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Major donation to help regional asbestos disease sufferers

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National law firm Slater and Gordon has welcomed the $125,000 donation from the Biaggio Signorelli Foundation to help fund the development of ground breaking national guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of the deadly asbestos related disease, mesothelioma.

The donation will be presented to the head of the Asbestos Disease Research Institute, Professor Nico Van Zandwijk by Biaggio Signorelli Foundation Board member, Mr Paul Signorelli, at a ceremony in the Bernie Banton Centre in Concord Hospital today (Wednesday July 21, 2010).

Ms Joanne Wade, an expert asbestos disease lawyer with Slater and Gordon, said the donation would help researchers develop world-class treatment guidelines for mesothelioma victims.

“The guidelines will be used in diagnosing different strains of mesothelioma and the best treatment options for individual sufferers,” Ms Wade said.

“The development of national guidelines will ensure patients around Australia and in particular in regional areas, receive the same high quality diagnosis and care.

“These guidelines will be an important tool for doctors as they make critical decisions on how best to treat their patients,” Ms Wade said 

Australia has the highest incidence of mesothelioma in the world.

It is estimated that around 750 Australians will be diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases next year and by 2020 Australia would have some 13,000 cases of mesothelioma.

Since 1980, 33,000 Australians have died from asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, other cancers and asbestosis.

Slater and Gordon conducted the first successful common law asbestos litigation case in 1984 and has acted for thousands of people exposed to and diagnosed with an asbestos related disease.