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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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