The Dallas-based Mary Crowley Research Centers, an early-phase cancer translational research center focusing on molecular cancer research therapies, recently received $500,000 in new funding in order to develop an innovative, new pediatric cancer research initiative. The funding came by way of the 6th Annual Silver Dollar at the Ranch Event benefitting Texas Motor Speedway’s Speedway Children’s Charities, which selected the Mary Crowley Cancer Research Centers as the institution to receive the funding, thanks to the Center’s innovative program initiative that seeks to advance investigational cancer therapies for children.
Among the wide range of childhood cancers that Mary Crowley addresses in its clinical research, the Center’s new program seeks to launch critically important clinical trials for Ewing’s Sarcoma — a cancerous bone tumor commonly associated with children’s cancer. Mary Crowley researchers plan to launch an open clinical trial for Ewing’s Sarcoma, which will test a novel kind of Immunotherapy, or cancer vaccine, which has been previously tested in adults, but has yet to receive the funding or support for a children’s version of the trial.
Much like many other Immunotheraphy research initiatives for cancer treatment, the idea behind the cancer vaccine for Ewing’s Sarcoma is to create a personalized vaccine for each individual child. Researchers believe that by incorporating the molecular data of the patient’s own tumor, the vaccine can effectively “re-educate” the child’s own immune system to recognize and fight their specific cancer, possibly without the use of traditional therapies, which wipe out body cells indiscriminately.
Click on the graphic below to get more information about MCRC’s clinical study to develop a vaccine for the disease:
BioNews Texas covered the technology behind this fascinating cancer vaccine months ago. Back in May, we published a report on how Dallas-based Gradalis, Inc’s. FANG Personalized Tumor Vaccine Stimulates Immune Response and More than Doubles Time to Recurrence in Patients with Advanced Stage Ovarian Cancer. In that study, “over 71% patients with FANG therapy showed positive immune response” and that “FANG therapy is well-tolerated overall, with no reported therapy induced side effects in any study participants. In addition, mean time of recurrence is 470 days in FANG therapy subjects as opposed to only 193 days in standard therapy group (which is 140% shorter than the mean time of recurrence in group receiving FANG therapy),” according to BioNews Texas science columnist Ayesha Khan’s report.
Now, Gradalis’ FANG vaccine will be tested to treat Ewing’s Sarcoma in the Phase I Trial of bishRNA furin and GMCSF Augmented Autologous Tumor Cell vaccine for Advanced Cancer (FANG)
According to a related article in the Gilmer Mirror, “Mary Crowley initiated the program with a focus on Ewing’s Sarcoma Family Tumors, because it is a common pediatric and adolescent bone cancer having a poor survival rate after failed standard chemotherapy.” This, combined with the fact that children’s cancer research programs tend to be underfunded compared to adult studies, compelled the 6th Annual Silver Dollar at the Ranch Event to award the funding.
Dr. John Nemunaitis, Executive Medical Director of Mary Crowley, explained that, “Mary Crowley’s vision is to leverage our track record of successful research in adult cancer to benefit children with Ewing’s Sarcoma [a common type of bone tumor in kids] and other types of childhood cancers,” adding that, “The center has been conducting adult research for more than 20 years focused on targeted gene, cellular and immune therapies, in compliance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The proceeds from the Silver Dollar Event will be used to advance more treatment options for children and young adults with cancer, through ongoing clinical trials and preclinical research designed to accelerate promising discoveries.
DISCLAIMER: BioNews Texas is a publishing company that occasionally focuses on the clinical trials industry. The information provided in this article is designed to help educate patients on clinical trials that may be of interest to them, based on the topic of the story, and to help patients contact the centers conducting the research. BioNews Texas is neither promoting this research nor involved in conducting any of these trials. Some study summaries have been edited for clarity purposes to make them easier to understand.