Scientists, physicians and patients collaborate to improve treatment for rare cancer.

SAN CARLOS, Calif. /PRNewswire/ -- The Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI), Champions Oncology and EGFR Resisters today announced the launch of a new study to create a novel bank of patient derived xenograft (PDX) models to help researchers better understand why patients living with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) positive lung cancer develop resistance to treatment over time, or do not respond at all.

The brain-child of two patient-driven organizations, the Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) and the EGFR Resisters, this study is a collaboration with leading lung cancer researcher and pioneer in EGFR mutant lung cancer, Pasi A. Jänne, MD, PhD of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Champions Oncology and is powered by ALCMI. 

EGFR gene mutations are commonly found in patients with non-small cell lung cancer, making up 10 to 15 percent of patients in the United States and about 50 percent of young adults with lung cancer.  There are many variations of EGFR gene mutations. Some EGFR patients with specific genetic markers (L858R, T790M, exon 19 deletion) respond well to targeted therapies initially, but later develop resistance to treatment. To date, there are no known effective therapies for patients with one rare EGFR mutation (exon 20 insertion).   The purpose of this study is to develop a resource of EGFR mutant cancer models to help drive research in this difficult disease. 

"I'm pleased to be part of a collaborative effort that will help researchers move faster toward finding effective lung cancer treatments," said Teri Kennedy, an EGFR-positive lung cancer patient and one of the founders of EGFR Resisters. "As a lung cancer patient and a friend of many other lung cancer patients and their families, I know firsthand how heartbreaking it is to develop resistance to treatment. This grassroots, patient-driven community hopes to empower patients to participate to find cures and work with researchers to advance research."

The ALCMI-012 study, A Prospective Biospecimen Collection Study from Patients with EGFR mutant Tumors, will collect a small amount of tumor or pleural fluid from patients who require biopsies or surgery for medical reasons and agree to donate a portion of their tumor. Champions will develop these EGFR PDX models by injecting a piece of the donated tumor or pleural fluid (from around a patient's lungs) into a special type of mouse that has a limited immune system. Research has shown that tumors grown in these "host" mice retain features similar to the patient's original tumor.  Most importantly, these models will be available to researchers worldwide through ALCMI.  

"This study provides an opportunity to change EGFR positive lung cancer into a manageable, chronic disease," said Pasi Jänne, M.D., Ph.D. the study's lead investigator.  "It's my hope that every patient diagnosed with a resistant EGFR mutation will take part and help speed the progress toward lasting treatments."

The study, currently open to patients in the U.S. and Canada, is powered by ALCMI's remote study capabilities.  There is no need to travel to another institution to participate in this study.  ALCMI's study team will work with you and your treating physician to secure your tumor donation.  To learn more visit ALCMI's website or call Nurse Alicia at 888-403-EGFR (3437).

"We are pleased to offer patients living anywhere in the US and Canada an opportunity to positively impact research in their disease by participating in this study.  Our team is available to the patient and physician community to answer questions and to support your participation," said Tony Addario, chair and CEO of the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI).

"Champions Oncology is pleased to collaborate in this patient-driven initiative that will advance research for patients with EGFR gene mutations. The team's shared scientific goals, expertise and commitment ensures that we will engage the patient community to understand the genomics of EGFR and can work with researchers to develop better treatments," said Jennifer Jaskowiak, director, strategic alliances and partnerships at Champions Oncology.


 

About the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute 
The Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI, voiced as "Alchemy"), founded in 2008 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization by lung cancer survivor Bonnie J Addario, is a patient-centric, international research consortium driving research otherwise not possible. Working in tandem with its "partner" foundation, the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF), ALCMI powers collaborative initiatives in genetic (molecular) testing, therapeutic discoveries, targeted treatments and early detection. ALCMI overcomes barriers to collaboration via a world-class team of investigators from 26 member institutions in the USA, UK, and Europe. ALCMI combines scientific expertise found at leading academic institutions with patient access through its network of community cancer centers to accelerate research.

About Champions Oncology 
Champions Oncology, Inc. is engaged in the development of advanced technology solutions and services to personalize the development and use of oncology drugs. The Company's technology platform is a novel approach to personalizing cancer care based upon the implantation of primary human tumors in immune deficient mice followed by propagation of the resulting engraftments, or Champions TumorGrafts, in a manner that preserves the biological characteristics of the original human tumor in order to determine the efficacy of a treatment regimen. The Company uses this technology in conjunction with related services to offer solutions for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies seeking personalized approaches to drug development that can lower the cost and increase the speed of developing new drugs. TumorGrafts are procured through agreements with a number of institutions in the U.S. and overseas as well as through Champions' Personalized Oncology Solutions business, in which results help guide the development of personalized treatment plans for individual patients. For more information visit Champions Oncology, Inc's website (www.championsoncology.com).

About EGFR Resisters 
EGFR Resisters is a grassroots, patient-driven community dedicated exclusively to changing EGFR-positive lung cancer into a manageable chronic disease. Our community of survivors and caregivers is made up of 760 members in 26 different countries who benefit from sharing knowledge and connecting with others who are experiencing similar journeys. The group's aim is to use the power of collaboration to drive important research questions and fund novel research and clinical trials. Learn more at egfrcancer.org and by following us on Facebook and Twitter