(PR Newswire) The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) announced today the election of Axel Hanauske, MD, PhD and Hanne Mintz as Co-Chairs of the Board of Directors of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. Dr. Hanauske and Ms. Mintz have both previously served as Foundation Board of Directors members.
Dr. Hanauske is currently Global Brand Development Leader at Eli Lilly & Co. in Indianapolis and Professor of Medicine at the Technical University in Munich, where in collaboration with his team, he discovered the activity of Alimta/Cisplatin in mesothelioma. His work has resulted in Alimta, the only chemotherapy drug currently approved for treatment of mesothelioma.
Ms. Mintz, who lost her 33-year-old son, Adam, to mesothelioma, is the President and Owner of Paragon Language Services, Inc., a professional translation and interpreting agency in Los Angeles, CA. Ms. Mintz’ pursuit of more effective treatments and a cure started when her son was first diagnosed. She 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, and has pledged all her energy to support the Meso Foundation in its quest to save lives.
“It instills hope that researchers around the world are choosing to concentrate their efforts on the underfunded, under-recognized and not-so-glamorous world of mesothelioma,” said Ms. Mintz. “Research holds the answers while funding is its lifeblood; this is why the Foundation relies heavily on its generous supporters to ensure that promising research is rewarded with adequate funding. I look forward seeing pieces of the puzzle fall into place during my tenure.”
Dr. Hanuske added, “In the last few years, I have seen much progress in terms of mesothelioma treatment advances, but we have much more work ahead of us – for patients of today and those of tomorrow, it is our responsibility to continue developing new treatment options until we find a cure for mesothelioma.”
Dr. Hanauske and Ms. Mintz succeed Dr. Nicholas Vogelzang, who was elected to chairmanship of the Board of Directors in 2006 and whose term ended this year.
“We are grateful and humbled by Ms. Mintz’ and Dr. Hanauske’s continued service in the fight to cure mesothelioma. We look forward to their new leadership role in our mission to end the suffering caused by this disease,” said Kathleen Wiedemer, Executive Director of the Meso Foundation, who was appointed to the position last May.
The Meso Foundation is the leading national organization dedicated to funding peer-reviewed mesothelioma research, providing patient support services and education, and advocating for increased federal funding for research. Mesothelioma funding, per death, has historically been extremely low, and even as recently as 2007, the NCI reported that mesothelioma receives as little as 9 times less funding than other cancers. The Meso Foundation was founded in 1999 to address this imbalance.
Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor of the lining of the lung, abdomen, or heart known to be caused by exposure to asbestos. Medical experts consider it one of the most aggressive and deadly of all cancers. Approximately 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year.