Feb 14, 2022, 15:52 ET
WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hamoui Foundation and LUNGevity Foundation today announced the 2022 recipients of the first The Hamoui Foundation/LUNGevity Clinical Research Award for RET-Positive Lung Cancer. RET is a driver mutation found in approximately 1%-2% of people with non-small cell lung cancer. The goal of these awards is to transform the future for those diagnosed with RET-positive lung cancer by changing RET-positive lung cancer into a chronic or curable condition.
Together these awards total $1,000,000 over two years; funds were provided by The Hamoui Foundation.
The 2022 award has been presented to:
- Alexander Drilon, MD, Associate Professor, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Identifying non-genomic mechanisms of RET TKI resistance
Many RET-positive cancers become resistant to targeted therapy for reasons not clearly based on genetic changes alone. Dr. Drilon predicts that other causes of resistance include (1) chemical changes (in the "epigenome") that turn cancer-causing genes on or off and (2) changes in how these cancers look under the microscope ("histology") that affect cancer behavior. Because these changes affect cell states rather than mutations, this resistance is potentially reversible, defining a key opportunity to maintain, restore, and extend sensitivity to potent and specific RET inhibitors.
- John Heymach, MD, PhD, Professor, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Novel structure-based and combinatorial approaches for RET-fusion NSCLC
There is an urgent need to identify new agents or combination therapies to benefit patients whose tumors have developed resistance to current RET inhibitors. Currently, the true extent of RET-dependent (resistance mutations in the RET gene) versus RET-independent mechanisms of resistance is unknown. Dr. Heymach's team will study mechanisms and biomarkers of RET-independent drug resistance and test different drug combinations to overcome RET inhibitor resistance.
- Tejas Patil, MD, Assistant Professor, University of Colorado Denver, AMC and DC
MET and EGFR as biomarkers for amivantamab in overcoming RET TKI resistance
Two possible pathways that seem to be important for resistance to RET inhibitors are the EGFR and MET signaling pathways. Conventional methods of detecting EGFR or MET resistance may not identify many cases where both pathways are involved. In this study, Dr. Patil will use several different laboratory techniques to better detect and define EGFR and MET resistance. He anticipates that the EGFR and MET pathways can be blocked by a newer drug called amivantamab, which is a bi-specific antibody that specifically targets both EGFR and MET.
"We are thrilled to fund these three leaders in RET-positive lung cancer research. Our goal was to fund the best projects, and we appreciated LUNGevity's rigorous science vetting process that included both members of the RET-positive lung cancer community and RET researchers. Our hope is that this research will improve outcomes for patients with RET-positive lung cancer," said Omaima Salous, co-founder of The Hamoui Foundation.
"Our partnership with The Hamoui Foundation in funding these new projects reinforces our commitment to funding vital research that addresses unmet needs in lung cancer as identified by the RET-positive community of patients and caregivers. The outstanding track record of the three researchers ensures that these projects will definitely move the needle," said Upal Basu Roy, PhD, MPH, LUNGevity's executive director of research.
About The Hamoui Foundation
The Hamoui Foundation is a private family foundation based in Southern California. The Foundation's goal is to focus efforts on a select number of key initiatives to create visible step changes in the organizations they support. The Foundation aims to create sustainable benefit through the establishment of endowments that provide ongoing funding. While the focus is on creating substantial changes for select projects, the Foundation does not underestimate the power of supporting selective local nonprofit organizations in their community. With the increasing crises in the Middle East, it has been a personal interest for them to aid and support families who have been displaced or were affected by the economic crises in the area. Since its establishment in 2010, the Foundation has gifted over $20 million to support progress in areas of medical research, education, community nonprofit organizations, and the fight against hunger and poverty.
For more information about The Hamoui Foundation, please visit www.hamouifoundation.org.
About LUNGevity Foundation cancer.
LUNGevity Foundation is the nation's leading lung cancer organization focused on improving outcomes for people with lung cancer through research, policy initiatives, education, support, and engagement for patients, survivors, and caregivers. LUNGevity seeks to make an immediate impact on the quality of life and survivorship for everyone touched by the disease—while promoting health equity by addressing disparities throughout the care continuum. LUNGevity works tirelessly to advance research into early detection and more effective treatments, provide information and educational tools to empower patients and their caregivers, promote impactful public policy initiatives, and amplify the patient voice through research and engagement. The organization provides an active community for patients and survivors—and those who help them live longer and better lives.
Comprehensive resources include a medically vetted and patient-centric website, a toll-free HELPLine for support, the International Lung Cancer Survivorship Conference, and an easy-to-use Clinical Trial Finder, among other tools. All of these programs are to achieve our vision—a world where no one dies of lung cancer. LUNGevity Foundation is proud to be a four-star Charity Navigator organization.
Our vision is a world where no one dies of lung cancer. For more information about LUNGevity Foundation, please visit LUNGevity.org.
SOURCE LUNGevity Foundation
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