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Research to improve the lives of "asbestos cancer" patients


Made possible thanks to Lyall Watts Mesothelioma Research Fund.

Australia has seen a huge increase in cancer survival rates over the past few decades. However, there are still some cancers that sadly have a very low survival rate.

One such cancer is mesothelioma, which is caused by asbestos exposure. Only 7.5% of people with this disease live for more than five years after diagnosis.

To combat these devastating odds, the Lyall Watts Mesothelioma Research Fund was established in 2016, thanks to the generosity of the late Lyall Watts, his partner Gary, mother Marjory and sister Sandra.

Lyall lived with mesothelioma for ten years and dedicated his time to raising awareness and advocating for more research into the treatment and cure of this devastating disease.

“The fund provides a vital pipeline of investment in this area to provide hope to people affected by mesothelioma, now and into the future,” Cancer Council Victoria CEO, Todd Harper AM said.

Dr Susan Harden and her research team at Monash University are the most recent grant recipients under the Lyall Watts Mesothelioma Research Fund. Dr Harden is looking into patterns of care and access to novel therapies for mesothelioma, which are shown to improve survival but may also have significant side effects.

The research will enable state health systems and integrated cancer services to understand the problems people affected by mesothelioma are experiencing, what care is being given and how current approaches can be modified to improve outcomes in the future.

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