FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pressnews.biz (Press Release) Nov 11, 2014
-- A treatment that uses the body's own immune system to fight cancer, immunotherapy has led to dramatic results for some patients with other forms of cancer.
Boston, MA - The Caring for Carcinoid Foundation, a non-profit that funds research to discover cures and more effective treatments for carcinoid, pancreatic, and related neuroendocrine cancers, is embarking upon a major research initiative in immunotherapy. A treatment that uses the body's own immune system to fight cancer, immunotherapy has led to dramatic results for some patients with other forms of cancer. The Caring for Carcinoid Foundation is eager to test the potential of immune-based therapy to provide similar breakthroughs for patients with neuroendocrine cancers.
There are currently over 100,000 people in the US living with neuroendocrine cancers, and there is no cure. The majority of all neuroendocrine cancer patients are initially misdiagnosed, and the time from onset of symptoms to proper diagnosis often exceeds five years. Since the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation's inception in 2005, over $10 million has been awarded to leading scientists and physicians at renowned institutions throughout the US and abroad. As the most focused funder of neuroendocrine cancer research, the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation's promising portfolio is advancing the understanding of neuroendocrine cancers, unlocking their genetic causes, and leading to innovative therapies and treatments.
In a further exciting development, Ron Hollander, Executive Director of the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation, announced that they have received a grant of $1 million from the TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation to support half of the projected cost of the initial projects in this program. "We feel a real sense of urgency to test the potential of immunotherapy to provide treatment breakthroughs for neuroendocrine tumors," said Ron. "The grant from the TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation serves as a challenge to our organization and the entire neuroendocrine cancer community to rapidly raise the remaining $1 million to pursue these exciting projects. We are so grateful for the foundation's commitment and could not be more excited about this initiative."
The Caring for Carcinoid Foundation has used its distinguished Board of Scientific Advisors to develop its immunotherapy plan: first reviewing the research, then requesting proposals from leading institutions, engaging immunotherapy experts to assist in peer review of proposals, and now unveiling its plan to raise the funds necessary to launch this initiative. "Because of the importance of our immunotherapy projects, we are bolstering the expertise on our Board of Scientific Advisors to include Dr. Dung Le, an immunotherapy expert," said Lauren Erb, Director of Research at the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation.
Specifically, the immunotherapy initiative will initially fund projects in three major areas. The first project will include leading immunotherapy expert Carl June, MD, the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine and director of Translational Research in the Abramson Cancer Center, and neuroendocrine tumor researcher Xianxin Hua, MD, PhD, professor of Cancer Biology at Penn. They aim to develop chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells and will evaluate their ability to kill neuroendocrine tumor cells, a method that has had dramatic initial results in clinical trials in patients with other cancers. The second project includes a multidisciplinary team led by Dr. Pamela Kunz from Stanford University, and consists of a clinical trial, combining two immunotherapy drugs that are in clinical trials for other cancers. The third project studies the immune characteristics of neuroendocrine tumors to guide CFCF's testing of immunotherapy treatments. This piece is essential to maximizing the chances of success in both other immunotherapy projects. To learn more about the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation's immunotherapy initiative and the specific projects, visit: http://www.caringforcarcinoid.org/news/cfcf-launches-major-immunotherapy-initiative