SAN CARLOS, Calif. and HACKENSACK, N.J., Feb. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI), Champions Oncology (NASDAQ: CSBR) and the ROS1ders announce the commencement of a global study to gain a deeper understanding of ROS1-positive cancer. The study is developing patient-derived xenografts (PDX) models for ROS1-fusion driven cancers to understand what drives tumor development, therapeutic response and acquired resistance to enable the development of new and more effective therapies against this under-studied molecular subset of cancer.
ROS1 rearrangements occur in one to three percent of lung, gastric and ovarian cancers, as well as melanoma, cholangiocarcinoma, glioblastoma and other cancers. ROS1 is an enzyme coded by the ROS1 gene. A gene fusion occurs when a gene abnormally breaks off and fuses with another gene to form a hybrid gene that can lead to cancer initiation and drive its growth.
Researchers are asking physicians to inform their patients about this opportunity to help improve treatments and hopefully survival for others with this cancer mutation.
"When you get a diagnosis like metastatic lung cancer, it is easy to feel hopeless and helpless," said Tori Tomalia, a ROS1 lung cancer patient. "By joining up with other ROS1ders, we have empowered ourselves with our shared knowledge. The Global ROS1 Initiative takes it even further by actually moving the needle on the research and hopefully impacting our own survival."
The ALCMI-006 ROS1 PDX Study is the most recent effort driving The Global ROS1 Initiative, which focuses on improving outcomes for this uncommon yet clinically important oncogene-driven cancer. ROS1-positive patients meeting eligibility criteria may contribute viable tumor tissue to develop the PDX models. PDX models are developed by implanting a fresh piece of tumor tissue from a biopsy or surgery from a patient into immunodeficient mice to act as 'hosts' to allow the tumor to grow and maintain features similar to the original human tumor. The resultant models will help researchers understand both the response and the all too often acquired resistance of lung cancer to drug treatments, and accelerate new therapies to patients.
"This innovative study will bring new models to study ROS1 in order to define the best treatments for patients with ROS1 positive tumors," according to Christine M. Lovly, MD, PhD, a lung cancer physician-scientist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which is a member of the ALCMI research consortium. "I am thrilled to be part of this groundbreaking study, which has been spearheaded by patients and involves a deep collaboration among the patients, health care providers, ALCMI and Champions Oncology."
"Champions Oncology is pleased to be a collaborator in this exceptional patient-driven initiative. The team assembled brings together shared scientific goals, expertise and commitment that will ensure the success of creating a unique translational resource to further understanding of mechanisms of resistance and enable drug development in ROS1 cancers," said Angela Davies, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Champions Oncology.
The FDA approved the first ROS1 targeted therapy, crizotinib, in 2016. There are no FDA-approved treatments for patients whose disease progresses after treatment with crizotinib. ALCMI is focusing on this under-studied rare subset of cancer to understand how cancer begins and spreads in these tumors, how these tumors respond to treatment and what happens when tumors stop responding to treatment.
"ROS1 positive patients from North America may now participate in this study, and other countries will soon follow," said Steven Young, ALCMI president & Chief Operating Officer. "The enrollment methods developed by ALCMI from our previous successful research studies allow for participation by patients wherever they reside, coupled with strategically-placed Champions' facilities presently in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Israel."
Unique aspects of this study include the creation of new and critically needed drug development tools, in partnership with ROS1 positive cancer patients across multiple forms of cancer and directly facilitated by a lung cancer patient-founded, global non-profit research consortium with a motivated biotech industry partner.
To participate in the study or for more information, call 866-988-ROS1 (7671) or go to www.alcmi.net/ROS1PDXstudy.
The Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI, voiced as "Alchemy"), founded in 2008 as a 501(c)(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, supported by dedicated, centralized research infrastructures such as standardized biorepositories and data systems. ALCMI directly facilitates research by combining scientific expertise found at leading academic institutions with patient access through its network of community cancer centers – accelerating novel research advancements to lung cancer patients. By providing access to critical masses of patient stakeholders, academic, community and industry researchers, ALCMI and ALCF are making progress towards their shared goal of transforming lung cancer into a chronically managed disease. For more information visit: http://alcmi.net/
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 at http://www.championsoncology.com.
The ROS1ders, voiced as "ross wonders", are a group of patients and caregivers dealing with cancers of all types that test positive for acquired ROS1 rearrangements. We are building a community to accelerate ROS1 research, improve patient outcomes and turn ROS1 positive cancer into a manageable chronic disease. ROS1der members include over 180 patients and caregivers from 20 countries worldwide. For more information visit: https://ros1cancer.com, http://www.lungcancerfoundation.org/patients/ros1/.
SOURCE Champions Oncology, Inc.