Law Firms Join Fight Against Mesothelioma Through Asbestos Litigation

Brigham and Women’s International Mesothelioma Program, or IMP, has gained considerable momentum thanks to philanthropic support from law firms that represent clients with mesothelioma. With pledges of $3 million, Simmons Hanly Conroy of East Alton, IL and the Ferarro Law Firm of Miami joined the program’s five-member executive advisory board, which meets twice a year to learn about the latest research findings.

Led by David Sugarbaker, MD, and staffed by researchers, surgeons, oncologists, nurses, physician assistants, chaplains and social workers, the IMP addresses nearly every aspect of mesothelioma.

This rare, deadly cancer forms on the membrane lining of the chest cavity and lungs, and is most often linked to asbestos exposure.

Bart French of Simmons Hanly Conroy was moved by Sugarbaker’s passion and vision. “It’s so impressive to see the dedication of Dr. Sugarbaker and his colleagues,” says French. “Optimism and a sense of urgency guide their efforts to eradicate this disease, which Dr. Sugarbaker has aptly described as ‘a scourge upon the earth.’ ”

“The treatments being developed at Brigham and Women’s give real hope to mesothelioma patients,” says Ferraro’s David Jagolinzer. “It didn’t take long to decide that this is something we want to be a part of.”

In addition to bolstering basic science and clinical research initiatives, funding supports pilot projects in areas such as pain management and asbestos analysis. Donations also have allowed the IMP to launch a website, establish a weekly seminar series and fund social service and pastoral care positions. Part of Coady’s pledge was used to establish the Family Assistance Fund, which defrays lodging costs and other expenses incurred by out-of-town patients and families.

“These gifts fuel our quest for a cure and help us optimize quality of life for our patients,” says Sugarbaker. “It is a wonderful partnership.”

For more information, visit the International Mesothelioma Program’s website,