Cancer Centers Vie for LIVESTRONG Grants, Several Mesothelioma Centers in the Running
Since awarding its first cancer research grant in 1998 the Lance Armstrong Foundation, now known as LIVESTRONG, had awarded more than $18.7 million in research grants by 2007, and that figure continues to grow annually. This week LIVESTRONG will be awarding another $650,000 through their Community Impact Program. Among centers up for the various awards are the Mayo Clinic, Arizona Cancer Center and the University of Chicago, all known for their comprehensive mesothelioma treatment centers.
Mesothelioma, a rare asbestos-related cancer typically affecting the lining of the lungs, is highly aggressive and is resistant to many of the current cancer treatments. While there is no known cure for mesothelioma, new research and an increased knowledge among medical professionals has increased the survival time and improved the quality of life for many patients. This research requires significant amounts of time and money, and without appropriate funding, it can be challenging to start and complete research projects.
LIVESTRONG is offering the grants relying on the public’s vote to determine where the community impact resources go. The grants will be awarded in three different programs areas: Creative Centers, Super Sibs! and Cancer Transition. The programs were selected since “all three of these programs have demonstrated their ability to be replicated in new communities without having staff present in each location.”
The Mayo Clinic, whose staff treats three to four new mesothelioma cases every month, has applied for the Creative Center and SuperSibs! grants. They implemented a bedside visual arts bedside program in 2007 and need additional funds to support the project. Physicians from all over the world refer patients with mesothelioma to Mayo Clinic. According to their website, their mesothelioma program “strength lies in the ability to quickly assemble a team of experts from several areas, such as pulmonary medicine, thoracic surgery, oncology (cancer), radiation therapy and pathology who work with the patient to obtain a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan — usually within a few days.”
The University of Chicago is requesting a grant under Cancer Transitions to support the Breast Cancer Survivorship Clinic used “to explore the interactions of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment with other chronic diseases while educating and empowering patients from diagnosis and beyond.” The University of Chicago has been a pioneer in the study and treatment of malignant mesothelioma for over 20 years.
Hoping to add an arts component to their palliative care program, Supportive Care for Healing, the Arizona Cancer Center has applied for the Creative Center grant. Now staffed by a nationally recognized mesothelioma oncologist, thoracic surgeon, and radiologist, the University of Arizona Cancer Center offers mesothelioma patients treatment options that were previously only available in California, or as far away as Massachusetts.
Voting for the grants is open until October 29th. LIVESTRONG will fund up to 20 sites for the SuperSibs! and the Creative Center programs and up to 25 sites for the Cancer Transitions program. The winners will be notified the week of November 4th.