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Funding agreed for new target treatment of asbestos induced cancer


Funding of £111,750 has been awarded to University of Salford to investigate hypoxia (low oxygen levels) in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM).   

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer of the outside wall of the lungs brought on by exposure to asbestos. There are very few effective treatments to stop the disease from progressing and average life expectancy is less than 12 months post diagnosis. 

Professor Luciano Mutti, Principal Investigator and Chair in Cancer Research, School of Environment & Life Sciences, University of Salford said: 

"This funding will ensure we are able to conduct a Phase 1 trial to investigate the effects of hypoxamirs, and how they trigger signalling pathways that increase the spread of cancer. We want to understand how these particular type of microRNAs, which are more prevalent in MPM tissue, respond and react. The idea is for us to disrupt the capability of tumour cells to live on in hypoxic conditions and thus prevent further growth of the cancer cells. 

"The first line treatment for MPM is chemotherapy, this is not an effective treatment and a second treatment does not exist. If this study is successful, it will pave the way for a novel therapy to treat this cancer and give hope where there was none." 

The research study will take two years, starting in February 2017 and will be run at the University of Salford. In the UK 2,700 people are diagnosed each year, with over 20,000 people globally affected. The disease is listed as an 'orphan' disease, meaning it affects less than 5 in 10,000 in the general population.

Mesothelioma UK and British Lung Foundation are working together to award the grant of £111,750 to University of Salford with researcher Professor Luciano Mutti as the Principal investigator. 

Ian Jarrold, Head of Research at British Lung Foundation said: 

"We are pleased to administer this grant with Mesothelioma UK, this is one of many grants given to improve outcomes for patients with mesothelioma. With our new Mesothelioma Research Network, we hope by working collaboratively we can begin to bring hope to patients diagnosed with this awful disease."

Liz Darlison, Mesothelioma UK Director of Services and Consultant Nurse said: 

"Mesothelioma UK is ambitious to increase our annual research budget and we are grateful to our many supporters who have made this grant possible. We cannot think of a disease more deserving of investment or more in need of better treatments and we wish Professor Mutti and his team every success with this research."

Results from the study are expected in spring 2019.

For more information about Mesothelioma and other research work, please visit: www.blf.org.uk/mesothelioma