Mesothelioma is a type of cancer affecting the mesothelial cells. These cells cover most organs inside the body. They form a coating known as the mesothelium.
Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer but it is affecting more people. Australia has one of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world as a result of the high rate of asbestos use in mining, construction, manufacturing and home renovations over many years.
In Victoria about 150 people are diagnosed each year. Experts believe the number of people diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases will not peak until 2020.
Nearly $550,700 has been given to fund research specifically into mesothelioma.
In addition, more than $16.2 million has been spent on research projects looking into the detection and treatment of all tumour types (including mesothelioma).
Overall, Cancer Council Victoria has funded $69 million worth of lab-based research in Victorian hospitals, universities and research institutions since 2003.