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The Pacific Mesothelioma Center Receives Funding For a FACS Machine For It's Mesothelioma Research

LOS ANGELES, CA, U.S., January 19, 2018 / -- The Pacific Mesothelioma Center (PMC), a division of the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (PHLBI), is pleased to announce a generous donation from Roger G. Worthington, of the law office Worthington & Caron P.C. to purchase a Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) machine to be used to speed up their ground-breaking research on chest diseases, including malignant pleural mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer affecting the lining of the chest.

The gift will be used to support PHLBI’s two new scientists – Dr. Masahide Tone and Dr. Yukiko Tone who previously worked at Cambridge University, Oxford University, University of Pennsylvania and Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Masahide Tone, the director of research at PHLBI, also mentors a dozen UCLA and LMU undergraduate students, all working on different chest-related projects. He stated, “We have a need for our own Flow Cytometry (FACS) which analyzes protein expression in tumor and immune cells. We have been using machines in collaborating laboratories, but waiting to get machine time is costing us money and slowing down our research.”

PHLBI is working on developing novel immunotherapies for mesothelioma. Immunotherapy is an exciting and promising cancer treatment that uses the body’s immune system to fight cancer. It is the PMC’s firm belief that the future of mesothelioma treatment will involve combination therapy, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Further, rational combinations of various immunotherapies combined with traditional cancer therapies holds the greatest promise for real progress in the treatment of mesothelioma and other chest-related cancers.

Roger Worthington is a long-time advocate for mesothelioma research. In 2005, in honor of his father Punch Worthington, Ph.D., Roger helped establish the David “Punch” Worthington Lab at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. The Punch Worthington Lab is the home of innovative research on novel strategies for the treatment of mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other occupational cancers. Sadly, his father passed away in 2006 from lung-cancer caused by asbestosis.

"We certainly are pleased to provide PMC with the funds to purchase this equipment for the institute,” said Mr. Worthington. “This FACS machine will enable the PMC to substantially accelerate their research and reduce their costs in the pursuit of finding better treatments for patients with a wide variety of chest diseases, including, malignant pleural mesothelioma.”

“We collaborate with physicians and researchers from UCLA and the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center,” said Dr. Robert B. Cameron, one of PHLBI’s scientific advisors. “We have a specific interest in the care of Veterans as they develop chest diseases faster and more often than almost any other group. The ultimate benefactor of this machine will be cancer patients!”

Dr. Cameron is a pioneer in the field of mesothelioma, Director of the Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program at UCLA, Professor of Surgery at UCLA and Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the West LA Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He is also one of the PMC’s Scientific Advisors.

About The Pacific Mesothelioma Center: Established in 2002, The PHLBI is a 501(c) (3) non-profit institution. The PMC, a division of the PHLBI, is focused on the treatment and prevention of malignant pleural mesothelioma. The PMC serves a growing number of mesothelioma victims by supporting the nation’s first-of-its-kind research lab which provides laboratory-to-the bedside research that improves mesothelioma victims’ lives and longevity.

Clare Cameron
The Pacific Mesothelioma Center
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