank will be translated into many different languages to serve as an international mesothelioma registry. It will also be combined with a mesothelioma tissue bank to make it a true global resource. Information from this international registry and tissue bank will be used to help initiate the first large scale mesothelioma “prevention” study. Prevention of this disease by reducing the chronic inflammation associated with asbestos exposure is far more likely to be beneficial than other approaches.

Perhaps even more exciting is a new biologic toxin, PRX321, which has shown incredible promise in preliminary studies done in our Punch Worthington Research Laboratory. This toxin’s effect is based on targeting specific interleukin-4 receptors known to be present on mesothelioma cells. Preliminary data from our experiments is so dramatic that in 2010 for the first time perhaps in the history of mesothelioma treatment, we will have a new therapy that has the potential to make a huge impact in the lives of mesothelioma patients. We are joining forces with Protox, a small pharmaceutical company in Canada that produces the toxin, to begin a clinical trial using PRX321 to treat mesothelioma patients. Currently, we are working to obtain FDA approval and hope to begin treating patients by late Spring. We hope that in the very near future we will be able to offer treatment that is far less radical and at the same time much more effective.

For more information about PHLBI call (310) 478-4678 or visit www.phlbi.org

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