David Harpole Jr., MD, Professor, Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, has received a $1.5 million grant from the Department of Defense for research on a link between military service and the development of mesothelioma cancer. Out of the estimated 3,000 mesothelioma diagnoses in the United States each year, nearly a third of these patients have military experience. This study will help to determine why.
The research project will serve as a collaboration between Duke and researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the University of California San Diego. The teams will develop molecular signatures based on close investigation of the genetic make-up of mesothelioma tumors. Dr. Harpole hopes that the research project will identify the root causes of mesothelioma and develop targeted therapies.
The grant, titled “Military Exposure-Related Pleural Mesothelioma: An Innovative Translational Approach to Inform Novel Molecular-Targeted Treatment Development,” will continue for the next three years.