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Pacific Mesothelioma Center Receives $100,000 Donation for Stem Cell and Vaccine Immunotherapy Research

Roger G. Worthington of Worthington & Caron, has donated $100,000 to the Pacific Mesothelioma Center (PMC). PMC, a division of the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, is home to ground-breaking stem cell and immunotherapy research of malignant pleural mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure. The donation will be used to help fund the research objective.

As a now accepted cancer treatment in combination with radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery, immunotherapy is used to help the body’s immune system fight cancer. It helps to stimulate the cancer patient’s immune system and attacks the cancer cells, working to eliminate cancer mechanisms that are often the cause of the cancer cells’ evasion of the body’s immune system.

The belief behind PMC’s research is that future treatment of mesothelioma will be a multi-step, combined therapy. This includes radiation, surgery, chemotherapy, and now, immunotherapy. PMC feels that with the right combination of different immunotherapies working in various ways, along with mesenchymal stem cells, will likely provide the highest chance of pushing towards an effective treatment option. When combined with nivolumab + iipilimumab (both FDA-approved), immunotherapy has already proven to make strides in the treatment of lung cancer and melanoma. PMC is committed to using similar clinical trials and this donation from Mr. Worthington can help make this happen.

PMC is also collaborating with the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center and in order to use the donation for more clinical trials regarding genetically-engineered mesenchymal stem cells and cryoablation-based vaccines. They will also work on developing potential pharmaceutical collaborations, allowing for a larger mesothelioma consortium and aiding in the facilitation of this critical process.

I am pleased to provide this donation to the PMC to support their fundraising efforts, and additionally to support the effort to bring novel stem cell and immunotherapy research to bedside clinical trials. It is also my sincerest hope that the pharmaceutical industry will join with the PMC in its effort to bring the latest, potentially life-saving combination immunotherapy into clinical trials for mesothelioma patients." - Roger Worthington.

Roger Worthington is a dedicated and long-time mesothelioma research advocate. In honor of his father, he helped to establish the David “Punch” Worthington Lab at the UCLA Medical Center’ David Geffen School of Medicine in 2005. The lab houses innovative research regarding treatment of lung cancer, mesothelioma, and many other occupational cancers. Unfortunately, Dr. Punch Worthington, Ph.D. passed away due to asbestos-related lung cancer in 2006.

Dr. Robert B. Cameron, a pioneer in the mesothelioma field, is one of PMC’s Scientific Advisors. He also serves as Director of UCLA’s Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program, Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, and Professor of Surgery at UCLA. He said:

This gift from Roger Worthington comes at a really exciting time in immunotherapy research. 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 uniformly fatal disease.

To learn more about Roger Worthington or our team at Worthington & Caron, call us as soon as possible. If you believe you have a case, schedule your free consultation today.

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