Clinical OMICS

MAR-APR 2018

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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Monsitj / Getty Images www.clinicalomics.com March/April 2018 Clinical OMICs 33 The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have launched the Metastatic Prostate Cancer (MPC) Project, designed to encourage men with metastatic pros- tate cancer in the U.S. and Canada to share their data with researchers study- ing the disease. At the time of its launch MPC had 220 men from Canada or any of 40 U.S. states enrolled in the Project, the insti- tutes said. MPC will be conducted at the Broad in collaboration with Dana-Farber, patients, and nonprofit advocacy groups. Partici- pating patients agree to engage with the research community, with the goal of accelerating the study of the disease. MPC investigators, in return, have com- mitted to connecting with people with metastatic prostate cancer and their care providers to expand the patient popula- tion and its diversity. "Many researchers have been work- ing to understand the genetic basis of both early-stage and advanced pros- tate cancer, but patients are rarely, if ever, involved," said Eliezer Van Allen, M.D., a Broad associate member and a genitourinary oncologist at Dana-Far- ber. "To answer many important ques- tions about metastatic prostate cancer, we need to engage patients as partners. Together with patients, we want to cre- ate a research program that can fuel new discoveries, reveal why patients respond differently to treatments, and uncover new genetic targets so that we can help current and future generations of men." Patients interested in participat- ing agree to fill out a survey covering demographic information and medical history. They are mailed a kit for collect- ing a saliva sample, so that researchers can compare the patient's genetic infor- mation with tumor DNA. Some partici- pants also receive a blood-biopsy kit. The Broad and Dana-Farber say data submitted by patients is de-identified in order to protect their privacy. The data will be made available via the Web to research- ers worldwide. New batches of data will be released regularly, the institutes said. MPC builds upon the institutes' experiences in developing the Meta- static Breast Cancer Project, in which more than 4,300 patients to date have shared tumor samples with researchers to advance the study of the disease; and the Angiosarcoma Project, a data-sharing initiative that has attracted nearly 300 participants. More information on all three "Count Me In" programs is available here. "We can point men with advanced prostate cancer to the exciting work that's being done with patients in these other programs to under- score the power of this partner- ship," Dr. Van Allen added. "We come into [MPC] with a track record. — Alex Philippidis The Broad, Dana-Farber Launch Prostate Cancer Data Project and low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C or "bad cholesterol"). The study also showed how its investigational angiopoietin-like 3 (ANGPTL3) antibody evinacumab, a Phase II Homozygous Familial Hyper- cholesterolemia (HoFH) candidate, reduced lipid levels and atheroscle- rotic lesions in mouse models and a first-in-humans clinical study Geisinger data has also generated insights that have shaped develop- ment of Regeneron's asthma can- didate REGN3500, an antibody to interleukin-33 (IL-33). REGN3500 is in Phase Ib studies in adults with moderate asthma and mild allergic asthma both as monotherapy and in combination with Dupixent (dup- ilumab), an interleukin-4 receptor alpha antagonist approved for adults with moderate-to-severe atopic der- matitis. Regeneron's plans for this year include launching Phase II proof- of-concept studies for REGN3500 in asthma and COPD, and a Phase IIb study in atopic dermatitis. The consortium's work is among several projects that will result in expansion of RGC operations. The Center 's staff ranges from 60 to 70 employees, with plans to add another dozen or so short-term over the next year. "Where we're increasing the group and the team is in the function and the groups that are doing analysis, and that are designing studies and interpreting results," Baras said. "That's where we just need more great minds, more great teammates to be pushing more projects and uncovering more and more exam- ples of gene discoveries." "There's certainly a lot to do in the next 24 months." Dr_Microbe / Getty Images

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