CDC Reinstates Mesothelioma Funding For The Mesothelioma Tissue Bank

At the beginning of July, the mesothelioma research community gained a big boost in financial support. The CDC Reinstates Mesothelioma Funding and Prevention (CDC) reinstated funding for the National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank (NMVB). The CDC originally granted the NMVB a $2.2 million federal grant, but was then forced to rescind the grant following the 2013 budget sequester by the federal government. The political debate over the raising of the debt ceiling necessitated that the CDC, along with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), rescind funding to the NMVB in order to decrease mounting federal spending costs. It was also asserted that the the NMVB would no longer be able to provide free tissue samples and other biospecimens to researchers and laboratories throughout the United States. Luckily, this grant of $2.2 million dollars will provide the NMVB with the resources necessary to continue its study, collection and disbursement of tissues samples through 2016.

 

The National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank

 

Created in 2006, the NMVB is an innovative biospecimen registry and the country’s only federally funded program that focuses specifically on mesothelioma research. The NMVB works in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the New York University School of Medicine, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Pittsburgh Medical Center. The NMVB functions as a biospecimen repository where human tissues, blood samples and other clinicopathological samples are stored and made free to researchers across the United States. Currently the NMVB stores over 1,300 biospecimens that can be used in mesothelioma research. With this grant, NMVB researchers will be able to expand their research and make their biospecimen sample collections available to even more medical centers.

 

What the Reinstated Funding Means for Mesothelioma Research

 

Mesothelioma researchers and professors throughout the U.S. have lauded the reinstatement of the grant to the NMVB. The U.S. is already one of the leaders in taking a hardline stance against asbestos use, and the NMVB’s new grant will allow the U.S. to help assist those families who have been touched by asbestos exposure illnesses such as mesothelioma.The goal of the NMVB is to use the dissemination of biospecimens samples to researchers in order to facilitate the development of innovative therapies, diagnostic resources and preventative measures. The ultimate goal of NMVB is to someday find a cure for mesothelioma. The free sharing of samples and research will allow researchers across disciplines to share and spark new debates and opportunities for mesothelioma research, while also providing a national model for tissue banks across the U.S.

 

The NMVB has a ways to go before they will officially be able to receive the $2.2 million federal grant. The NMVB must resubmit their application to receive the grant money by July 31, 2014 to the U.S. Procurement and Grants Office of the Department of Health and Human Service. Presumably the application is a mere formality because the NMVB is the only federal agency that is officially eligible to receive the grant.
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