The Ivy Foundation is backing partnership that aims to aid prognosis through genetic profiling.

The Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation (Ivy Foundation) has awarded $3 million to the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) to conduct gene-based studies on brain tumors. The grant was obtained through the Ivy Genomics-Based Medicine (G.B.M.) Project, a collaboration between nine U.S. institutions.

Joining TGen on this project are Ohio State University, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of California, San Francisco, Henry Ford Hospital, Mayo Clinic, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and Van Andel Research Institute.

The goal of the consortium is to identify gene signatures that help predict the most effective treatment option for each patient. Research will categorize tumors by molecular profiling and test each tumor against various treatments to match differences in response with the profiles.

“Currently, all patients get basically the same treatment without taking into account the genetic profile of their tumor,” points out Catherine Ivy. “The end goal of this research initiative is to identify how tumors with different genetic features respond to a set of treatment regimens and ultimately, it is hoped, provide physicians with the tools they need to offer brain tumor patients the most effective treatment options based on the specific genetic profile of their tumor.”

Under the leadership of Michael Berens, Ph.D., TGen will coordinate and manage the two-stage project spanning four to five years as well as provide their expertise in genomics-based research.

Stage I will span across 18 months and will start immediately. Real-time collaborative linkage and project-specific communication are provided through the support of 5AM Solutions. The successful completion of Stage I will form the basis for funding Stage II, a clinical trial for patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme.

“The Ivy G.B.M. Project was initiated at unprecedented speed,” Dr. Berens notes. “Institutional agreements were signed in a remarkable four months, and because of the collaborative nature of the project, researchers will now be able to compare results across institutions on a diverse set of tumors and treatment regimen response patterns.”

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