Advocacy for mesothelioma research funding is central to our mission to eradicate mesothelioma and the suffering caused by it. The mesothelioma community comprised of patients, their loved ones, caregivers, doctors, researchers and nurses meets annually to share their stories with Congress and educate them on the devastation caused by mesothelioma.
The advocacy of the mesothelioma community, led by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, has driven Congress to find a way to fund research. For example, a new stream of funding for mesothelioma research through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) that has resulted in nearly $20 million dollars in mesothelioma research funding is a direct result of the hard work of mesothelioma advocates.
- Mesothelioma is among the most painful and aggressive of cancers, invading the lining of the lungs, heart, or stomach. The latency period from exposure to onset of symptoms can be up to 50 years.
- Development of mesothelioma is associated with exposure to asbestos. Asbestos was heavily used in construction and industry during the last century. Nearly 30 million tons of asbestos is still present in our homes, schools, buildings, and even soil in certain regions of the country. While asbestos use is heavily regulation, its importation and use has not yet been banned in the United States.
- There is an established history of asbestos exposure, and a subsequently elevated risk of mesothelioma, in the military population. Approximately one-third of mesothelioma cases have been shown to involve exposures to Navy personnel or shipyard workers.
- Currently, only two FDA-approved treatments exist for mesothelioma, and both are only marginally effective, with a life expectancy of less than 15 months. At 5 years post-diagnosis, survival is less than 10%, making mesothelioma one of the deadliest cancers.
- Funding for mesothelioma research is key to the development of new treatments and potential cures.
- The CDMRP fund the best scientific and medical research aimed at eradicating diseases that affect military service members, veterans, and their families.
- Because military personnel are disproportionately affected by mesothelioma, it is of utmost importance that the CDMRP support the research necessary to find a cure.
- In fact, since 2008, mesothelioma has been included in the list of eligible research topics first in the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program and then in the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program.
- Unfortunately, in 2023, mesothelioma was not included as an eligible topic in any of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs for FY25.
- Because this funding is congressionally directed, members of the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense have the opportunity to, once again, include mesothelioma in this crucial funding.
- We urge you to remember mesothelioma in the FY 25 budget to help us in our mission to eradicate this deadly cancer. If you don’t serve on the Appropriations Subcommittee, please consider asking your colleagues who do for this inclusion.