A special morning tea was held at the ACV/GARDS office on the 22nd November, where members and the general public were invited to come along and learn so much more about asbestos in the community. On hand to stimulate conversation were samples containing asbestos such as necklaces, earrings, crayons, children’s science kits, building materials such as brick cladding, asbestos fibre samples, sealant, brakes, pot stands, gaskets and so much more. In attendance were hygienists, asbestos litigation lawyers and local council employees for the general public to ask those questions they have always wanted to know and never got around to asking.
All who attended enjoyed the chat and banter along with the scones jam and cream – tea and coffee. It was a very enjoyable morning with much information sharing. All who attended said that the morning had been insightful and enjoyable. Thank you to all who came along and made the morning such a success. Below are some of those who attended.
ACV/GARDS crew attended the Asbestos Safety & Eradication Agency International Asbestos Conference in Adelaide from the 12th – 15th November. We caught up with many old friends and some new ones. It was great to spend time with Terry Miller and Kat Wake-Burge & the rest of the team from AVA. We also had a chance to chat with our old friend Matt Peacock seasoned ABC Journalist and spend some time with Tanya Segelov along with many others such as Linda Reinstein CEO Asbestos Disease Awareness Org United States. We also had the fortunate opportunity to meet a very lovely lady named Kathleen Ruff Founder & Head of RightOnCanda.ca. Dr Tom John Medical Oncologist & John Cannings from Rare Cancers Australia gave some very interesting news in the research and drug area – it was good to catch up with Dr Tom again. It was a pleasure to chat and catch up with Serafina Salucci a very strong advocate for asbestos sufferers – keep up the good work Serafina. Two of our members who live in Adelaide met with us for dinner while we were there – Jane West and Terry Wilkins.
We thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone. It was a very exhaustive visit to Adelaide learning so much more about asbestos issues from all over Australia and Internationally – but a really rewarding one – We will be looking forward to the next catch up with everyone.
The fight to Ban Asbestos around the world is only just beginning to ramp up – the International slogan is:
“Asbestos – Not Here – Not Anywhere”
If you would like to know more about the ASEA Adelaide 2016 Conference access this link
Cancer Council Victoria has announced a much-needed injection of funds into mesothelioma research today, providing hope for the future in the fight against the devastating form of cancer.
160 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year in Victoria, and 726 nationally. It remains one of the deadliest cancers, with a 5-year survival rate of just 7%.
Cancer Council Victoria hopes this can be improved with more research.
Thanks to the philanthropy of the late Lyall Watts, his partner Gary Kenny and Lyall’s sister Sandra Harbison and mother Marjorie Watts, Cancer Council Victoria has been able to award $700,000 for two new research grants.
Dr Peter Janes at Monash University and Prof Andrew Scott and A/Prof Tom John at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute have received funding to continue their work into targeted antibody therapies for malignant mesothelioma.
“We developed antibodies against two cancer targets abundant in malignant mesothelioma, which are currently in trials for other cancers,” Dr Janes said.
“We will screen mesothelioma patient tissues to define eligible patient populations and use mesothelioma mouse models to develop effective therapy strategies. Our team of translational cancer researchers and clinicians, with collaborative ties to trial sponsors, is uniquely positioned to develop strategies that allow rapid translation into clinical trials.”
At the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Associate Professor Kieran Harvey and his team hope to decipher the role of the Hippo pathway in mesothelioma.
“The Hippo pathway is an important group of genes that relays messages from the surface of the cell to the nucleus to change the cell’s behaviour. Normally it controls how big our organs grow,” A/Prof Harvey said.
“The activity of Hippo pathway genes can change and cause cancer and this occurs in at least half of mesotheliomas. We will use cutting edge technologies to investigate the causes of mesothelioma and search for possible new treatments of this disease by using our unique knowledge of the Hippo pathway.”
“The Lyall Watts Mesothelioma Research grants are an important contribution to helping improve treatments and provide hope for those affected by this insidious disease,” CEO Todd Harper said.
Both projects will be funded for three years.
Friday 28th October 2016
Today Vicki had lunch and a chat with the staff at the Education Department in Moe – we talked about all things asbestos. Many questions were asked – we want to thank Nadine for helping to make this happen – Nadine’s family has been touched by asbestos disease. Thank you to all the staff for getting behind Nadine and donating to us – it was a wonderful surprise. A lovely lunch with a great bunch of people.
Penalties need to be tougher on people dumping asbestos – this fine was too light for an asbestos removal company – companies like this one are a disgrace to their profession. Shame on the company – 20 tonnes of asbestos – what were you thinking!
Today our members were very excited to travel by chartered bus to the Olivia Newton John Wellness Centre to meet with Dr Tom John, Consultant Medical Oncologist and his dedicated team, who are doing some ground breaking work in the area of mesothelioma research. It was a real privilege and honor to be shown around the centre and the research facilities.
The Austin Health’s Medical Oncology Unit boasts integrated quality patient care with global cancer research. For those who do not know a medical oncologist is a doctor who specialises in cancer and oversees your chemotherapy and other medical treatments.
The medical oncologists work as part of a larger multidisciplinary team that includes radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and specialized cancer nurses. In consultation with their patients, the team plans and oversees patient treatments to help achieve the best possible outcome.
The Medical Oncology Unit works collaboratively with the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute. This relationship means the latest in cancer research is quickly translated into better care with patients having access to the latest treatments and clinical trials.
The Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Center is also home to a number of cancer research laboratories. Their research is patient-focused and patients are encouraged to participate in the research to find new treatments for cancers.
Melanoma and Cancer Vaccines – Prof Jonathan Cebon
Tumor Targeting and Imaging – Prof Andrew Scott
Molecular Diagnostics and Cancer Genetics – A/Prof Alex Dobrovic
Cancer Epigenetics – Prof John Mariadasen
Translational Lung Cancer – Dr Tom John
The Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre also includes a Wellness Centre on site. The unique facility offers cancer information to patients, comfortable rooms for group education or peer support and a patient sanctuary for quiet reflection. Wellness therapies to complement medical treatment are also conducted – such as meditation, acupuncture, massage, art and music therapy.
A bit of information on Dr Tom John he is a consultant medical oncologist recognized both nationally and internationally as an expert in cancers of the thoracic cavity, which includes lung cancers, thymus cancers and mesothelioma. He also has an interest in genetics and cancers that may run in some families.
He trained at Monash University in Melbourne from 1991 – 1996 (MBBS). He obtained his Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of Physicians in 2004 (FRACP). He completed a PhD through the University of Melbourne in 2008. He undertook a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto and under the mentorship of Professors Ming-Sound Tsao and Frances Shepherd, two internationally acclaimed lung cancer researchers. He moved back to Australia in 2010 and is heavily involved in both basic research within a laboratory and clinical trials. He is the head of the Lung Oncology Clinic at the Austin Hospital.
It was a truly magical day and we appreciated all the time he and his fellow co-workers took to explain the research they are doing and the positive outcomes they are trying to achieve for mesothelioma sufferers – thank you so much from all our members.