SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, AppDynamics Blog, Skytap Blog, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski

News Feed Item

Stand Up To Cancer and the Farrah Fawcett Foundation Announce New HPV Translational Research Team Grant

Research efforts will investigate approaches to develop novel immune therapies for HPV-associated cancers

SAN DIEGO, April 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and the Farrah Fawcett Foundation, along with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), SU2C's Scientific Partner, announced the formation of a research team dedicated to HPV-related cancers during a press event today at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014, held here April 5-9. The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation is supporting the translational research team by making an additional gift to Stand Up To Cancer.

Ellis L. Reinherz, M.D., chief of the Laboratory of Immunobiology and co-director of the Cancer Vaccine Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Mass., and Robert I. Haddad, M.D., disease center leader for head and neck oncology at Dana-Farber, will lead the research project titled "Therapeutic CD8 vaccines against conserved E7 HPV epitopes identified by MS."

The SU2C-Farrah Fawcett Foundation Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Translational Research Team Grant will provide $1.2 million in funding over three years for this innovative project. It will focus on patients with HPV-driven cancers (including anal, cervical, and head and neck cancers) who relapse following initial therapy, and for whom few therapeutic options are available, and will provide a novel approach to improving outcomes in this population.

"It's estimated that more than 30,000 HPV-associated cancers occur each year in the United States alone," said Sherry Lansing, SU2C co-founder, founder of the Sherry Lansing Foundation, and chairperson of the Entertainment Industry Foundation Board of Directors. "Research into new therapies that will benefit patients is urgently needed."

"Farrah was committed to the struggle against anal cancer and other forms of cancer," said Alana Stewart, chief executive officer and president of the Farrah Fawcett Foundation. "We are very pleased to continue Farrah's legacy by supporting this important scientific initiative."

"Our mother Paulette passed away in 2010 at the age of 53 after being treated for HPV-related anal cancer with the same, antiquated chemotherapy cocktail first administered to patients in the 1970s," said Justine Almada, executive director of the HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation. "By collaborating with other organizations who share our urgency for a cure, we hope to overcome barriers to therapeutic progress and end the suffering caused by HPV, which causes 5 percent of all cancers worldwide."

Research Team Selection Process and Project Information

The proposals for the SU2C-Farrah Fawcett Foundation Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Translational Research Team Grant were reviewed by a panel of renowned scientists. The committee was co-chaired by Waun Ki Hong, M.D., FACP, D.M.Sc. (hon.), and Lawrence D. Piro, M.D. Hong is division head and professor at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, an American Cancer Society professor, and a Samsung distinguished university chair in cancer medicine. Piro is the president and chief executive officer of The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute and professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California.

The process began with a call for ideas by the AACR in September 2013, and eight finalists were invited to submit full proposals. Of the finalists, the committee recommended funding of the Reinherz and Haddad team. The team proposes to develop new vaccines and other immunotherapeutic approaches that stimulate cancer-killing immunity as treatments for patients with HPV-associated cancers, including cancers of the anus, cervix, and head and neck.

"Our project involves the development of vaccines that stimulate specific immune cells to attack HPV-driven cancer cells," said Reinherz. "While current vaccines effectively prevent HPV infection from taking place in unexposed individuals, they are unable to offer protection to those already exposed subjects either at risk of developing a tumor or with an existing cancer. Our vaccine is uniquely designed to attack the cancers even after tumor formation and, importantly, without causing collateral damage to normal tissues. The strategy is to 1) identify the tumor target, 2) activate specific immune cells, and 3) deploy these effectors at the tumor site for selective destruction of the cancer."

The researchers have developed a highly sensitive ion physics method to find "tags," called epitopes, on cancer cells that are entirely specific for the cancer and hence not found on the normal cells in the body. These tags can signal to receptors on a specific type of immune cell, called a cytolytic T lymphocyte (CTL), to attack and kill the cancer once CTLs are programmed by vaccination to do so in the patient's body. One CTL target that the team has already identified has been incorporated into a new therapeutic vaccine that will be tested on patients in a clinical trial as part of this research grant. The team will also use their epitope-identification technology to find other epitopes for the development of additional immunotherapeutic agents. Finally, they will identify the T cell receptors on CTL that provide the best immune response in order to re-engineer the patients' own immune cells in the laboratory for use as a cancer treatment.

"We are focusing in particular on patients with an HPV-driven cancer who have relapsed after their initial therapy," said Haddad. "These patients have few therapeutic options today, and we aim to provide a new and targeted approach to improving outcomes for them. Our expectation is that a therapeutic vaccine would also be less toxic than conventional chemotherapy currently being used in clinical practice."

The project is expected to begin July 2014.

The AACR is responsible for administering the grant and provides ongoing scientific oversight to ensure that progress is being made. Since the launch of SU2C, the AACR has played an integral role as SU2C's Scientific Partner by providing scientific leadership, expert peer review, grants administration, and oversight of progress.

About Stand Up To Cancer
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry's resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about progress being made in the fight against the disease. As SU2C's scientific partner, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and a Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., conduct rigorous, competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and provide expert review of research progress.

Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Kathleen Lobb, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, and Ellen Ziffren. All current members of the CFA were co-producers of the 2012 televised special. The late co-founder Laura Ziskin executive produced both the Sept. 5, 2008, and Sept. 10, 2010, broadcasts. SU2C was formally launched on May 27, 2008. Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., has served as SU2C's president and CEO since 2011.

For more information on Stand Up To Cancer visit http://www.standup2cancer.org.

About the Farrah Fawcett Foundation
The Farrah Fawcett Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation whose mission is to provide funding for cutting edge cancer research, to support prevention and awareness, and to help those struggling with cancer today through the creation of The Farrah Fawcett Fund for Patient Assistance at various treatment centers around the country.

Actress and Beauty Icon Farrah Fawcett was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006. She filmed her treatment and journey in this cancer battle in what became 'Farrah's Story,' a documentary that aired to nine million viewers on NBC and was later nominated for an Emmy. Before her death in 2009, she established the Foundation because she 'wanted to make a difference.'

For more information, visit www.thefarrahfawcettfoundation.org.

About the HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation
The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation is dedicated to empowering anal cancer patients and accelerating prevention and research methods that eliminate anal cancer and the virus that causes the majority of cases, HPV.

Specifically, the HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation aims to:

  • Highlight the relevance of human papillomavirus (HPV) in contracting cancer.
  • Accelerate a cure for the 5% of all cancers that are caused by HPV, with a focus on anal cancer.
  • Advocate for prevention methods that will end anal cancer and HPV-related cancers, including gender neutral vaccination.
  • Provide support for survivors, caregivers, scientists and providers connected to anal cancer.

The Foundation was incorporated in 2010 after the death of Paulette Crowther by her three children and primary caregivers, Justine, Tristan and Camille Almada. The Foundation has 501(c)(3) non-profit status in the USA and is a registered charity in the United Kingdom.

For more information visit www.analcancerfoundation.org. Follow on Twitter: @HPVAnalCancer or Facebook: www.facebook.com/analcancerfoundation.

About the American Association for Cancer Research
Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR membership includes more than 34,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in more than 90 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 20 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with more than 18,000 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes eight peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients, and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration, and scientific oversight of team science and individual grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer. For more information about the AACR, visit www.AACR.org. Follow the AACR on Twitter: @AACR. Follow the AACR on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aacr.org.

SOURCE Stand Up To Cancer

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
CodeFutures has announced Dan Lynn as its new CEO. Lynn assumes the role from Founder Cory Isaacson, who has joined RMS and will now serve as chairman of CodeFutures. Lynn brings more than 14 years of advanced technology and business success experience, and will help CodeFutures build on its industry leadership around its Agile Big Data initiatives. His technical expertise will be invaluable in advancing CodeFutures’ AgilData platform and new processes for streamlining and gaining value from gro...
Datapipe has acquired GoGrid, a provider of multi-cloud solutions for Big Data deployments. GoGrid’s proprietary orchestration and automation technologies provide 1-Button deployment for Big Data solutions that speed creation and results of new cloud projects. “GoGrid has made it easy for companies to stand up Big Data solutions quickly,” said Robb Allen, CEO, Datapipe. “Datapipe customers will achieve significant value from the speed at which we can now create new Big Data projects in the clou...
“DevOps is really about the business. The business is under pressure today, competitively in the marketplace to respond to the expectations of the customer. The business is driving IT and the problem is that IT isn't responding fast enough," explained Mark Levy, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
“The year of the cloud – we have no idea when it's really happening but we think it's happening now. For those technology providers like Zentera that are helping enterprises move to the cloud - it's been fun to watch," noted Mike Loftus, VP Product Management and Marketing at Zentera Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your o...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, ...
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial C...
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by minin...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile ...
“This win means a great deal to us because it is decided by the readers – the people who understand how use of our technology enables new insights that drive the business,” said Matt Davies, senior director, EMEA marketing, Splunk. “Splunk Enterprise enables organizations to improve service levels, reduce operations costs, mitigate security risks, enhance DevOps collaboration, create new product and service offerings and obtain deeper insight into customer behavior. Being named Best Business App...
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...
SYS-CON Media announced today that PagerDuty has launched a popular blog feed on DevOps Journal. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done.
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, addressed the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. Rodney Rogers, chairman and CEO of Virtustream; Brendan O'Brien, co-founder of Aria Systems, Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState Software; Jim Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn; Dave Wagstaff, VP ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CodeFutures, a leading supplier of database performance tools, has been named a “Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. CodeFutures is an independent software vendor focused on providing tools that deliver database performance tools that increase productivity during database development and increase database performance and scalability during production.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ActiveState, the leading independent Cloud Foundry and Docker-based PaaS provider, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. ActiveState believes that enterprises gain a competitive advantage when they are able to quickly create, deploy and efficiently manage software solutions that immediately create business value, but they face many challenges that ...