Govt funds handed out for research into asbestos illnesses

RESEARCHERS from the Queensland Mesothelioma Project, Southern Cross University and the University of Queensland were among eight recipients of money to help people suffering from asbestos-related illnesses.

The money was awarded through the Asbestos Innovation Fund, which was launched by the Federal Government in 2010.

Dr Kimberly Stannard from the Queensland Mesothelioma Project will receive $150,000 to test a new treatment regime that combines chemotherapy with tumour specific immune therapy.

Associate Professor Rick van der Zwan from Southern Cross University will receive $96,015 to identify and better understand the negative changes in the social, psychological and economic activities of individuals and families living with asbestos-related illnesses.

Associate Professor Judith Bauer from the University of Queensland will receive $45,800 to determine the nutritional status, body composition and dietary intake and quality of life of patients with mesothelioma.

The aim of her research is to advance understanding and knowledge about the nutritional care of mesothelioma patients.

Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten, who announced the recipients of the funding on Tuesday, said while the costs of asbestos-related illness were high, the price of inaction was higher.

"The reality is that asbestos-related deaths are not expected to peak until 2020, and that tragically, we are expecting another 30-40,000 people to be diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases in the next 20 years," Mr Shorten said.

"According to the International Labour Organisation, someone in the world dies from an asbestos-related disease every five minutes. In Australia, it is expected that more Australians will die from diseases related to asbestos than were killed in the First World War."


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Topics:  asbestos australian government education health illness research science

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