The Cancer Research Center of Hawaii’s Thoracic Oncology Program has reason to celebrate, along with mesothelioma victims and scientists abroad, as one of its scientists, Haining Yang, MD, Ph.D, recently received a grant award from the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF) to continue studies on mesothelioma. Yang was selected among 59 international applicants for the grant.

Yang, who received her medical degree from Shandong Medical University, will use her grant to study the mechanism of how asbestos causes mesothelioma. Her goal is to develop effective prevention and therapeutic interventions for the disease. Dr. Yang has received an additional grant from the Hawaii’s Community Foundation’s Leahi Fund. This grant will help to further support her research and allow the project to expand to include an early-detection study of mesothelioma in targeted villages in Turkey with higher incidence of the disease.

Malignant mesothelioma is a very aggressive cancer that forms in the lining of the body cavities that protect the lungs, heart and stomach. Caused by asbestos exposure, mesothelioma causes close to 3000 deaths in the United States each year. Due to the long latency period of the disease, the illness is often terminal with a short life expectancy after diagnosis, unless diagnosed very early. Hawaii, where Yang is currently located, is very familiar with the mesothelioma diagnosis associated with Pearl Harbor’s naval shipyard workers.

The Meso Foundation, a national organization dedicated to the eradication of mesothelioma, is regarded in the mesothelioma medical science community for its continued independent efforts to fund new research on mesothelioma. The organization is known for funding high-quality and innovative research projects around the world, such as Yang’s, and they continue to connect mesothelioma patients with experts around the globe. The work of the foundation is funded by meso patients and their families, law firms like Simmons Hanly Conroy, drug companies, and other companies involved with asbestos, each working toward a common mission of curing this terminal disease.

For more information, visit the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii.