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The Pacific Mesothelioma Center Is Issued A US Patent for Mesenchymal Stem Cell Research for Cancer

Dr. Walid Sabbagh Jr.

Dr. Walid Sabbagh Jr. joins PHLBI Patent & Grants Advisory Committee

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, March 5, 2019 / -- The Pacific Mesothelioma Center (PMC) a division of The Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (PHLBI), is pleased to announce the issuance of a US Patent for their mesenchymal stem research program. This exciting patent approval news is further highlighted by the addition of Dr. Walid Sabbagh Jr., who is also a registered U.S. patent agent, to the PMC’s Patent and Grants Advisory Committee. Dr. Sabbagh received his BS from UCSD, and Ph.D. from the UCI. PMC further acknowledges the pro-bono work of patent attorneys Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati that made this possible.

Mesenchymal stem cells are potent cells found in a variety of tissues, including bone marrow and can grow and mature into a variety of different cell types. In more recent years, scientists discovered that mesenchymal stem cells can be harvested from placentas, leading them into a new chapter in stem cell medicine.

Mesenchymal stem cells already are utilized in FDA-approved therapies to modify serious inflammatory autoimmune diseases. "Placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cells are intriguing because they, like the placenta, are not easily recognized by the body as foreign tissue, which makes them an excellent source of universally-compatible stem cells for use in cancer therapy," said Dr. Robert Cameron, Scientific Advisor at the PMC, Director of the UCLA Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program, and Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. "Modified mesenchymal stem cells can serve as a vehicle for delivering a wide range of molecular and gene therapies directly to the site of cancer, and may be particularly useful in mesothelioma, thymoma, and lung cancer.

"After a patient undergoes mesothelioma surgery, much of the tumor is excised, but some cancer cells inevitably remain," Dr. Cameron noted. "To destroy the remaining cancer cells, modified mesenchymal stem cells can be delivered to the exact location where the cancer was surgically removed and destroy any residual cancer cells. This cutting-edge strategy has the potential both to increase the chance of long-term survival and eliminate current treatments with significant side effects, such as radiation and chemotherapy."

“The PMC is thrilled that Dr. Walid Sabbagh is joining our Patent and Grants Advisory Committee where we will capitalize on his wealth of knowledge and expertise while we pursue additional research grants and patent procurements,” added Clare Cameron, executive director of PMC. “Dr. Sabbagh is an expert in grants, grant development, and grant management and has consulted and facilitated the successful submission of many NIH grants, and has authored many high impact scientific publications.”

About The Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (PHLBI), a 501(c)(3) is a non-profit medical research institute established in 2002. One of the divisions, The Pacific Mesothelioma Center (PMC) is focused on the treatment and prevention of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). The exploration of innovative ideas forms the foundation of PMC’s unique research program and provides the promise of future treatment breakthroughs. PMC is dedicated to educating the public on asbestos-related diseases and informing them of their best treatment.

Clare Cameron
The Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute
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