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ATS International Conference Features Lung Cancer Breakthroughs Beneficial to Mesothelioma Specialists

The American Thoracic Society (ATS) has announced the dates for their annual International Symposium on pulmonary care.  Scheduled for May 13-18, 2011, the conference will be held in Denver, Colorado with the theme “Where today’s science meets tomorrow’s care in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine.”  The ATS conference will feature multiple sessions on bioengineering and genetic technologies.  Continued knowledge-sharing in these areas of groundbreaking medical research is critical to leading researchers to find a cure or new treatments for lung diseases including mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma, an asbestos-related pulmonary cancer, is both incurable and deadly.  Close to 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with the disease each year, and the majority of them face a grim prognosis of 4-18 months survival.  Researchers in the area of genetics and biotechnology are making advances, but continued studies and clinical trials are needed to get the breakthrough needed to bring new treatments to the patients.

The featured Scientific Breakthroughs of the Year session will focus on advances in lung tissue bioengineering.  According to Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, PhD, co-chair of the session and a professor in the pediatrics, hematology/oncology, and bone and marrow transplantation program at the University of Minnesota, “Lung tissue bioengineering has become an exciting area in lung research.” Panoskaltsis-Mortari added that “Rapid advances in tissue engineering have demonstrated the potential of developing functional tissue, which could be used in place of whole-lung transplants.”

In addition, speakers will explore the potential of new genetic technologies to help clinicians assess risk of asthma, COPD, and lung cancer and help scientists identify new therapeutic targets.  While pleural mesothelioma affects the outer lining of the lungs, lung cancer is a malignancy in the lung itself.  The two pulmonary cancers are often difficult to distinguish without thorough pathology tests; however, the treatments for lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma are often very similar.

Some of the features of the 2011 ATS International Conference, as noted in the conference brochure, are:

  • Product demonstrations—The ATS Clinicians Center will host live product demos of medical devices by ATS experts, showing the features of the devices and how they use them in their practice.
  • New topics—a postgraduate course on developing leadership skills and a symposium on the implications of U.S. healthcare reform on pulmonary, critical care and sleep illustrate the Society’s commitment to reaching beyond traditional topics to provide information that is important to attendees’ professional lives.
  • Hands-on learning—more hands-on learning opportunities will be offered during the 2011 ATS International Conference than ever before. From microscopy to implementing therapeutic hypothermia, attendees will be able to learn by doing. In addition to practical training, these sessions will provide the essential context for the use of the medical devices, scientific instruments or clinical protocols.

Science and research are among the core values of the ATS, and their motto “we help the world breathe” guides them to focus on funding key research projects towards finding new treatments and cures for respiratory illnesses.  

The Society recently published “2010 Breathing in America: Diseases, Progress, and Hope” analyzing respiratory diseases in the United States and explaining “where we are on our path to curing or controlling 23 different respiratory conditions,” including mesothelioma, asthma, COPD and lung cancer.

The conference is expected to offer over 500 sessions with close to 800 speakers.

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Nancy Meredith is a blog and web content writer with more than 20 years of professional experience in the Information Technology industry. She has been writing about Mesothelioma for 7 years. Follow Nancy on Google+

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