On December 16, 2003, Roger Worthington, P.C. donated an additional $200,000
to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF), the nation's
only 501(c)(3) non profit medical foundation whose mission is to eradicate
mesothelioma as a life-ending disease. In 2003, MARF funded six new mesothelioma
The donation will be put to work immediately. Patience is not a virtue
for those suffering from mesothelioma. They need answers, and help, right
now. With this contribution, we send a message of hope that MARF is part
of the solution. MARF has the brain power to tame the beast, but it takes
resources to fight a winning battle. Each of us -- industry, our federal
government and fellow members of the Bar -- must do what we can to replace
misery with meaningful survival.
The donation will be used in part to fund the three research projects below:
Hyperthermia with and without Adjuvant Therapy in the Treatment of Malignant
Mesothelioma. Robert Cameron of UCLA Medical School, the Principal Investigator, will
use two human mesothelioma cell lines to compare a variety of adjuvant
treatments, including hyperthermia, COX-2 inhibition, cpIL-4 toxin therapy,
and standard chemotherapy (including Alimta) in order to predict what
combination of therapies should be used in a subsequent MARF initiated
therapeutic clinical trial.
Mutant Epidermal Growth Factor Receptors (EGFR) as Targets in Mesothelioma Treatment. Dr. Eric Vallières of the Swedish Institute in Seattle, Washington
will be the Principal Investigator, along with MARF co-science advisor
Dr. Joseph Testa of the University of Pennsylvania. Mutant forms of EGFR
are important components of the oncogenic growth and proliferation of
mesothelioma. The objective will be to target the EGFRs with various small
molecule inhibitors (such as Iressa, the monocolonal antibody Erbitux
and Tarceva) which, if successful, would lay the foundation for clinical
trials and EGFR vaccines to strengthen the patient's own immunse response.
Soluble Mesothelin/MPF Related Protein (SMR) Levels in Mesothelioma: A
MARF Collaborative Study for Definition of Biomarker Classification and
Use in Therapy Monitoring. Dr. Harvey Pass of the Karmanos Cancer Institute will be the Principal
Investigator. The objective is to develop a biomarker for mesothelioma
in fluid and/or tissue that may allow clinicians to (1) diagnose the cancer
before the patient is symptomatic, (2) distinguish mesothelioma from other
epithelial cancers, and (3) monitor response to therapy (i.e,. measure
and predict recurrence). The ultimate goal will be the development of
a "home pregnancy" test for mesothelioma.
On a personal note, the donation is our way of thanking MARF for saving
my Dad's life,
David H. Worthington, Ph.D. When my Dad was diagnosed with asbestos lung cancer, I contacted several
of the MARF doctors. Within hours, Dr. Eric Vallieres, Dr. Harvey Pass
and Dr. Robert Cameron volunteered their expertise on properly diagnosing,
staging and treating his cancer. A few weeks later, I was holding my Dad's
hand in the ICU after he emerged from his surgery -- minus a lung lobe,
but essentially tumor free. MARF made his survival possible. It is my
hope that, as MARF moves closer to accomplishing its mission, one day
soon mesothelioma patients will enjoy the same prospect for a cure that
my father had.
We appreciate all the work MARF is doing to help mesothelioma patients
expand their treatment options, extend their survival and defeat the forces
of misery with the light of hope. Since 1999, Roger G. Worthington, P.C.
has donated over $600,000 to MARF's research, education and advocacy efforts.
I am also gratified that so many Worthington, P.C. clients have generously
donated to MARF's research efforts. The following Worthington P.C.
clients in 2003 donated $10,000 or more:
Janet Simkins ($50,000),
Barbara Hoffacker ($40,000, bringing her total to over $160,000),
Matthew Scott ($35,000),
Marcia Abbott ($10,000),
Klaus Brauch ($10,000), and
Janet Love ($10,000).
January 12, 2004
Roger, on behalf of all Mesothelioma patients please let me extend my sentiments
of the sincerest gratitude for your generosity and your continued commitment
to the fight against this cancer. As well as I am doing, I nevertheless
regard myself to be vulnerable to a recurrence and therefore dependent
upon research for an ultimate cure for the beast. So from myself and all
of my family, please accept our thanks.
Klaus Brauch - 32 months since diagnosis and still clear. (1/23/04)
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*** POSTED JANUARY 12, 2004 ***