Derrick Hall of the Arizona Diamondbacks is Honorary Chair of TGen’s 9th Annual StepNout Race Nov. 2

5K is expected to draw more than 1,000 participants to the Scottsdale Sports Complex, helping fund TGen’s pancreatic cancer research

Arizona Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall for the first time is the honorary chair of the 2014 stepNout Run Walk Dash, funding pancreatic cancer research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

The 9th annual stepNout has a new location: the Scottsdale Sports Complex, northeast of Bell and Hayden roads. More participants are expected this year than ever before.

More than 1,000 people are expected to participate Nov. 2 in stepNout, which features fun, competitive races for all ages and abilities, including the event’s signature 5K run. Participants may register at the event. More information is available at www.tgenfoundation.org/step.

“Unfortunately, I lost my father to pancreatic cancer about three years ago,” Hall said. “It’s a terrible disease, and it’s usually not detected until it is in an advanced stage. By that point, there are few options. TGen is working on a method of early detection for pancreatic cancer, which this year will take the lives of nearly 40,000 Americans, the nation’s fourth-leading cause of cancer-related death.”

Erin Massey, Vice President of Development for Cancer Programs at the TGen Foundation, said: “Having an event chair like Derrick, who has been personally impacted by this disease, and who also understands TGen’s mission, provides an immediate connection to patients, their families and the thousands of concerned members of our community.”

TGen’s pancreatic cancer research is led by Dr. Daniel D. Von Hoff, TGen’s Distinguished Professor and Physician-In-Chief, and Chief Scientific Officer for the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare, a partnership with TGen. Dr. Von Hoff is one of the world’s leading authorities on pancreatic cancer.

“If anyone is going to make a difference in treating this disease, and perhaps one day finding a cure, it is Dr. Daniel Von Hoff,” said Hall, who also is a member of TGen’s National Advisory Council for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

Vowing to “fight pancreatic cancer, one step at a time,” stepNout aims to surpass the $1 million mark in fundraising. Participants have donated more than $750,000 since the event started in 2006 at Kiwanis Park in Tempe.

Mattress Firm, the nation’s leading bedding retailer, announced in August that it had agreed to be the presenting sponsor of stepNout.

If you go to stepNout
What: TGen’s 9th annual stepNout Run/Walk/Dash for pancreatic cancer research.
Where: Scottsdale Sports Complex, 8081 E. Princess Drive, northeast of Hayden and Bell roads, between Loop 101 and Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard.
When: 7-11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 2.  Registration starts at 7 a.m.; races begin at 9 a.m.; an awards ceremony is set for 10 a.m.; and a kids’ dash is planned for 10:30 a.m.
Cost: Registration fees range from $15 to $35, depending on age and competition. Children ages 4 and under are free.
Registration: Register at the event.
Parking: Free.
More information: www.tgenfoundation.org/step.

About Mattress Firm
With more than 1,500 company-operated and franchised stores across 36 states, Mattress Firm (NASDAQ:MFRM) has the largest geographic footprint in the United States among multi-brand mattress retailers. Founded in 1986, Houston-based Mattress Firm is the nation’s leading bedding retailer with more than $1.2 billion in sales for 2013. The company offers a broad selection of both traditional and specialty mattresses, bedding accessories and other related products from leading manufacturers, including Sealy, Tempur-Pedic, Serta, Simmons, Stearns & Foster, Hampton & Rhodes and Atmos. Mattress Firm guarantees price, comfort and service with the ultimate goal of ensuring customers Save Money. Sleep Happy™. More information is available at mattressfirm.com.

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.

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TGen and NAU Patent for New Pandemic Flu Test is Approved

H1N1 assay benefits patients by helping doctors determine if infections are resistant to available flu treatments

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.- The federal government has awarded a patent to the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Northern Arizona University (NAU) for a test that can detect — and assist in the treatment of — the H1N1 pandemic flu strain.

TGen and NAU initially developed this precise, genomics-based test during a significant global swine flu outbreak in 2009.

The newly-patented test, developed at TGen’s Pathogen Genomics Division (TGen North) in Flagstaff, can not only detect influenza — as some tests do now — but also can quickly inform doctors about what strain of flu it is, and whether it is resistant to oseltamivir (sold by Roche under the brand name Tamiflu), the primary anti-viral drug on the market to treat H1N1.

As with other influenza strains, H1N1 flu can over time be expected to show signs of resistance to oseltamivir, and new treatments will be needed to respond to future pandemics.

“The problem with influenza is that it can become resistant to the antiviral drugs that are out there,” said Dr. Paul Keim, Director of TGen North, a Regents Professor of Biology at NAU and one of the test’s inventors. “Because it is a virus, it easily mutates and becomes resistant.”

David Engelthaler, Director of Programs and Operations for TGen North and another of the test’s inventors, said this flu detection and susceptibility test uses a molecular technique that rapidly makes exact copies of specific components of H1N1’s genetic material.

“Many people, including physicians, don’t realize that the pandemic swine flu strain from 2009 is still the most important flu strain out there. This assay is very effective with detecting and characterizing this dominant strain in the U.S. and around the world,” said Engelthaler, the former State Epidemiologist for Arizona, and former State of Arizona Biodefense Coordinator.

The third inventor of the test is TGen North Lab Manager Elizabeth Driebe.

Previously, only the U.S. Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) and a few select labs could look for resistance, using time-intensive technology.

“This new test puts the power in the hands of the clinician to determine if their drugs will work or not. This is really important moving forward as we discover new strains that are resistant to antivirals,” Engelthaler said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified dozens of instances in which H1N1 was resistant to Tamiflu.

At most doctors’ offices, there is no readily available test for H1N1. Such tests generally are conducted by state and federal health agencies, and usually for those patients who require hospitalization and appear at high risk because they have a suppressed immune system or they have a chronic disease.

“Our test measures minute amounts of virus and minute changes to the virus. Not only does it detect when resistance is occurring, but it also detects it at the earliest onset possible,” Engelthaler said.

This new patent — No. US 8,808,993 B2, issued Aug. 19 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office — could be licensed for development of test kits or for development of a testing service.

Earlier this year, TGen-NAU celebrated its first joint patent for a genomics-based test that can identify most of the world’s fungal infections that threaten human health.

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.

About Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona University has a student population of more than 25,000 with its main campus at the foot of the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff, Arizona.  NAU provides an outstanding undergraduate residential education strengthened by research, graduate and professional programs, and sophisticated methods of distance delivery and innovative new campuses and programs throughout the state.  NAU’s mission and goals are based on our core values, which includes placing learner needs at the center of our planning, policies, and programs; providing all qualified students with access to higher education; achieving multicultural understanding as a priority of educational and civic life; operating with fairness, honesty, and the highest ethical standards; and supporting a civil, engaging, and respectful campus climate.

Saks Fifth Avenue and Saturday Night Live Partner to Celebrate SNL’s 40th season, and the 16th Year of Key to the Cure

Cast members of Saturday Night Live, entering its 40th season this fall, are promoting the 16th year of Saks Fifth Avenue’s “Key to the Cure,” locally benefiting women’s cancer research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

During Key to the Cure‘s Oct. 16-19 charity-shopping weekend, Saks Fifth Avenue at Biltmore Fashion Park, 2446 E. Camelback Road, will donate 2 percent of sales to support breast and ovarian cancer research at TGen.

The highpoint of the Saks Phoenix fundraising shopping spree is the signature Key to the Cure fashion show, starting at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 17, featuring gourmet food, drinks, a raffle for designer items, and an exclusive peak at the latest fashions. For more information, please visit: www.tgenfoundation.org/events, or contact Andrea Kobielski at akobielski@tgen.org or 602-343-8572.

“We are honored to be Saks’ long-term partner for Key to the Cure, and excited about the visibility and awareness that Saturday Night Live’s past and current cast members bring to women’s cancers,” said Erin Massey, Vice President of Development for Cancer Programs for the TGen Foundation. “Locally, Key to the Cure highlights TGen’s patient-focused breast and ovarian cancer research initiatives and provides our scientists funding to pursue new and innovative research.”

Current Saturday Night Live cast members (Vanessa Bayer, Cecily Strong and Colin Jost) and past cast members (Will Ferrell and Ana Gasteyer) are this year’s Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) ambassadors for Saks Fifth Avenue’s 2014 Key to the Cure campaign.

The SNL cast members will appear in national public service announcements wearing a limited-edition unisex tee created by celebrated New York designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville of rag & bone. The Key to the Cure PSA will appear in major fashion and lifestyle magazines in September and October.

The shirt will retail for $35 at Saks Fifth Avenue stores and online at saks.com and saksoff5th.com. All — 100 percent — of the proceeds from each shirt sold will be donated to TGen, benefiting charitable programs dedicated to finding new detection methods, better treatments and eventual cures for women’s cancers. The tee debuts Oct. 1 at Saks Fifth Avenue.

In the past 15 years since the inception of the Saks Fifth Avenue charity-shopping weekend, the retailer has raised more than $35 million for cancer research.

In addition to the partnership for the annual Key to the Cure campaign, Saks Fifth Avenue will sell exclusive merchandise inspired by notable Saturday Night Live characters from seven New York designers. These items, curated by Saturday Night Live’s Emmy-nominated costume designer Tom Broecker, will be available in Saks Fifth Avenue’s New York flagship store and on saks.com during the Key to the Cure shopping weekend.

The merchandise includes: Mango’s shorts as interpreted by Alexander Wang, The Nerds outfit as interpreted by Alice + Olivia, a dress fit for The Californians as interpreted by Diane von Furstenberg, Spartans Cheerleading uniforms as interpreted by Elizabeth and James, hats fit for The Coneheads as interpreted by Eugenia Kim, Mary Katherine Gallagher’s school uniform as interpreted by rag & bone, and Gilly’s dress as interpreted by Suno.

About Saks Fifth Avenue
Saks Fifth Avenue, one of the world’s pre-eminent specialty retailers, is renowned for its superlative American and international designer collections, its expertly edited assortment of handbags, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics and gifts, and the first-rate fashion expertise and exemplary client service of its Associates. As part of the Hudson’s Bay Company brand portfolio, Saks operates 39 full-line stores in 22 states, five international licensed stores, 73 Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH stores and saks.com, the company’s online store. Saks Fifth Avenue is proud to be named a J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Customer Service Champion and is only one of 50 U.S. companies so named.

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.

TGen Receives Approval for Patient Enrollment in Brain Cancer Clinical Trial

Catherine Ivy and Dr. David Craig

 

Glioblastoma (GBM) Pilot Trial funded by Ivy Foundation

In 2012, The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation awarded $10 million in grants for two groundbreaking brain cancer research projects at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). One of those projects has officially received the final regulatory approval from University of California, San Francisco, which means patient enrollment for the trial can begin.

 

In the $5-million-project, “Genomics Enabled Medicine in Glioblastoma Trial,” TGen and its clinical partners will lead first-in-patient clinical trial studies that will test promising new drugs that might extend the survival of GBM patients. This multi-part study will take place in clinics across the country and TGen laboratories.

 

“GBM is one of the top three fastest-killing cancers out there and it affects people of all ages,” said Catherine (Bracken) Ivy, founder and president of The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation. “It is critical that we fund research that will help patients live longer so we can study and treat brain cancer.”

 

The project begins with a pilot study of 15 patients, using whole genome sequencing to study their tumor samples to help physicians determine what drugs might be most beneficial.

 

To support molecularly informed clinical decisions, TGen labs also will examine genomic data from at least 536 past cases of glioblastoma, as well as tumor samples from new cases, developing tools that will produce more insight into how glioblastoma tumors grow and survive. TGen also will conduct a series of pioneering lab tests to measure cell-by-cell responses to various drugs.

 

“GBM is a disease that needs answers now, and we strongly believe those answers will be found in the genome,” said Dr. David Craig, TGen’s Deputy Director of Bioinformatics, Director of TGen’s Neurogenomics Division, and one of the projects principal investigators. “Identifying the genes that contribute to the survival of glioblastoma will provide valuable information on how to treat it, and may also lead to an improved understanding of what drives other cancers as well.”

 

To get new treatments to patients as quickly as possible, this five-year study will include a feasibility study involving up to 30 patients, followed by Phase II clinical trials with as many as 70 patients. TGen is teaming with the Ivy Early Phase Clinical Trials Consortium that includes: University of California, San Francisco; University of California, Los Angeles; the MD Anderson Cancer Center; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; University of Utah; and the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.

 

The results of these clinical trials should not only help the patients who join them, but also provide the data needed for FDA approval and availability of new drugs that could benefit tens of thousands of brain cancer patients in the future.

 

“Working with physicians, the project will aim to understand treatment in the context of the tumor’s molecular profile. We will have the opportunity to determine when combinations of drugs might be more effective than using a single drug, quickly identify which therapies don’t work, and accelerate discovery of ones that might prove promising for future development,” said Dr. John Carpten, TGen’s Deputy Director of Basic Science, Director of TGen’s Integrated Cancer Genomics Division, and another of the project’s principal investigators.

 

In addition to helping patients as quickly as possible, the project should significantly expand Arizona’s network of brain cancer experts.

 

About The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation

The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., was formed in 2005, when Ben Ivy lost his battle with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).  Since then, the Foundation has contributed more than $50 million to research in gliomas within the United States and Canada, with the goal of better diagnostics and treatments that offer long-term survival and a high quality of life for patients with brain tumors.  The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation is the largest privately funded foundation of its kind in the United States.  For more information, visit http://www.ivyfoundation.org. We have regular updates via social media – please find us on:

Blog:  Ivy Foundation http://www.IvyFoundation.wordpress.com

Facebook:  Ivy Foundation  http://www.facebook.com/IvyFoundation

Twitter:  @IvyFoundation https://twitter.com/IvyFoundation

Google+:   Ivy Foundation https://plus.google.com/105982076267406579679/posts

LinkedIn:  Ivy Foundation http://linkedin.com/company/the-ben-and-catherine-ivy-foundation

YouTube:  IvyFoundationGBM http://www.youtube.com/user/IvyFoundationGBM

 

About TGen

The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org.

Riddell and TGen Team Up with Arizona State University’s Football Program to Further Genetic Research into Athlete Concussion Detection and Treatment

2014 Football Season Marks the Second Year of the Research Partnership

Study Using Sun Devils’ Head Impact Data and Genetic Information Could Help Improve Player Protection, Inform New Helmet Designs and Refine Smart Helmet Technology

 

PHOENIX, Ariz., ROSEMONT, Ill. and TEMPE, Ariz. — August 26, 2014 — Riddell, the leader in football helmet technology and innovation, and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), a leader in cutting-edge genomic research, today announced that the Pac-12’s Arizona State University and its Sun Devil football program will again participate in a genetic research study designed to advance athlete concussion detection and treatment.

Now in its second year, the joint research project will combine molecular information and head impact data from Sun Devil football student-athletes to identify whether the effects of sub-concussive hits are identifiable. The researchers will monitor the players’ changing molecular information throughout a season of typical head impact exposure associated with football practice and games. Representatives from the Sun Devil medical team and TGen will collect the molecular samples from the participating athletes, all of whom volunteered to partake in the study.

“This partnership represents another dynamic and innovative step toward ensuring that the health and well-being of our student-athletes remains our most important goal,” Vice President for Arizona State University Athletics Ray Anderson said. “Sun Devil Athletics continues to serve as a pioneering force in this important issue and is proud to participate in this world-class research study for the second consecutive year with two outstanding industry trendsetters in Riddell and TGen.”

Arizona State’s preferred helmet and protective equipment provider, Riddell, has again deployed its Sideline Response System (SRS) to obtain real-time head impact data from Arizona State football student-athletes. Riddell SRS provides researchers with a wide range of valuable information on the frequency and severity of head impacts a player receives during games and practices. Data gathered from the system will be combined with genetic information from players that experience concussion, with the objective of helping physicians diagnose concussion and better identify when a player might be expected to recover and return to the field.

“Player protection has become an essential part of football, and this cutting-edge partnership sets ASU apart from not only the rest of the conference, but every collegiate football program in the nation,” ASU Head Coach Todd Graham said. “We are not only looking out for our student-athletes while they are enrolled at ASU, but for the rest of their lives. You become a part of the brotherhood once you put on the maroon and gold, and that doesn’t end at graduation.”

Riddell will also utilize the player head impact data collected from the ASU and TGen research partnership to inform the development of new football helmets and further refine updates to smart helmet technologies like Riddell SRS and its recently launched Riddell InSite Impact Response System.

“We’re impressed by the enthusiasm exhibited by our partners, Arizona State University and TGen, as we enter the second season of our important research collaboration,” President of Riddell Dan Arment said. “They have matched our level of passion for football, and we are all committed to better protecting those that play the sport we love. We are left encouraged following the first year of our project and look forward to continuing on the path towards advancing concussion detection and treatment of athletes.”

The researchers at TGen are exploring whether the effects of sub-concussive hits are identifiable through blood-based molecular information. Their findings could prove pivotal to the game of football and other sports. Similar to last season, during this phase of the study the TGen faculty and staff are on the sidelines collecting samples and data. A baseline sample was collected from all participating players prior to their pre-season workouts. Since then, the researchers have followed the team through their daily workouts and will continue throughout the season.

Through the collection of samples over various points in time and the data generated by Riddell SRS, the goal is to identify the genomic changes in athletes exposed to routine head impacts during practice and games, athletes with diagnosed concussions that recover on both a routine time scale, and athletes with persistent symptoms following concussion that require additional treatment.

“As the mother of a young son who has played football, I’m keenly aware of the need to improve the current standards in place today for dealing with this issue,” said TGen Associate Professor Dr. Kendall Van Keuren-Jensen, whose technique for studying the collected samples drives this unique partnership. “As a researcher whose daily work looks for ways to determine the early warning signs of head injury, I get to see first hand how committed Arizona State University and Riddell are to student-athlete safety, and their determination to improve the game at all levels.”

Following the season long campaign, the researchers will gather post-season data and begin the analysis process with their colleagues at Barrow Neurological Institute and A.T. Still University. During this process, TGen will work closely with Barrow, whose B.R.A.I.N.S. (Barrow Resource for Acquired Injury to the Nervous System) program treats patients who have sustained a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury. The Barrow data will provide the researchers with additional concussion data and allow for comparison between data sets.

About Riddell
Founded in 1929, Riddell is a premier designer and developer of protective sports equipment and a recognized leader in helmet technology and innovation. One BRG Sports most well-known brands, Riddell is the leading manufacturer of football helmets, shoulder pads and reconditioning services (cleaning, repairing, repainting and recertifying existing equipment). For more information, visit our website at http://www.riddell.com, like the Riddell Facebook page, or follow Riddell on Twitter @RiddellSports.

About Arizona State University
Arizona State University is a New American University—a major public educational institution, a premier research center and a leader in innovation. Our vision is described by our three core principles: excellence in scholarship, access to education and impact in our global community. As a New American University, ASU is intellectually vibrant, socially conscious and globally engaged.

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 neurological disorders, cancer, 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 world-wide, TGen makes a substantial contribution to help our patients through efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org.

TGen News

New therapy for pancreatic cancer patients shows promising results

TGen-Scottsdale Healthcare lead international clinical trials in advance of FDA application for NAPOLI-1

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — June 6, 2014 — A clinical trial conducted by researchers at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials, a partnership between Scottsdale Healthcare and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), showed that a new drug called MM-398, given in combination with 5-flourouracil (5FU) and leucovorin, produced a significant overall survival rate in patients with advanced, previously-treated pancreatic cancer.

The NAPOLI-1 (NAnoliPOsomaL Irinotecan) Phase 3 study — a final confirmation of a drug’s safety and effectiveness — was conducted among patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer who previously received gemcitibine, which has been the standard-of-care therapy for such patients.

The study, sponsored by Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, evaluated 417 patients enrolled at more than 100 sites in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, including patients at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare. Merrimack expects to submit a New Drug Application this year to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the MM-398 combination regimen.

“This demonstration of a survival benefit from the MM-398 plus 5-FU and leucovorin combination is particularly important given that we have very few treatment options for patients in this tough clinical setting,” said Dr. Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD, FACP, global principal investigator of the NAPOLI-1 study, Chief Scientific Officer for Scottsdale Healthcare’s Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials and Physician-In-Chief and Distinguished Professor at TGen. “The results of the NAPOLI-1 study are important because of the critical need to help patients with this devastating illness and move forward towards FDA approval.”

The combination of MM-398 with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and leucovorin achieved an overall survival of 6.1 months, a 1.9 month improvement over the 4.2 month survival demonstrated by the control arm of 5-FU and leucovorin alone.

Each year in the U.S., nearly 46,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and more than 39,000 patients die, making it the fourth leading cause of cancer death. Only about 1 in 4 patients survive more than one year after diagnosis, and only 6 percent survivor more than five years.

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer usually do not appear until the cancer is in its late stages, making it difficult to treat. Once the disease spreads to other parts of the body, most patients are not candidates for surgery and receive chemotherapy as their primary treatment.

This study will be presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology World Conference on Gastrointestinal Cancer being held June 25-28 in Barcelona, Spain.

Patients seeking information about research studies may contact the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare at 480-323-1339 or toll free at 1-877-273-3713 or e-mail: clinicaltrials@shc.org.

About the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare
The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare in Scottsdale, Ariz. offers comprehensive cancer treatment and research through clinical trials, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and support services in collaboration with leading scientific researchers and community oncologists. The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute, Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital and related entities are affiliates of the non-profit Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network. For more information, visitwww.shc.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.

 

 

Ivy Foundation Expands Internship Program at TGen

Big News!

             We have expanded our Ivy Neurological Science Internship Program through the Translational Geonomics Research Institute (TGen). This opportunity is known as the premier neuro-related biomedical internship in the state as it offers hands-on biomedical research experience for high school, undergraduate and medical school students. TGen investigators mentor interns interested in the fields of brain tumor research, neuroscience and neurogenomics. They educate the interns about the translational process of moving laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients in clinical trials. “The Ivy Neurological Science Internship Program at TGen has the capacity to inspire a new generation of scientists with the skills needed to pursue the complexities of studying the human brain,” said our president, Catherine Ivy. “As advancements are made in this field, it is ever more important to help guide the next generation of talented individuals who can elevate the research to new levels of discovery – ultimately, the discovery of cures for cancers and neurological disease.”

            Beginning this summer, high-school students will participate in a ten-week program and undergraduates will be able to intern for a full academic year. Additionally, medical students, who are deferring a year of school for research training, will work full-time at TGen. Before now, undergraduates could only intern for one semester and medical students only worked part-time. Our contribution extends the mentoring time available to students in order for them to further develop their bioscience skills under the guidance of the world-class scientific investigators at TGen. “The changes to this year’s Ivy program greatly enhance our efforts to provide hands-on experience for students in the fundamentals of translational research,” said TGen President Dr. Jeffrey Trent. “Through Catherine’s vision and support we are developing a local, highly skilled workforce that will continue to push the boundaries of biomedical research.”

          In addition to brain tumor and neurological sciences laboratory research, Ivy interns gain experience through exposure to clinic life through training, seminars and clinical site tours. The clinical training module will engage them with the ultimate focus of TGen’s investigations — the patients. “Today’s students must be prepared for the rigors of some of the world’s most complex studies in the areas of brain tumor research and neurological sciences,” said Brandy Wells, Manager of TGen’s Education and Outreach program. “The Ivy program provides students with a great preview of what their careers in biomedical research will encompass.”

For more information, please contact Brandy Wells at bwells@tgen.org or 602-343-8655

catherine-ivy-with-tgen-scientists-final

About The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation

The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., was formed in 2005, when Ben Ivy lost his battle with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).  Since then, the Foundation has contributed more than $50 million to research in gliomas within the United States and Canada, with the goal of better diagnostics and treatments that offer long-term survival and a high quality of life for patients with brain tumors.  The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation is the largest privately funded foundation of its kind in the United States.  For more information, visit www.ivyfoundation.org.  Connect with The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/IvyFoundation and on Twitter @IvyFoundation.

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.

Congratulations to TGen’s Dr. Bodour Salhia

TGen’s Dr. Bodour Salhia named to 2014 Class of 40 Under 40

Newspaper recognizes TGen cancer researcher among Phoenix’s brightest young leaders

PHOENIX, Ariz. — May 6, 2014 — Dr. Bodour Salhia, a cancer researcher at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), has been named one of the Phoenix Business Journal’s 2014 Class of 40 Under 40.

Dr. Salhia, an Assistant Professor in TGen’s Integrated Cancer Genomics Division, will be among the 40 up-and-coming Phoenix leaders — less than 40 years of age — at an awards reception June 19 at Phoenix Theater.

In his award notification letter to Dr. Salhia, PBJ Publisher Don Henninger said, “I speak for all the judges in saying that we feel honored to have seen a glimpse of your life and career. You are most certainly a valuable member of our community and a source of inspiration for all.”

All 40 Under 40 classmates will be featured in a special section of the June 20 edition of the PBJ.

“Bodour is a gem; brilliant and transparent. She is an incredible asset to TGen and to the state of Arizona. Watching her growth and career ascent has been one of the highlights of my entire career,” said Dr. John Carpten, TGen Deputy Director of Basic Science.

“She is an amazing scientist, but also frequently participates in patient advocacy and community education,” said Dr. Carpten, also Professor and Director of TGen’s Integrated Cancer Genomics Division. “We are so proud of Bodour. To me, this is not simply a recognition of her achievements, but also a reward for all that she does for others.”

Dr. Salhia, who specializes in researching breast cancer and multiple myeloma, is the fourth TGen staff member in three years to be selected to PBJ’s 40 Under 40. Dr. Matt Huentelman, an Associate Professor in TGen’s Neurogenomics Division, and Dr. Glen Weiss, a Clinical Associate Professor in TGen’s Cancer and Cell Biology Division, were named in 2013. Dr. Candice Nulsen, TGen’s former Director of Education and Community Outreach, was selected in 2012.

“I am so thankful and humbled to be selected among this year’s 40 Under 40 by the Phoenix Business Journal,” said Dr. Salhia, whose community work has included outreach to cancer patients of the Navajo Nation, and service as a board member of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Central and Northern Arizona Affiliate. “This award is not just about me, but also reflects all the cutting-edge research that TGen conducts, using the human genome to devise better treatments for patients today.”

The 40 Under 40 program’s hundreds of alumni includes Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, a member of the TGen Board of Directors, and Arizona Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall, a member of TGen’s National Advisory Council for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

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.

 

 

TGen President Speaks at Brookings Institution Biomedical Conference

TGen President Dr. Jeffrey Trent speaks at Brookings Institution biomedical conference

Dr. Trent presents TGen’s precision medicine research at the world’s most influential think tank

Dr Jeffrey Trent Outside TGen

TGen President and Research Director Dr. Jeffrey Trent speaks at Brookings Institution

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 15, 2013 – Dr. Jeffrey Trent, President and Research Director for the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), will discuss state-of-the-art genomics research July 16 at the Brookings Institution.

Dr. Trent, Ph.D., F.A.C.M.G., and former Scientific Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, is part of a panel, Innovation in Action, at Brookings’ 2nd annual State of Biomedical Innovation Conference, which will focus on the use of novel data sources to improve medical product development and care delivery.

Specifically, Dr. Trent will discuss TGen’s ongoing work in translating genomics research into clinical benefit. TGen is one of a very few centers who are using the entire human genome in clinical trials in order to diagnose or make treatment decisions for an individual patient (precision medicine).

“The human genome will be the medical textbook for the next century and beyond,” Dr. Trent said. “By harnessing the power of the human genome, we will provide immeasurable patient benefit while at the same time reducing the time and costs of diagnosis and treatment. TGen is a global leader in clinical trials that deploy this form of innovative research.”

TGen’s translational model enables pioneering discoveries in the laboratory to be quickly moved to clinical trials where they can be used to immediately benefit patients with many types of cancer and other debilitating diseases.

Dr. Trent’s panel will be moderated by Dr. Mark B. McClellan, Director and Fellow of Brookings’ Initiative on Innovation and Value in Health Care. He is the former administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (2004-2006), and the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (2002-2004). He also served as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and as senior director for health care policy at the White House (2001-2002). In these positions, he developed and implemented major reforms in health policy.

This conference is being convened by the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at Brookings, which was established to help turn ideas for health care reform into action, including reducing gaps in insurance coverage and ensuring health care affordability. Its mission is to develop data-driven, practical policy solutions that promote broad access to high-quality, affordable and innovative care in the United States. The Center also conducts research, makes policy recommendations, and facilitates development of new consensus around key issues, providing technical support to implement and evaluate new solutions in collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders.

The conference is scheduled for 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EDT July 16 at the Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.  Dr. Trent’s hour-long panel is scheduled to start at 10:10 a.m.  The event will be streamed live on the Brookings website: http://www.brookings.edu/events/2013/07/16-biomedical-innovation.

About the Brookings Institution
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Our mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, to provide innovative, practical recommendations that advance three broad goals: strengthen American democracy; foster the economic and social welfare, security and opportunity of all Americans; and secure a more open, safe, prosperous and cooperative international system. Brookings is proud to be consistently ranked as the most influential, most quoted and most trusted think tank. More information: www.brookings.edu.

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.

https://www.tgen.org/news/2013-media-releases/tgen-president-dr-jeffrey-trent-speaks-at-brookings-institution.aspx#.UflE6I3a8vz