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.

 

 

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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

Check Out Ivy Foundation in AZ Business Magazine!

IVY FOUNDATION GRANTS OVER $9M FOR BRAIN CANCER RESEARCH

Posted on May 20, 2013 by News Release

prevention trial - brain scan images

The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation (Ivy Foundation) announced its 2012 grant recipients, which total more than $9 million in funding for brain cancer research. The Ivy Foundation is the largest privately funded brain cancer research foundation in North America. Catherine Ivy is the founder and president of the Ivy Foundation, which has a research funding focus on glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and deadliest of malignant primary brain tumors in adults.

The Ivy Foundation awarded the following grants and/or provided funding in 2012:

· $2,500,000 over three years:  Principal Investigator, Greg D. Foltz, M.D., Director, The Ben & Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment, Swedish Medical Center
· $5,000,000 over five years:  Principal Investigators, John Carpten, Ph.D. and David Craig, Ph.D., Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) – a collaborative effort with University of California, San Francisco; University of California, Los Angeles; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Massachusetts General Hospital; Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center; MD Anderson; and University of Utah
· $45,000 annually: Principal Investigator, Brandy Wells, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), for the Ivy Neurological Sciences Internship program
· Over $2 million paid out in 2012 for previously committed multi-year brain cancer research grants

“We are encouraged and remain strongly committed to moving the progress forward for patients diagnosed with brain cancer,” said Ivy. “The 2012 Ivy Foundation grant recipients are important strategic partners in our objective to double the life expectancy of people diagnosed with GBM within the next seven years.”

http://aznow.biz/health-care/ivy-foundation-grants-9m-brain-cancer-research

Ivy Foundation Inspires a New Generation of Leaders

IVY FOUNDATION RENEWS SUPPORT FOR TGEN PROGRAM

Posted on May 8, 2013 by News Release

Bioscience helix

The Arizona-based Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation will fund a second year of the Ivy Neurological Science Internship Program at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

The internship program offers hands-on biomedical research experience for high school, undergraduate and aspiring medical school students pursuing careers in brain tumor research, neuroscience and neurogenomics.

Through the program, world-class scientific investigators at TGen guide interns in the translational process of moving laboratory discoveries along the pipeline into new treatments for patients in clinical trials.

“Based upon the success of the 2012 pilot year, we believe the Ivy Neurological Science Internship Program at TGen will inspire a new generation of leaders in this field,” said Catherine Ivy, President of The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation. “There is an urgent and continuing need to encourage research into the intricate workings of brain cancer.”

TGen will select seven students for the program this year. Starting in June, two high-school students will participate in a 10-week summer program. Four undergraduate students will spend the fall semester at TGen, and one student planning to attend medical school will participate for a full academic year, beginning in the fall.

“Development of a local, knowledge-based workforce depends on educating and training talented students in the latest aspects of biomedical research and medicine,” said TGen President Dr. Jeffrey Trent. “The continued support from the Ivy program greatly enhances our efforts to provide hands-on experience in the area of translational research.”

In addition to brain tumor and neurological sciences research experience, Ivy interns will participate in a clinical training module that will engage them with the ultimate focus of these studies – the patient.

“TGen recognizes that we must invest in the development of the next generation of researchers and physicians; we need to prepare today’s students for the complex and challenging work awaiting them in the areas of brain tumor and neurological sciences research,” said Brandy Wells, Manager of TGen’s Education and Outreach.

http://aznow.biz/health-care/ivy-foundation-renews-support-tgen-program

Ivy Foundation Renews Support for TGen Neurological Sciences Internship Program

Second year of training opportunities focused on brain tumors and neuroscience

The Arizona-based Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation will fund a second year of the Ivy Neurological Science Internship Program at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

The internship program offers hands-on biomedical research experience for high school, undergraduate and aspiring medical school students pursuing careers in brain tumor research, neuroscience and neurogenomics.

Through the program, world-class scientific investigators at TGen guide interns in the translational process of moving laboratory discoveries along the pipeline into new treatments for patients in clinical trials.

“Based upon the success of the 2012 pilot year, we believe the Ivy Neurological Science Internship Program at TGen will inspire a new generation of leaders in this field,” said Catherine Ivy, President of The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation. “There is an urgent and continuing need to encourage research into the intricate workings of brain cancer.”

TGen will select seven students for the program this year. Starting in June, two high-school students will participate in a 10-week summer program. Four undergraduate students will spend the fall semester at TGen, and one student planning to attend medical school will participate for a full academic year, beginning in the fall.

“Development of a local, knowledge-based workforce depends on educating and training talented students in the latest aspects of biomedical research and medicine,” said TGen President Dr. Jeffrey Trent. “The continued support from the Ivy program greatly enhances our efforts to provide hands-on experience in the area of translational research.”

In addition to brain tumor and neurological sciences research experience, Ivy interns will participate in a clinical training module that will engage them with the ultimate focus of these studies – the patient.

“TGen recognizes that we must invest in the development of the next generation of researchers and physicians; we need to prepare today’s students for the complex and challenging work awaiting them in the areas of brain tumor and neurological sciences research,” said Brandy Wells, Manager of TGen’s Education and Outreach.

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

# # #

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.

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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.

Press Contact:
Steve Yozwiak
TGen Senior Science Writer
602-343-8704
syozwiak@tgen.org

Join on March 20th and Help Support Nonprofits

What if Arizona became the most generous state in the nation for one day — raising millions of dollars for the benefit of their communities? It is possible.

Join on March 20, 2013 for Arizona Gives Day.

Learn more at azgives.org! And stay tuned for updates…