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Worthington, P.C. Donates $200,000 To Mesothelioma Research In 2003


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 treatment projects.

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 ***