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.
PALO ALTO, Calif. (Business Wire EON) July 8, 2008 -- 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:
Translational Genomics Research Institute
Antonio Chiocca, M.D., Ph.D. and Sean Lawler, Ph.D.
Ohio State University
Howard Colman, M.D., Ph.D.
Jann Sarkaria, M.D.
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
Andrew Sloan, M.D.
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Craig Webb, Ph.D.
"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
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