July 08, 2008

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine to participate in first of its kind genomic-based brain tumor research

$3 million Stage I project aims to improve personalized medicine for patients


The Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has been named one of nine leading institutions to collaborate in the Ivy Genomics-Based Medicine Project grant (Ivy G.B.M. Project), established by 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.

"This project has the potential to provide groundbreaking advances for the treatment of brain tumor patients in Northeast Ohio by translating what we have learned from the human genome into "personalized treatment" for brain tumors," said Andrew Sloan, associate professor of neurological surgery at the School of Medicine and the lead investigator at the Cleveland site, located at the school’s primary clinical affiliate, the Brain Tumor Center of the Neurological Institute and the Ireland Cancer Center at University Hospitals. "This consortium will allow us to collaborate with other leading brain tumor centers throughout the country to test our best ideas, access the most sophisticated genomic technology and analytic programs available, share our results, and apply novel and sophisticated approaches to brain tumors that have revolutionized the care of patients with other cancers. The results of this study will give us the ability to choose the best treatment for each individual patient."

The Ivy G.B.M. Project is a collaboration among nine top brain tumor centers in the U.S. working together to better understand how the genetic differences in individual brain tumors can potentially predict 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 overall $3 million Ivy G.B.M. Project grant was awarded to the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) to coordinate, manage and provide genomics based research expertise for the two-stage project spanning four to five years.

Stage I of The Ivy G.B.M. Project will start immediately and researchers will work on an aggressive 18-month timeline with clear milestones and deliverables. Stage I creates a new consortium of nine academic centers 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 G.B.M.

The Ivy G.B.M. Project Phase I Institutions include the Translations Genomics Research Institute; The Ohio State University; M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; University of Alabama at Birmingham; University of California, San Francisco; Henry Ford Hospital, Mayo Clinic; Van Andel Research Institute; and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

For more information contact Christina Thompson, 216.368.3635.

For more information contact Jessica E. Studeny, 216.368.4692.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, July 8, 2008 01:09 PM | News Topics: Faculty, Grants, HeadlinesMain, Healthcare, Provost Initiatives, Research, School of Medicine, news

Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.