Commitments- Research: Bench to Bedside

AliveAndKickn: HEROIC Mosaic Research Community

In 2016, AliveAndKickn launched the HEROIC Registry, a patient driven registry to collect real world and genomic data on Lynch syndrome patients globally.  To build upon that success, they are announcing a partnership with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) to launch The HEROIC Mosaic Research Community, a novel research opportunity for the AliveAndKickn community to collaborate with families, supporters, and top Lynch syndrome researchers to create new research projects that address Lynch Syndrome questions most important to the patients. Mosaic is an online crowdsourcing approach to design research studies. Instead of researchers designing and implementing studies, Mosaic allows patients, researchers, and community members to collaborate online in writing a research protocol and conducting the research. AliveAndKickn’s mission is to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by Lynch syndrome and associated cancers through research, education and screening.  Individuals with a Lynch syndrome hereditary cancer genetic mutation have high risks of developing colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer, and various other types of cancers, often at a young age. One in every 279 Americans has Lynch syndrome, as much as 95% of these people are not aware they have it.


Elsevier commits to directly follow up on priority areas of unmet need identified at the 2018 Biden Cancer Summit by conducting, and making publicly available, research to help drive the change needed to improve cancer outcomes for all American citizens. In 2016, Elsevier made a commitment to the White House Cancer Moonshot Initiative by launching a free and publicly available benchmarking report detailing the current landscape of cancer research and collaboration in the United States. In 2017, to expand on the Blue Ribbon Panel recommendations in greater detail; to broaden the discussion to all aspects of cancer care; and to facilitate new international collaborations to enhance global efforts in cancer control, Elsevier’s flagship oncology journal, The Lancet Oncology, launched a Commission authored by over 50 leading US oncologists. Including members of leading cancer societies, this freely available report, set out 13 priority areas, each with measurable goals, to focus the $2 billion of funding released to the National Cancer Institute as part of the 21st Century Cures Act.

Global Center for Medical Innovation*

In 2016, Atlanta’s Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) made a commitment to collaborate with National Cancer Institute to accelerate commercialization of innovative diagnostic devices from lab to market. These projects require long timelines to progress from translational research to accessible products for patients. Translat

ional research is vital, but commercial success is rare. To overcome these challenges, GCMI and NCI saw an opportunity to create an accelerated development pathway for promising technologies, and investment to advance movement into the clinic. This platform fostered a new, 5-year partnership with the American Cancer Society to leverage private research dollars and fund at least 2 programs per year and their new BrightEdge Ventur

es Fund that was launched to invest in promising medical devices and technologies.  The first oncology project, from Boston University’s BOTLab, will receive up to $100,000 to accelerate the investigator’s near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) technology.  This initiative serves as a predicate to their desire for investment in later-stage development projects, with a focus on ACS grantees, to speed the development of diagnostics, drugs, and therapies for cancer patients. By promoting a culture of innovation and commercialization through a partnership with

GCMI, ACS seeks to increase the impact of each donor dollar and reduce time-to-cures.

Health and Environmental Sciences Institute: THRIVE*

HESI THRIVE makes cancer patient quality of life an active research priority.  During and following cancer treatment, unintended treatment-related effects can adversely impact health and quality of life.  THRIVE’s seed grants catalyze translational research on when and how adverse effects occur and how to avoid or lessen them.  In THRIVE’s first year, grantees progressed areas such as neuropathic pain associated with breast cancer therapy, adverse effects from immunotherapy, and cardiac dysfunction associated with chemotherapies used to treat childhood cancers.  Today, HESI is announcing, with funders and partners the National Patient Advocate Foundation and Amgen, the launch of the 2019 THRIVE grant awards. A total of $225,000 will be awarded (4-6 grants).  Letters of Intent are due October 19, 2018 and awards announced January 11, 2019.

In October 2019, the non-profit HESI organization will launch a global, public-private collaborative effort to innovate approaches for supporting the safety of oncologic therapies with the anticipated initial focus on translational models for immuno-oncology safety Findings will be made publicly available upon completion.  To date, individuals from the following organizations have made initial commitments to the design and launch of this HESI program:  The National Patient Advocate Foundation, Medstar Health in Washington, MD Anderson, USC Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Abcam, Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sanofi, Takeda, Taconic, and HESI.

HOSA-Future Health Professionals: Service project

HOSA-Future Health Professionals is partnering with the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation (NPCF) for a two-year “HOSA service project.”  This 2-year partnership will support NPCF’s mission to find less toxic, more targeted treatments for pediatric cancer by engaging all students with future healthcare career goals to make a difference with pediatric cancer. HOSA-Future Health Professionals is a global student organization that provides a unique program of leadership development, technical skills training and recognition exclusively for middle school, secondary, postsecondary and collegiate students enrolled in health and biomedical sciences. The HOSA Service Project encourages HOSA members to provide support of a national health organization on a local, state, and national level.  Local chapters plan activities that include fundraising, community service projects, and volunteer hours.  HOSA will work directly with NPCF to help expand pediatric cancer awareness and support activities that help improve the lives of individuals and families affected by pediatric cancer.

The Legacy Program in Brain Cancer

The Legacy Program in Brain Cancer, a dedicated partnership between world-leading brain tumor experts and individuals impacted by brain cancer, announces a ten-year initiative with a kickoff inaugural summit scheduled in February 2019. Building on a foundation of remarkable success in early phase brain tumor immunotherapy clinical trials, the Program will pursue treatment advances through a synergistic collaboration that unites the efforts of leading brain tumor centers throughout the world. The Legacy Program in Brain Cancer is supported through the generosity of concerned individuals impacted by brain cancer. A dedicated fund has been established at the University of Florida with a campaign to raise $100 million for a ten-year initiative underway, with a vision presentation and program announcements scheduled for February 2019. The funding will support the rapid translation of leading immunotherapy approaches for brain cancer into early phase and importantly, more definitive phase 2 clinical trials. Centered at University of Florida, Legacy Program partners include investigators from Duke University; Children’s National Medical Center; Dana Farber Cancer Institute; MD Anderson Cancer Center; Stanford University; Biodesign Institute; Broad Institute; Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; Nationwide Children’s Hospital; Toronto Sick Kids’ Hospital and Sanford Burnham Research Institute.

The Life Raft Group: Pediatric and SDH-Deficient
Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor Consortium

The Life Raft Group announces a new initiative to strengthen and advance research for effective treatments of a rare subset of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST) patients, who have been unresponsive to the current standard treatments. To incubate progress for this rare disease population, they have formed the Pediatric and SDH-Deficient GIST Consortium, a collaboration of experts with complementary skill sets to team with patients to discover targeted solutions. The aim is to identify at least one effective treatment within three years as demonstrated by the initiation of clinical trials for the SDH-Deficient population. The initial focus will include the creation of a platform for shared data to answer key questions, establishment of a tissue bank and guidelines for clinical stakeholders, and the generation of cell lines. Expansion and initiation of studies and clinical trials will accelerate results. Access and outreach strategies will include training for community oncologists and educational webinars for patients and families worldwide. Partners include Boston Children’s Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals UK, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Foundation Medicine, GIST Support International, GIST Support UK, Huntsman Cancer Institute, Massey Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Moores Cancer Center UCSD, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Oregon Health and Science University, SDH-RA Cancer Research Advocates, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and University of Bologna Italy.

Lymphoma Research Foundation: Adolescent and Young Adult Lymphoma consortium

The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) will embark on an initiative to establish the first research consortium of its kind to support Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) lymphoma research and scientific collaboration. The LFR Adolescent and Young Adult Lymphoma Consortium (AYALC) will seek to convene pediatric and adult lymphoma experts to advance the study of AYA lymphomas and improve care for this patient population from the point of diagnosis through long-term survivorship. This primary objective will be met by convening biennial meetings to discuss the state of AYA lymphoma research and present research findings from relevant LRF grantees and consortium members. In addition, the AYALC and its membership will seek to support the Foundation’s #EraseLymphoma initiative and raise awareness of the Foundation’s AYA efforts. The inaugural Consortium workshop will be convened in Spring 2019.

Next Generation Scientists: Additionally, LRF will host a Biden Cancer Community Summit which will explore the impact of public and private support for early career investigators; the gaps which currently exist in training lymphoma scientists; and the ways in which early career investigator programs both foster collaboration and advance scientific discovery. After the conclusion of the Summit, LRF and its expert speaking faculty will publish a monograph highlighting the ways in which the cancer community can support early career scientists and establish national priorities to ensure sustainable support for the next generation of cancer investigators.

SEngine Precision Medicine: Project APOLLO: Personalized-Organoids-based-High-Throughput Functional Screens to guide therapies for metastatic colorectal cancer

Few colorectal cancer patients respond to first-line chemotherapy, and response rates decrease in later lines of therapy. Despite the growth of cancer genomic knowledge, translation into the clinic has been disappointing; indeed, alterations in targetable cancer genes are found in less than 10% of cases.  To close this gap, the SEngine APOLLO project announces the first of its kind 100-patient clinical trial – using an unbiased, CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment) certified high-throughput test (P.A.R.I.S®, SEngine Precision Medicine) to identify specific sensitivities in each patient from a large panel of oncology drugs. Tumor organoids will be derived from fifty randomized patients and undergo the P.A.R.I.S® test to identify a personalized treatment plan for that specific patient. Remaining patients will receive standard of care.  This will be expanded to other tumor types to in the coming 1-2 years.  Beyond the individual, the APOLLO project provides both the data and framework to make true personalized medicine a possibility for every cancer patient. SEngine is collaborating with Columbia University and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research.

VIONIC (Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium Foundation)

Vionic co-founders Bruce Campbell and Chris Gallagher together pledge to donate $1M to cancer research over the next 3 years. Both have both been personally affected by cancer through Chris’ mother, and Bruce’s son’s brain tumor and his own recent journey navigating a multiple myeloma diagnosis. Funding will support the Pediatric Neuro-oncology Consortium (PNOC) in their work to bring access to brain cancer treatments to 10 times more children across the globe; to increase accrual to clinical trials by 50% or more per year; and to increase research grants by at least $1M over 2-3 years. This pledge aligns Vionic’s core principles of science, innovation, and health with its commitment to giving back to its employees and the customers it serves.