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The Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) fund the best scientific and medical research aimed at eradicating diseases, including mesothelioma. For four years, fiscal years (FY) 2008, 2009, and 2010 crucial mesothelioma research was funded by the CDMRP’s Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP). In 2011, 2012, and 2013 mesothelioma was moved to the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP). Mesothelioma is included as a topic area in the Fiscal Year 2014 Omnibus in the PRCRP, funded at $25 million. This is nearly double the amount that it was funded in Fiscal Year 2013, an increase that is quite a feat in this time of austerity.

Military personnel are disproportionately affected by mesothelioma, as an estimated one-third of meso patients were exposed to asbestos while serving their country on Navy ships or in Navy ship yards. Mesothelioma currently has only one approved treatment, and for decades the need for research to develop effective treatments for meso patients has been ignored, obscured by the legal, economic and political aspects of asbestos. It is of utmost importance that the Department of Defense support the research necessary to find a cure given the direct link between the disease and military service.

The Office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) is funded through the Department of Defense (DoD), via annual Congressional legislation known as the Defense Appropriations Act. For most programs, the DoD sends a multi-year budget request to Congress in the form of the President's Budget. However, dollars for the CDMRP are not considered part of the DoD's core mission, and are therefore not included in the DoD's requested budget. Rather, the dollars to fund CDMRP are added every year during the budget approval cycle by members of the House or Senate, in response to requests by advocates.

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation recommends that Congress to appropriate $5 million to DOD for a dedicated Mesothelioma Research Program or as a specific restriction within the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. This will boost the long-neglected field of mesothelioma research, enabling mesothelioma researchers to build a better understanding of the disease and develop effective treatments. This will translate directly to saving lives and reducing suffering of veterans battling mesothelioma.

Visit the CDMRP website.

CDMRP Mesothelioma Awards

Over $9.3 million has been awarded to mesothelioma research through the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program and the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program, both divisions of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, which is administered by the Department of Defense since Fiscal Year 2008.

Courtney Broaddus, M.D.
$1.4 million
PRMRP Investigator-Initiated Research Award
Role of Macrophage-Induced Inflammation in Mesothelioma

Harvey Pass, M.D.
Margaret E. Huflejt, Ph.D.
PRMRP Investigator-Initiated Research Award: Partnering PI Option
Glyco-Immune Diagnostic Signatures and Therapeutic Targets of Mesothelioma

Lee Krug, M.D.
$1.5 Million
PRMRP Clinical Trial Award
Randomized Phase II Trial of Adjuvant WT-1 Analog Peptide Vaccine in Patients with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma after Completion of Multimodality Therapy

Joseph Testa Ph.D., FACMG
PRCRP Idea Award
Role of Inflammasome in Asbestos-Induced Mesothelioma Formation

Brian Marples, Ph.D.
PRMRP Concept Award
Improving Outcome in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) Using Pulsed-Protracted External Beam Radiation (PERT) and Intrapleural Delivery of Stem Cells

Youngbaek Kim DVM, M.S., Ph.D., Dipl. ACVP
PRMRP Concept Award
The Fate of Intrapleurally Injected Bone Marrow-Derived Stem Cells in Mice with Pleural Mesothelioma

Jaime F. Mata, Ph.D.
PRMRP Concept Award
Noninvasive Cytoreductive Surgical Treatment of Lung Mesothelioma

Michel Sadelain, M.D., Ph.D., and Prasad Adusumilli, M.D.
$2.6 million
Technology/Therapeutic Development Award
Regional Immune Interventions to Enhance Mesothelin Targeted Immunotherapy of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Bruce Robinson
Discovery Award
Targeting Immunological “Restrainers”: Understanding the Immunology Behind Combonation Chemoimmunotherapy to Improve the Treatment of Malignant Mesothelioma

Sherven Sharma
Discovery Award
Mesothelioma Snail Mediated Modulation of Inflammatory Response

Ravi Salgia
Discovery Award
P13K as a Therapeutic Target in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Lynn Heasley
Discovery Award
Targeting Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor Signaling Pathways in Mesothelioma

Haining Yang
Career Development Award
Mesothelioma: Identification of the Key Molecular Events Triggered by BAP1