2011 Symposium Presentations

Experimental Strategies in Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Paul Sugarbaker, MD, Washington Cancer Institute

Dr. Sugarbaker was raised in the mid-west. His elementary and high school education was in Jefferson City, Missouri. He attended college at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He graduated from Cornell University Medical College and went from there for his surgical training to the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston. This is the Harvard University Program in Surgery. Here, he studied with Francis Daniels Moore, MD and went on to become the Arthur Tracy Cabot Fellow in Surgery at Harvard. He received in 1983 a Masters Degree in Immunology by studying tumor immunology at the Harvard School of Arts and Sciences. He was at the National Institutes of Health as a Senior Investigator from 1976 to 1986. After three years in Atlanta at the Emory Clinic he moved back to Washington, DC to become the Director of the Washington Cancer Institute. After a little more than three years at this position he became Director of the Program in Peritoneal Surface Oncology at the Washington Cancer Institute. He holds that title until the present time.

Currently, his clinical and investigative work is directed at the peritoneal surface component of cancer. His interests are in gastrointestinal cancer especially appendiceal malignancy and peritoneal mesothelioma. Dr. Sugarbaker is a strong critic of current surgical tradition. He believes that major changes in the technology of cancer resection are necessary. Chemosurgery (cytoreductive surgery plus hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy) are grossly underutilized by the practicing cancer surgeon. His theme, "It's what the surgeon doesn't see that kills the patient," summarizes the concepts behind his 850 publications in the oncologic literature.

H. Richard Alexander, MD, University of Maryland

Dr. Alexander is an internationally recognized surgical oncologist and clinical researcher. He treats cancer patients at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center and is associate chairman for clinical research in the University of Maryland Department of Surgery. Dr. Alexander is recognized for developing innovative techniques to treat patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma. His clinical research program has been instrumental in establishing that operative cytoreduction and intra-operative hyperthermic perfusion with chemotherapy is associated with durable clinical benefit. His laboratory is focused on identifying new therapeutic interventions based on elucidating the molecular profiles and cellular pathways that are activated in peritoneal mesothelioma.

Robert N. Taub, MD, PhD, Columbia University Medical Center

Dr. Robert Taub is a medical oncologist and hematologist at Columbia Medical Center specializing in the diagnosis and clinical care of patients with malignant mesothelioma. Dr. Taub serves as director of Columbia's Mesothelioma Center, where he is developing combined chemotherapeutic and surgical techniques that are highly effective in combating mesothelioma, a terminal malignancy. Dr. Taub is exploring clinical trials involving multimodal treatment algorithms with a specialization in intracavitary chemotherapy for patients diagnosed with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma and lung-preserving therapies for pleural mesothelioma. Dr. Taub works closely with the Columbia Comprehensive Cancer Center’s team of oncologists and the Department of thoracic oncology.

Dr. Taub’s extensive experience has led him to impress upon patients that even though one particular treatment regimen may not result in efficacy for a particular patient, there are others available, including experimental therapies. His work has been recognized and awarded by the Beth Israel Cancer Research Fund, the Mount Sinai Hospital, and the American Cancer Society. Throughout the course of his career he has worked in a number of areas including medical oncology, immunology, hematology, and internal medicine.

Edward Levine, MD, Wake Forest University

Edward Levine is Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Surgical Oncology Service. He is 1 of 6 faculty members of the Surgical Oncology Service. He received his medical degree at the Chicago Medical School in 1985. His residency in general surgery was as the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. He subsequently completed a surgical oncology fellowship at the University of Illinois 1990-1992. After his surgical training, Dr. Levine joined the faculty at Louisiana State University in New Orleans where he was promoted to Associate Professor in 1997. He joined the Wake Forest University faculty in August 1998 and was promoted to Professor in 2002. He has published over 175 scientific articles and book chapters.

Dr. Levine's clinical interests are related to general surgical oncology with a focus on mesothelioma, melanoma, sarcoma, breast and gastrointestinal malignancy. He is director of the Surgical Oncology Clinics, the multimodality breast clinic and the surgical oncology Conference (“Tumor Board”) for the Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Levine is a member of the Internal Advisory Board of the Wake Forest University Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Levine is the principal investigator for approximately 25 current clinical/translational protocols and is committed to clinical/translational research. These involve the National Surgical Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) and the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG) for which he is the institutional principal investigator. He is also the leader of the Wake Forest University program of Cytoreductive Surgery and Intraperitoneal Hyperthermic Chemotherapy for Peritoneal Carcinomatosis, which is the second largest such program in the western hemisphere. He is also the recipient of grants from the National Cancer Institute, Industry, and Cancer Center funding translational research involving the genomic analysis of solid tumors.

James Pingpank, MD, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)

Dr. James Pingpank is a surgical oncologist and expert in treating peritoneal mesothelioma and other disorders of the abdomen / peritoneum as a member of the Surgical Oncology Division at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). He has received board certification in both surgery and general surgery and specializes in using a combination of surgery and localized chemotherapy to treat this rare, and often difficult to treat, type of asbestos cancer. Dr. Pingpank has been involved with several clinical trials designed to evaluate new treatment options for patients with peritoneal mesothelioma and his writings have been published in a number of medical journals and publications including The American Surgeon and The Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Dr. Pingpank earned his medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washinton D.C. In addition to a fellowship that he completed at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Dr. Pingpank also completed two residencies, one at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center located in Philadelphia and another in Connecticut at the University of Connecticut Health Sciences Center in Farmington. Prior to joining UPMC, Dr.

Pingpank served in the capacity of Head of Surgical Metabolism at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Maryland.

John Chabot, MD – Moderator, Columbia University Medical Center

Dr. John Chabot is the Vice Chair for General Surgery and Division Chief, GI/Endocrine Surgery at the New York - Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY. Dr.Chabot is responsible for the surgical management of patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma. His current research involves the use of surgery, intraperitoneal chemotherapy and immunotherapy in treating peritoneal mesothelioma.

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Experimental Strategies in Malignant Mesothelioma

Raffit Hassan, MD, National Cancer Institute

Dr. Hassan, is an Investigator and Chief of the Solid Tumor Immunotherapy Section in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Hassan is a medical oncologist whose laboratory and clinical research is focused on developing novel therapies for the treatment of mesothelioma. Work done by him and his collaborators has shown that mesothelin, a tumor antigen which was discovered at the NCI, is a useful target for tumorspecific therapy of malignant mesothelioma. His group is presently conducting clinical trials of three different agents targeting mesothelin namely, SS1P an anti-mesothelin immunotoxin, MORAb-009 a chimeric anti-mesothelin monoclonal antibody and CRS-207 a mesothelin tumor vaccine.

David Schrump, MD, National Institute of Health

Dr. Schrump graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, and completed his general surgery residency at the University of Chicago as well as a 3-year research fellowship in human cancer immunology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Following completion of his thoracic surgery residency at the University of Michigan in 1993, Dr. Schrump was appointed Assistant Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UT-MD Anderson Cancer Center. In 1997, he was appointed Head of Thoracic Oncology, Surgery Branch, NCI, receiving NIH tenure in 2006. In 2010 he received a MBA in Health Services Management from Johns Hopkins University. His clinical interests include surgical management of complex thoracic malignancies, and his translational research efforts are focused on epigenetic mechanisms of gene expression in thoracic malignancies and the utilization of chromatin remodeling agents for the treatment and prevention of these neoplasms.

David J. Sugarbaker, MD, Brigham & Women’s Hospital

David J. Sugarbaker is the Richard E. Wilson Professor of Surgical Oncology at Harvard Medical School, the Chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Philip E. Lowe Senior at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Sugarbaker attended Wheaton College in Wheaton Illinois and then went on to attend Cornell University Medical College in New York. He completed his residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and his cardiothoracic training at the Toronto General Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada. Following his training in Toronto in 1988, Dr. Sugarbaker return to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston appointed as Chief of the newly formed Division of Thoracic Surgery.

The Division of Thoracic Surgery has grown to one of the largest in the nation performing over 3500 cases/year with 14 staff surgeons and 3 research associates. Dr. Sugarbaker pioneered the technique of extrapleural pneumonectomy and its application to patients with mesothelioma. He has developed innovative multimodality therapies and directed translation research programs in this disease that are known worldwide. He is Founder and Director of the International Pleural Mesothelioma Program at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

During Dr. Sugarbaker’s tenure at the Harvard Medical School, he has had the opportunity of mentoring many residents both in the General Surgery Program and the Cardiothoracic Program. Dr. Sugarbaker is well known both on a national and international level. He travels extensively being invited to lecture at various hospitals, society and association meetings here in the United States, Europe, Japan, China and Australia. Dr. Sugarbaker has published extensively in all the top journals and textbooks and has just published a textbook on thoracic surgery.

Joshua Sonett, MD, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

Joshua R. Sonnett is the Chief of General Thoracic Surgery, Surgical Director of the Lung Transplant Program, and an Attending Surgeon at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. He is also a Professor of Clinical Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is instrumental in making the Thoracic Surgery program at Columbia University one of the best in the US and is one of the youngest Professors of Surgery with Tenure at the major academic institutions in the United States.

Dr. Sonett is best known for his work in the multidisciplinary treatment of lung and esophageal malignancies. Leading work in minimally invasive treatment of lung and esophageal cancer. Dr. Sonett and his team at Columbia are leaders developing and teaching techniques in Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS) and Minimally Invasive Esophageal (MIE) surgery, allowing surgeons to incorporate these techniques in to their daily practices.

Manish Patel, MD, University of Minnesota

Dr. Patel received a BS in Molecular Biology from Vanderbilt University in 1996. He then attended Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, receiving a Doctor of Osteopathy degree in 2001. Dr. Patel then pursued residency in Internal Medicine at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University. He followed this with a clinical research fellowship at Winthrop University Hospital (Mineola, NY) from 2004-2005. Since 2005, he has been engaged in laboratory research in the area of thoracic malignancies including mesothelioma at the University of Minnesota. Upon completion of his fellowship in 2010, he joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota with a clinical and research emphasis on thoracic malignancies. His primary research focus is on virus therapy for mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Daniel Sterman, MD, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center

Dr. Sterman is currently Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Professor of Medicine in Surgery, and the Director of the PENN Interventional Pulmonology Program and Clinical Director of the Thoracic Oncology Gene Therapy Program of the Center for Lung Cancer and Related Disorders of the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. His clinical interests are related to the treatment of thoracic malignancies, specifically as they apply to the synergy of molecular medicine and novel technologies in Interventional Pulmonology. His research interests are in the translation of laboratory discoveries from the bench to the bedside: conducting human clinical trials of gene therapy and vaccine therapy for lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other pleural malignancies.

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Raising the Bar in Mesothelioma Research

Axel Hanauske, MD, PhD, MBA, Eli Lilly & Co., Co-Chair, Meso Foundation Board of Directors

Axel-Rainer Hanauske, MD, PhD, MBA is a medical oncologist whose scientific work focuses on drug development, translational research, and treatment individualization. In 1996 when he was the deputy Chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the Technical University in Munich, Dr. Hanauske and his group discovered the activity of Alimta/Cisplatin in mesothelioma as part of a Phase I study of the drug. He personally treated the first mesothelioma patient in the world with the combination of Alimta and Cisplatin, and the patient had a dramatic response. Dr. Hanauske and his group worked out the treatment regimen for Alimta/Cisplatin that is now currently used world wide. In 2000, Lilly invited him to continue to pursue development of his regimen by joining Lilly for the large Phase III clinical study (led by former Meso Foundation's Board of Director Chair Nicholas J. Vogelzang, MD), which led to the FDA’s approval of Alimta for treatment of mesothelioma, the first drug ever approved for the disease, which until then was considered hopelessly unresponsive to chemotherapy.

Dr. Hanauske is currently Global Brand Development Leader, Eli Lilly & Co. in Indianapolis and Professor of Medicine at the Technical University in Munich. He has given dozens of presentations on mesothelioma and how to treat it, with an emphasis on the ongoing dangers of asbestos. Dr. Hanauske will utilize his extensive experience with mesothelioma drug development to help the Board of Directors guide the Foundation’s research program closer to a cure.

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Discovery / Progress - Mesothelioma Research and the Dept. of Defense (DoD)

Lee Krug, MD
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Chair, Science Advisory Board and Meso Foundation Board of Directors

Lee M. Krug, MD, is an Associate Attending Physician in the Division of Thoracic Oncology, Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, New York where he completed a fellowship and chief fellowship in medical oncology. Dr. Krug is the Director of the Mesothelioma Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Krug has investigated multimodality approaches for patients with early stage malignant pleural mesothelioma. He led a multicenter U.S. trial of induction chemotherapy before extrapleural pneumonectomy, and he has a current study testing the feasibility of chemotherapy followed by pleural radiation. Dr. Krug also has a strong interest in novel therapeutics for patients with more advanced disease. He conducted a phase I trial with a WT-1 peptide vaccine, and he was awarded a grant from the Department of Defense to conduct a randomized phase II trial with this vaccine. He is also the principal investigator of an international, phase III trial of a histone deacetylase inhibitor, vorinostat. Dr. Krug led the committee for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) that established treatment guidelines for mesothelioma. He is the chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board at the Meso Foundation and also serves on the Board of Directors.

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Palliative Care is Not a Dirty Word

Fran Heller, LMSW, New York Presbyterian - Columbia University Medical Center

Fran Heller received her Masters of Social Work from Yeshiva University. She is the Senior Social Worker on the Palliative Care Consult Service at NY Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center. This is an interdisciplinary team consisting of a social worker, nurse practitioner and MD. The team addresses many quality of life issues confronting patients with a life limiting diagnosis and seeks to reduce suffering on physical, emotional and spiritual levels.

This is done mostly by addressing symptoms and working together with the patients’ families from a holistic perspective. She is also involved in the Narrative Medicine program at Columbia and has been co-facilitator for the past 3 years of the Team Continuum Narrative Writing Program for Patients, Caregivers, and Clinicians.

Nicole Goetz, DNP, FNP- C, New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

Nicole Goetz, Assistant Clinical Professor of Nursing at the Columbia University School of Nursing, is a nurse practitioner in the Division of Upper GI and Endocrine Surgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. She manages patients’ surgical experiences, and conducts pre-op, post-op, episodic, emergent, and routine follow-up office visits. Dr. Goetz earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in biology and nursing at Pace University in New York City. She completed a Doctorate of Nursing Practice at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Her doctoral work involved creating an online support group for patients with metastatic or recurrent pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

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National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank

Michael Becich, MD, Ph D
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Michael Becich, MD, PhD, is a professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Becich, who also is a professor of pathology, of information services/telecommunications and clinical/translational sciences, has research interests in translational bioinformatics, pathology informatics, oncology informatics and tissue banking informatics. He is principal investigator or plays major roles in a number of large grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other funding entities. Some of these grant studies focus on: clinical and translational bioinformatics; expansion of the National Mesothelioma Virtual Registry and Tissue Bank; and skin cancer, for which he is a core director for a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant from the NIH. In addition, Becich is associate director of the University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Research Institute and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. He earned his MD and PhD in medicine and experimental pathology at Northwestern University, was a resident in anatomic pathology at Washington University in St. Louis, and completed fellowships in pathology at the University of Nebraska and in experimental cell biology at Washington University.

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Mesothelioma Legal Panel

 

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Mesothelioma Genetics Project

Jill Ohar, MD
Wake Forest University School of Medicine

Jill A. Ohar, MD, is Professor of Medicine in the Section on Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy & Immunologic Disease, at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Dr. Ohar is also Director of Clinical Operations at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. She is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine, critical care medicine, and pulmonary disease.

Dr. Ohar earned her bachelor of science degree, graduating magna cum laude, from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and her medical degree from Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Her postdoctoral training included an internship in obstetrics/gynecology at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and a residency in medicine at Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, where she completed a subsequent clinical fellowship in pulmonary diseases. A clinical investigator and a frequent guest lecturer, Dr. Ohar is the author or coauthor of numerous journal articles, reviews, abstracts, and book chapters. She sits on the editorial board for Journal of COPD Management and is Ad Hoc Reviewer for New England Journal of Medicine, European Respiratory Journal, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, and Chest. She has published in such journals as Critical Care Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Chest, among others. She is a member of the American College of Physicians and the American Thoracic Society and a fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians.

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Making the Case for Federal Funding for Mesothelioma - Briefing on Capitol Hill
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Government Benefits: Know Your Options

Jennifer Bires, MSW, LCSW, Senior Social Worker - Division of Hematology/Oncology

Jennifer Bires graduated with her MSW from Washington University in St. Louis. Since graduating, she has worked at George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates outpatient Cancer Center where she is now Senior Oncology Social Worker. She is well respected by peers and colleagues alike, and is charged with ensuring the highest quality of life possible for both patients and family members, taking into account social, familial, economic and logistical needs. Jennifer runs a variety of support groups for patients and families. In addition to the psycho-social care she provides, she also helps secure funding for medications, co-pays, transportation, food, and other logistical needs patients may have when going through treatment. Currently she is championing a new Foundation specific to the Medical Faculty Associates Cancer Center which, when in service, will provide needed services to low income patients.

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Global Perspectives in Malignant Mesothelioma

Luciano Mutti, Vercelli Hospital, Italy

Luciano Mutti gained his medical degree in 1982 from Genoa University, Italy. He holds a speciality in Respiratory Medicine from University of Genoa and a PhD in Oncology from University of Turin, Italy. Currently, Dr Mutti is Chief of the Department of General Medicine and Director of the Lab of Clinical Oncology in Vercelli Hospital, Italy. He is also filling the position ad interim of Consultant in Oncology at Royal Marsden in London.  He is the current President of the Italian Group for the study of Mesothelioma (G.I.Me), Italian Director of the IMIG Borad (International Mesothelioma Interest Group) and Director of the scientific committee of the Buzzi Foundation for the research on Mesothelioma. He has published over 100 papers on preclinical and clinical studies on Mesothelioma and with his group has been developing novel approaches to the treatment of this tumor.

Liz Darlison, NP, Mesothelioma UK

Liz trained at Charles Frears School of Nursing in Leicester qualifying in 1986. Since 1992 she has been based within the cardio-respiratory directorate of the University Hospitals of Leicester at the Glenfield Hospital site. Liz was a ward sister/manager in respiratory for several years and in June 2000 she took up the post of Respiratory Nurse Specialist (Lung Cancer). Liz’s interests within lung cancer have always focused on developing the nursing contribution, within the multidisciplinary team, to improve patient and carer experience across the whole cancer pathway.

To meet demand locally and nationally Liz developed an interest in Mesothelioma which resulted in the establishment of Mesothelioma UK, the National Macmillan Mesothelioma Resource Centre. Liz is currently a Consultant Nurse and clinical lead for Mesothelioma UK which has established itself as an essential part of the UK Mesothelioma landscape; a centre of excellence providing mesothelioma information, support and education. 

In recognition of Mesothelioma UK’s early success in 2007 Liz was awarded the Nursing Times Cancer Nurse Leader of the Year Award sponsored by the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

Liz is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the DeMontfort University and a module leader at the Royal Marsden School of Cancer Nursing and Rehabilitation. Liz is a committee member of the National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses and the British Thoracic Oncology Group. She represents nursing on a variety of national and professional committees and is proud to be a founding member of the International Thoracic Oncology Nursing Forum.

Eudice Goldberg, MD, The Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto

Eudice Goldberg is a pediatrician at The Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada and was Division Chief prior to becoming Program Director. She is also Chair of the Exam Board in Adolescent Medicine for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. However, for purposes of this meeting, she is here not as a pediatrician, but as a director and co-founder of the Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation. Having lost her partner to peritoneal mesothelioma, she and one of her sons, Michael Konviser, founded the CMF in 2008. The major mandates of the Foundation are to provide support and education to patients, families and others in Canada affected by mesothelioma, as well as to help support educational activities for physicians and other health care professionals in Canada in the area of mesothelioma.  

Steven E. Mutsaers, MD, PhD, University of Western Australia

Dr. Mutsaers is a Senior Scientist and Research Group Leader at the Lung Institute of Western Australia and University of Western Australia and Laboratory Head in the Dept of Anatomical Pathology, PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA. Dr. Mutsaers has an international reputation in mesothelial cell biology and mesothelioma having worked in the field for over 20 years, and is the Secretary of the International Mesothelioma Interest Group. He is on the committee of several scientific societies and is an international advisor on the International Pleural Newsletter. He receives regular invitations to chair sessions and present his work at national and international scientific meetings and has collaborations in leading laboratories around the world.

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Finding Spiritual Support

Reverend Katherine James Klemstine, D.MIN

An ordained minister in Light of Christ Community Church and a doctoral graduate of Sancta Sophia Seminary, Rev. Katherine James Klemstine, D.Min. serves as a Chaplain for Hospice of the Chesapeake in Annapolis, Maryland. Katherine has been involved with Hospice since 1995, initially as a volunteer and since 1999 as a chaplain serving hospice patients and their caregivers. As a member of the Education Committee for The Hospice and Palliative Care Network of Maryland, she is an instructor for hospice spiritual, clinical, and volunteer staff members.

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Updates on Clinical Trials and Standard Therapies

Mary Hesdorffer, MS, APRN, Medical Liaison, Nurse Practitioner, Meso Foundation

Mary Hesdorffer received her undergraduate degree at the College of New Rochelle in NY and went on to receive her Masters of Science at the same institution. She is fully credentialed as a Nurse Practitioner and has spent the past 15 years actively treating patients with mesothelioma. Mary has an expertise in the development and implementation of clinical trials. Mary was employed at Columbia University for 11 years prior to joining the staff at the Mesothelioma Foundation and was instrumental in developing the CU Mesothelioma Center. She is on staff at Johns Hopkins Medical Institute in addition to her role with the Foundation. She has published in peer reviewed journals and has lectured nationally on the topics pertaining to mesothelioma with particular emphasis on clinical trials as well as symptom and disease management.

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Q&A Panel - Experimental Strategies in Malignant Mesothelioma
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Words: Friend or Foe

Ron McKie, BCH, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist

Ron McKie specializes in clinical hypnotherapy, a vocation that first captured his interest at the age of 15. Along with hypnotherapy, NLP, and Time Empowerment Techniques, he brings to his practice a deep understanding of the human experience, gleaned through his ventures on many life paths. He has worked in the high-tech world as a computer technician and programmer; in the medical world as an emergency medical technician and ambulance driver; in the mechanical world as an auto and airplane mechanic, carpenter, electrician, and plumber; and in the outdoor world as an instructor in flying, sailing, and skiing. Ron received his training from The Empowerment Partnership in Hawaii and is certified by them as a trainer of NLP, Hypnosis & Time Empowerment Techniques.

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Complementary and Alternative Medicine Approaches

Jeffrey D. White, M.D., Director, Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Cancer Institute

Dr. White graduated from Cornell with a B.S. in 1979 and received an M.D. from Howard University in 1984. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine in 1987 and fellowships in oncology and hematology in 1990 at The Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. Dr. White joined the Metabolism Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1990 where he served in various positions culminating as Director of the Clinical Trials and Clinical Care Program. While in the Metabolism Branch, he performed laboratory-based immunology research as well as clinical trials of monoclonal antibody approaches to cancer treatment. Dr. White also served as an oncology consultant to the Director of the NIH’s Office of Alternative Medicine and in October 1998 was chosen as the director of a new office in the NCI titled the Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine. This office seeks to promote and support research in the various disciplines and modalities associated with the field of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as they relate to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cancer.

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Advocacy 101

Jessica Barker
Government Affairs Coordinator, Meso Foundation

Jessica Barker is the newest addition to the Meso Foundation staff. In her capacity of Government Affairs Coordinator, she is looking forward to working with Foundation advocates to raise awareness and advance the cause of mesothelioma with our lawmakers. With over eight years experience working for health organizations in the DC area, she is a wealth of knowledge of the inner workings inside the beltway. Armed with a strong knowledge of the lawmaking process and a soon to be completed master’s degree in public health, Jessica will help acclimate the Meso Foundation to its new political home in the DC metro area. Jessica has advocated on behalf of healthcare providers, state officials and consumers. Jessica is always available to members of the Meso Foundation Community, and strives to be a valuable resource. A self-described foodie, Jessica looks forward to giving everyone restaurant recommendations at the Symposium.

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Advancing the Mesothelioma Mission

Hanne Mintz, Paragon Language Services, Inc.
Co-Chair, Meso Foundation Board of Directors

Hanne Mintz is President of Paragon Language Services, Inc., a professional translation and interpreting agency providing services in over 90 languages, catering to all industries and disciplines. Hanne was born in Sweden and educated in Sweden, England and the United States.

The Mintz family was pulled into what to them was the previously unknown world of meso when Hanne’s 30 year-old son, Adam, was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma. Adam was a chef, an outdoorsman, a skier and hiker, a prankster, and a kind and generous young man. No one really knows how Adam was exposed to asbestos; however, every school he attended was contaminated, and the house where the family lived for 32 years was found to have transite, a common building material made from asbestos and cement. Adam’s sister, Marina, helped care for Adam while the family watched his steady, painful decline, wasting away from a 190lb young man to a 125lb shadow, 2½ years after his diagnosis.

Hanne is passionate about finding treatment and a cure. She began her quest when Adam was first diagnosed, and spent days and nights on the internet looking for any glimmer of hope, calling researchers, begging for Adam to be included in any treatment, however experimental. She knows the answers are out there, she is determined to make a difference and has pledged all her energy to support the Meso Foundation in its quest to save lives.

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Experimental Strategies in Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Experimental Strategies in Malignant Mesothelioma

Raising the Bar in Mesothelioma Research

Discovery / Progress - Mesothelioma Research and the Dept. of Defense (DoD)

Palliative Care is Not a Dirty Word

National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank

Mesothelioma Legal Panel

Mesothelioma Genetics Project

Making the Case for Federal Funding for Mesothelioma - Briefing on Capitol Hill

Government Benefits: Know Your Options

Global Perspectives in Malignant Mesothelioma

Finding Spiritual Support

Updates on Clinical Trials and Standard Therapies

Q&A Panel - Experimental Strategies in Malignant Mesothelioma

Words: Friend or Foe

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Approaches

Advocacy 101

Advancing the Mesothelioma Mission