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TGen to Lead New Brain Cancer Consortium with PGx Focus

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation said this week that it has awarded $3 million to the Translational Genomics Research Institute to lead a new research consortium that will apply genomics tools to the study of brain cancer.
The consortium, called the Ivy Genomics-Based Medicine, or Ivy GBM, Project, involves nine US research institutions who will study whether genetic differences in individual brain tumors can help predict the most effective treatment option for each patient.
This project will categorize tumors by molecular profiling and test each tumor against a range 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, in a statement.
“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,” she said.
Michael Berens, head of the brain tumor research lab at TGen, will manage the project, which will take place in two stages and span four to five years.
In stage I of the project, which is expected to last 18 months, project partners will develop models for predicting treatment response based on the genetic profile of patients’ tumors.
If stage I is successful, the project will proceed to the second phase, a clinical trial for patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme.
In addition to Berens and TGen, Ivy GBM Project participants include:
• Antonio Chiocca and Sean Lawler of Ohio State University;
• Howard Colman of MD Anderson Cancer Center;
• G. Yancey Gillespie of the University of Alabama at Birmingham;
• C. David James of the University of California, San Francisco;
• Tom Mikkelsen of Henry Ford Hospital;
• Jann Sarkaria of the Mayo Clinic;
• Andrew Sloan of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine;
• and Craig Webb of the Van Andel Research Institute.

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