Tag Archives: MD Anderson Cancer Center

brain

TGen-Ivy Foundation brain cancer trial approved

In 2012, The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation awarded $10 million in grants for two groundbreaking brain cancer research projects at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). One of those projects has officially received the final regulatory approval from University of California, San Francisco, which means patient enrollment for the trial can begin.

In the $5-million-project, “Genomics Enabled Medicine in Glioblastoma Trial,” TGen and its clinical partners will lead first-in-patient clinical trial studies that will test promising new drugs that might extend the survival of GBM patients. This multi-part study will take place in clinics across the country and TGen laboratories.

“GBM is one of the top three fastest-killing cancers out there and it affects people of all ages,” said Catherine (Bracken) Ivy, founder and president of The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation. “It is critical that we fund research that will help patients live longer so we can study and treat brain cancer.”

The project begins with a pilot study of 15 patients, using whole genome sequencing to study their tumor samples to help physicians determine what drugs might be most beneficial.

To support molecularly informed clinical decisions, TGen labs also will examine genomic data from at least 536 past cases of glioblastoma, as well as tumor samples from new cases, developing tools that will produce more insight into how glioblastoma tumors grow and survive. TGen also will conduct a series of pioneering lab tests to measure cell-by-cell responses to various drugs.

“GBM is a disease that needs answers now, and we strongly believe those answers will be found in the genome,” said Dr. David Craig, TGen’s Deputy Director of Bioinformatics, Director of TGen’s Neurogenomics Division, and one of the projects principal investigators. “Identifying the genes that contribute to the survival of glioblastoma will provide valuable information on how to treat it, and may also lead to an improved understanding of what drives other cancers as well.”

To get new treatments to patients as quickly as possible, this five-year study will include a feasibility study involving up to 30 patients, followed by Phase II clinical trials with as many as 70 patients. TGen is teaming with the Ivy Early Phase Clinical Trials Consortium that includes: University of California, San Francisco; University of California, Los Angeles; the MD Anderson Cancer Center; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; University of Utah; and the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.

The results of these clinical trials should not only help the patients who join them, but also provide the data needed for FDA approval and availability of new drugs that could benefit tens of thousands of brain cancer patients in the future.

“Working with physicians, the project will aim to understand treatment in the context of the tumor’s molecular profile. We will have the opportunity to determine when combinations of drugs might be more effective than using a single drug, quickly identify which therapies don’t work, and accelerate discovery of ones that might prove promising for future development,” said Dr. John Carpten, TGen’s Deputy Director of Basic Science, Director of TGen’s Integrated Cancer Genomics Division, and another of the project’s principal investigators.

In addition to helping patients as quickly as possible, the project should significantly expand Arizona’s network of brain cancer experts.

Banner MD Anderson Lantern Of Hope

$2M Grant from Piper Supports Fight Against Cancer

With a generous $2 million grant from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, the Cancer Has Met Its Match campaign benefitting Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center is near its $20 million goal. The grant from Piper Trust, in support of the campaign, provides funding for capital, programs and services that will impact patients, their families and the community.

Launched in January 2011, the Cancer Has Met Its Match campaign has attracted support from more than 1,000 individual, corporate and foundation donors that share an interest in fighting cancer. The campaign has been on a path to success since its inception thanks to the involvement of dozens of dedicated community and business leaders who comprise the campaign cabinet.

In particular, Richard Adkerson, president and CEO of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, has been invaluable as the chair of the campaign, while Arizona Cardinals’ star receiver Larry Fitzgerald has taken an active role as honorary chair. Additional outstanding leadership has been provided by co-chairs Steve Rizley, senior vice president of Cox Communication and Kari Yatkowski, founder of Corporate Citizen.

Located in Gilbert, Ariz., the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, part of the Phoenix-based nonprofit Banner Health system, relies on philanthropic support to fund education and outreach activities, patient support programs, the latest technology and more. Another significant gift received in Fall 2012 from the James M. Cox Foundation will fund the creation of the Center for Cancer Prevention and Integrative Oncology, which will incorporate traditional cancer treatments with evidence-based integrative therapies, such as acupuncture, yoga or meditation, to aid pain and stress management.

The Cancer Has Met Its Match campaign seeks to raise the remaining $311,000 by June 30, 2013. A second fundraising effort will follow to secure support for additional capital and programmatic efforts associated with the ongoing expansion of Banner MD Anderson. Work is currently underway on a 130,000-square-foot expansion project at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center which will double the total clinic exam rooms to 60, add three linear accelerators used in radiation treatment and include 13 additional infusion bays. It will also expand the Laboratory Intake Center and Welcome Center, as well as the Cox Center for Integrative Oncology and Cancer Prevention.