July 9, 2008
Ivy Foundation Funds New Brain Cancer Research Consortium
$3M Stage I Project Aims to Improve Personalized Medicine for Patients
For the Ivy Foundation
Laura Feinberg, 202-295-8794
Today, the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation (Ivy Foundation), a newly formed family foundation dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for patients with brain tumors, announced funding for the Ivy Genomics-Based Medicine Project.
The Ivy Genomics-Based Medicine Project (Ivy G.B.M. Project) is a collaboration among nine U.S. institutions working together to try to better understand how the genetic differences in individual brain tumors can potentially inform the prediction of what will be the most effective treatment option for each patient. This project will categorize tumors by molecular profiling and, for the first time in brain cancer research, test each tumor against a wide spectrum of treatments to match differences in response with the profiles.
"Currently, all patients get basically the same treatment without taking into account the genetic profile of their tumor," said Catherine Ivy, Founder of the Ivy Foundation. "The end goal of this research initiative is to identify how tumors with different genetic features respond to a set of treatment regimens and ultimately, it is hoped, provide physicians with the tools they need to offer brain tumor patients the most effective treatment options based on the specific genetic profile of their tumor."
The $3,000,000 Ivy G.B.M Project grant was awarded to the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). Under the leadership of Michael Berens, Ph.D., TGen will coordinate and manage the two-stage project spanning four to five years as well as provide their expertise in genomics based research.
Stage I of The Ivy G.B.M Project will start immediately and researchers will be working on an aggressive 18-month timeline with clear milestones and deliverables. Stage I creates a new consortium of nine academic laboratories utilizing models for predicting treatment response based on the genetic profile of a patient's tumor. Real-time collaborative linkage and project-specific communication are provided through the support of 5AM Solutions of Reston, Virginia. The successful completion of Stage I will form the basis for funding Stage II, a clinical trial for patients with recurrent GBM.
"The Ivy Foundation's fast and flexible approach to brain cancer research combined with the unique gathering of exceptional researchers from leading medical institutions across the United States is already generating several 'firsts' in brain cancer research," said Dr. Berens. "The Ivy G.B.M. Project was initiated at unprecedented speed; institutional agreements were signed in a remarkable four months and, because of the collaborative nature of the project, researchers will now be able to compare results across institutions on a diverse set of tumors and treatment regimen response patterns. The size, scope and potential impact this project will have for patients with brain cancer is simply huge."
Ivy G.B.M. Project Phase One project leaders and institutions include:
"We are proud to partner with TGen and these fine institutions on a project that exemplifies what The Ivy Foundation is all about - we see data sharing among researchers and medical institutions as a necessary component to moving the field of brain cancer research forward and instrumental in getting results quickly to the patients who need them," said Catherine Ivy.
About The Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation
The Ivy Foundation is the nation's largest privately funded foundation dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for people diagnosed with a brain tumor. Our approach is to fund research in gliomas for improved diagnostics and treatments for patients. In its inception year, 2008, The Ivy Foundation will grant $12,000,000 to patient-focused research.
The Ivy Foundation is committed to funding research projects which embody the concept of Patient-Focused Research. Patient- Focused Research (PFR) keeps the patient and relevant clinical issues at the center of every research project and encompasses three main components:
-- Exchange - Fosters collaboration between institutions and disciplines and creates an on-going, back and forth dialogue between the lab and the clinic.
-- Urgency - Each Ivy Foundation project expedites processes to get results focused on improving the lives of patients.
-- Personalization - PFR also addresses the genetic differences among tumors with the aim of improving diagnostics and treatments for each patient diagnosed with a brain tumor.
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a non- profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process.
-- Michael E. Berens, Ph.D.
___ Translational Genomics Research Institute
--_ Antonio Chiocca, M.D., Ph.D. and Sean Lawler, Ph.D.
___ Ohio State University
--_ Howard Colman, M.D., Ph.D.
___ The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
--_ G. Yancey Gillespie, Ph.D.
___ University of Alabama at Birmingham
--_ C. David James, Ph.D.
___ University of California, San Francisco
--_ Tom Mikkelsen, M.D.
___ Henry Ford Hospital
--_ Jann Sarkaria, M.D.
___ Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
--_ Andrew Sloan, M.D.
___ Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
--_ Craig Webb, Ph.D.
___ Van Andel Research Institute
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