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A huge step forward in mesothelioma research

Ian Jarrold, Head of Research at the BLF, shares some fantastic news from our mesothelioma research campaign.

Mesothelioma research at the BLF

A lot of you will know about our campaign for more funding for research into the deadly asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma.

When we launched the campaign last year, we pointed out that the UK has the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world. Despite this, research into the disease receives just a fraction of the funding given to research into cancers that kill similar numbers of people, such as myeloma and skin cancer.

We pointed out that unless new treatments are found through research, around 60,000 people will die of mesothelioma in the UK over the next 30 years.

Every one of those deaths would be a tragedy. I have great news for everyone who got involved and supported our campaign – and for anyone else who cares about helping people affected by mesothelioma.

Two insurance companies – Aviva and Zurich – have agreed to donate a combined £1 million over two years to our mesothelioma research programme.

On top of the money we already invest, we will be able to fund an additional £1 million worth of ground-breaking research, of the kind we hope will one day discover new treatments or even a cure for mesothelioma.

In short, this donation will help fund the kind of research that will one day give those affected by mesothelioma the hope that so many tell us they currently lack.

Continuing to campaign

This isn’t ‘problem solved’ for mesothelioma. Even with this donation, mesothelioma research remains severely underfunded. This funding is also only for two years: to make serious progress, we will need not just more funding, but for that funding to be provided on a sustainable basis, so we can gradually build towards finding new treatments.

So, we will continue to campaign on behalf of those both living with mesothelioma now, and those who will develop it in future.

We won’t rest until mesothelioma research has the sustainable funding it needs, and until that research is making the breakthroughs we want.

For now, this donation represents significant progress. We hope it will inspire more investment in research, and we hope it will inspire more of you to join our campaign.

The road ahead is long, but we’ve just taken a huge step forward. Thank you to everyone who has supported our campaign for sustainable mesothelioma research funding so far. Add your voice and help save lives today.

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21 January 2015