Leading asbestos disease researchers will gather at a conference in Sydney from November 24 to 26 to discuss the latest developments in research in the field.
The conference is run by the Perth-based National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases (NCARD), a federally funded Australian co-operative of the leading scientists in the field aimed at curing asbestos cancers.
Highlights of the conference will be:
- latest results of blood tests that can detect asbestos cancer;
- new treatments that have been discovered for these diseases;
- a visit by one of the world's top asbestos researchers, Prof Harvey Pass from New York, who will talk on the latest research into blood tests and treatments for mesothelioma, including surgery;
- talks by former NSW Premier Bob Carr, Karen Banton (widow of the late Bernie Banton), Prof Bruce Robinson (NCARD Director and Wagner Medal winner), Prof Nico van Zandwijk (Director of the Bernie Banton Centre) and others; and
- presentation of the prestigious Willoughby medal to the country's top asbestos researcher (this is the inaugural presentation of that medal - named in honour of the late Olympian and stockbroker Tim Willoughby who championed asbestos medical research).
"This week brings the disaster of asbestos into sharp focus," Prof Bruce Robinson said. "Millions around the world will die from asbestos cancers in the next few decades, tens of thousands of those in Australia, especially of the deadliest asbestos cancer, mesothelioma."
Australia is known to lead the world in this field. For example a recent international expert from Philadephia, Prof Stephen Albelda, stated:
"From the very beginning of my involvement in this field, it was obvious that the Australians, the Perth group in particular, were actually the world leaders in this area. You have a truly unique and revolutionary "team program" in NCARD, that I think is a model for making the most rapid progress against any disease."
This conference will reveal results and highlight ways in which Australia can continue to lead the world in research into asbestos cancers through its talent combined with its unique team approach.
Speakers from the meeting will be available for interview, including visiting US expert Dr Harvey Pass (albeit at limited times).
NB. The National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases is a highly successful NHMRC-funded co-operative that was launched in 2006 with a grant of over $6 million from the Federal Government. Its aim is to try to reduce the burden of asbestos diseases in Australia. It is a national co-operative with collaborators throughout Australia and is hosted by The University of Western Australia.
Ms Tracy Hayward (National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases) (+61 4) 20 360 524
Matthew Tilbrook (National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases) (+61 4) 00 440 165
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716