Friday, July 13, 2012

Television Series Aims to Raise Awareness of Mesothelioma and Many More ... - (blog)

Mesothelioma is a unique and rare cancer that is extremely aggressive, and is typically treated with an equally aggressive regimen of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.  For many patients, however, turning to a clinical trial offers them options that are not yet available through their physician. Now, an upcoming television series dedicated to the rare disease community will provide key information on clinical trials and new drug therapy research.

Mesothelioma is caused by past exposure to asbestos, and is one of 7,000 diseases identified as a rare or orphan disease in the United States.  Orphan diseases affect nearly one in ten Americans, yet with many of these diseases affecting only a few thousand people, finding key medical information is challenging.

The producers of "Roulette Wheel of Rare and Genetic Disease" want to make a difference for rare disease sufferers and are partnering with the Rare Disease Advocacy Research Education Project (R.A.R.E.) to offer a platform that will bring together families of people affected with a rare disease allowing them to "connect, become educated and informed on clinical trials, new drug therapy research and government policies affecting the rare disease world."

The show will be a six part miniseries, presented by 'The Balancing Act' on Lifetime TV, that will air starting October 2012 running through Spring 2013.  According to the press release, the goal of the series "is to raise awareness of genetic conditions, rare diseases and treatments while helping to inspire Americans to take a more active role in getting to know and understand their genes."

The show is actively seeking pharmaceutical companies currently involved with research and development projects aimed at rare diseases. The show promises national exposure, and the opportunity for the companies to gain advocates for their projects.

"Because of the breadth and scope of the number of identified rare diseases, the patient community remains the biggest advocates here. This series will provide our audience with advocacy awareness and treatment information, helping to educate and empower patients, their families, caregivers and the medical community," says Carri Levy, Senior Associate Producer and visionary behind the series.

The mesothelioma community will certainly benefit from another opportunity to raise awareness of the incurable disease.  This week the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation hosted an Advocacy Day urging Congress to dedicate more funds to fighting the disease.