LOS ANGELES, May 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The 5th International Symposium on Lung-Sparing Therapies for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma was held on Saturday, May 2, in Santa Monica, CA and focused on research aimed at preserving lung function in mesothelioma patients. Physicians, nurses, medical professionals and mesothelioma patients were in attendance to learn about the recent advances. The Symposium was co-hosted by UCLA and the Pacific Mesothelioma Center (PMC).
Symposium Chair, Dr. Robert B. Cameron, discussed the lung-sparing pleurectomy/decortication surgery, which is used to treat mesothelioma patients depending on the tumor cell type and stage of disease, as well as the challenges involved in preventing the spread of disease to other organs. Dr. Cameron is a pioneer in the field of mesothelioma, Director of the Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program at UCLA, Professor of Surgery at UCLA, and Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the West LA Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Other topics included: developing viral vaccines to kill mesothelioma cells; types, doses and timing of radiation for improved outcomes in patients; use of cancer stem cells to develop cancer vaccines; and the results of clinical trials for recently-approved FDA drugs that enhance the immune system.
"The most interesting research presented this year involved advances in immunotherapy," said Dr. Cameron. "While we still don't understand everything about how the immune system works, it is encouraging that we are making headway. The improved knowledge that we now have regarding the immune system, compared to 30 years ago, is translating rapidly into real therapies."
The Symposium's other distinguished faculty included: Walter Weder, MD, thoracic surgeon and Professor of Surgery at the University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland; J. Andrea McCart, MD, MSc, FRCS(C), researcher at the Toronto General Research Institute and Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto; Marc de Perrot, MD, MSc, thoracic surgeon and Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto; Percy Lee, MD, Chief of Thoracic Radiation Oncology and Associate Professor at UCLA; Peter V. Chen, MD, Radiation Oncologist at the Hoag Family Cancer Institute; Shilpen Patel, MD, FACRO, Chief of Thoracic Radiation Oncology and Associate Professor at the University of Washington; Olga Olevsky, MD, UCLA oncologist and Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor; Raymond Wong, Ph.D., PMC Research Scientist; Clare Cameron, PMC Executive Director; Linda Reinstein, CEO and co-founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization; Lien Hua-Feng, RN, MSN, NP-C, PMC Nurse Practitioner; and Mia Lauter, widow of veteran actor Ed Lauter who died of MPM.
The Symposium was supported by: Worthington & Caron, P.C., Eli Lilly & Company, the International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators and AstraZeneca.
About the PMC: Established in 2002, the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit institution. The PMC, a division of the PHLBI, is focused on the treatment and prevention of malignant pleural mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. The PMC serves a growing number of mesothelioma victims by supporting the nation's first-of-its-kind research lab, which provides laboratory-to-the-bedside research that improves mesothelioma victims' lives and longevity. www.PacificMesotheliomaCenter.org
Contact: Clare Cameron | (310) 478-4678 | Email
SOURCE Pacific Mesothelioma Center