A Dendritic Cell Vaccine to Treat Patients With Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma

A study by Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and led by the team of Allan Dietz, PhD and Ian Parney, MD PhD, will test the ability of the immune system to fight tumors in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma (clinical trials identifier: NCT01957956). In this study, the patient donates blood to provide cells that can be differentiated into dendritic cells (cells in the body that are critical to stimulating immunity).  The cells are processed in a special clean room facility specifically designed to produce cells as drugs (the Human Cell Therapy Lab). During the process of generating dendritic cells, the cells are pulsed with pieces of a glioblastoma tumor. The dendritic cells process these tumor pieces. When the dendritic cells with their tumor pieces are injected back into the patient, they educate the immune system to identify and attack the patient’s tumor. The study is testing this approach in patients to see if this is a safe and feasible approach as well as characterizing the immune system before and after treatment. We believe this approach has the potential to be a safe and efficacious addition to conventional therapy. When completed, this study should allow us to evaluate its potential as a therapy as well as increase the understanding of the immune status in patients and our ability to manipulate that status.

Allan Dietz, Ph.D.


TGen and Neurosurgeons at UCSF Collaborate in an Effort to Individualize Treatment for Patients

“The Ivy Foundation Early Phase Clinical Trials Consortium recently began testing a novel “Precision Medicine” clinical trial for patients with recurrent Glioblastoma.  Using a patient specific genomics platform developed specifically for this trial in collaboration with TGen (Translational Genomics, Phoenix, Arizona), tumor tissue is obtained at the time of surgery and extensively profiled for any molecular alternations that might inform specific treatment.  An extensive treatment “match” based upon the changes noted from the tumor is used to recommend treatment with up to 4 drugs.  Unique to this trial is the potential to use what is called “repositioned” drugs, drugs that may be approved for indications other than cancer therapy.  After the profile is obtained, and potential treatment regimens, a Molecular Tumor Board is convened that includes the patients treating oncologist and other experts in genomics and pharmacology, and clinical neuro-oncology.  A final recommendation is made for therapy, which the treating oncologist and patient can use to make final decisions.  After a planned enrollment of 15 cases, and assessment of this strategy, a larger trial will be developed.  Our hope is to eventually “individualize” treatment for each patient, based upon the molecular nature of their specific tumor.”

Michael Prados, MD

Dept Website:http://neurosurgery.ucsf.edu

Cancer Center:http://www.cancer.ucsf.edu

PNOC: http://pnoc.us

Barrett-Jackson Auction Revs Up for TGen Cancer Research

Craig Jackson leadership, classic car donations, helps TGen provide patients with personalized medical care

The 44th annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction will feature a familiar classic auto, one that has been auctioned and gifted back to Barrett-Jackson — twice — in the past year, already raising $470,000 for cancer research at Phoenix’s non-profit Translational Genomics Researh Institute (TGen).

A 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Hurst Coupe, once owned by Linda Vaughn — known in racing circles as “Miss Hurst Golden Shifter” — will be on the block again at WestWorld in Scottsdale during Barrett-Jackson’s 2015 auction, Jan. 10-18. Specifically, the TGen Cutlass will cross the auction block at about 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 15.

This classic Cutlass was sold for $270,000 at the 43rd annual auction in Scottsdale, then was gifted back to the auction and sold again for $200,000 at Barrett-Jackson’s April event in Palm Beach, Fla. Once again the car was gifted back to TGen’s Barrett-Jackson Cancer Research Fund at TGen, in Memory of Russ and Brian Jackson for auction. The fund, established in 2010, is a salute to auction Chairman and CEO Craig Jackson’s father, Russ, and brother, Brian, whose lives were cut short by colon cancer.

“Barrett-Jackson has a strong legacy of raising money for local and national charities,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “The vehicles that cross the block to benefit charities continue Barrett-Jackson’s long tradition of making a difference. We are proud to do what we can to help those in need.”

Total charitable giving for all causes by Barrett-Jackson over the years has topped $67 million.

Craig Jackson has acted as a national spokesperson for TGen, spreading the word about how the institute’s research may lead to improved quality of life for cancer patients.

The Linda Vaughn Cutlass is one of many classic automobiles that Barrett-Jackson has auction to raise much-needed cancer research funding for TGen:

•    In 2014 in Scottsdale, a 2013 Ford Mustang 2 Door Coupe raised $110,000 for TGen.

•    In 2013 in Scottsdale, a 2008 Shelby GT Barrett-Jackson Edition — a rare Shelby GT upgraded by TMS Autosports — raised $100,000 for TGen.

•    In 2012 in Scottsdale, a 1993 Chevrolet Corvette 40th Anniversary coupe raised $125,000. The ruby red 1993 Corvette was one of the 40th anniversary models of this legendary sports car. The first Corvette was built in 1953. This car previously raised more than $200,000 for TGen in 2011 when it was sold and donated back several times during the Scottsdale event.

“Craig Jackson and his team at Barrett-Jackson have provided the leadership necessary to bring TGen’s personalized medicine to the families that need it the most,” said TGen Foundation President Michael Bassoff. “We are grateful that Craig has chosen to honor his father, Russ, and brother, Brian, in this special way.”

Nearly 137,000 Americans will be diagnosed this year with colon and rectal cancer, and more than 50,000 patients will succumb to this disease, the third-leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S.

An additional 233,000 American men this year will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, which this year will kill more than 29,000 patients, the second-leading cause of cancer death among men in the U.S.

For more information, please visit barrett-jackson.com and tgen.org.

About TGen
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. TGen is focused on helping patients with cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes, through cutting edge translational research (the process of rapidly moving research towards patient benefit). TGen physicians and scientists work to unravel the genetic components of both common and rare complex diseases in adults and children. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities literally worldwide, TGen makes a substantial contribution to help our patients through efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org.