INTERCEPT Expansion Into Minority Population
CARE’s 2018 funding of INTERCEPT (Interrogating Cancer in Families Using Proactive Genetic Testing), was designed to focus on the under-studied cohort of patients whose cancer is seemingly not explained by familial occurrence but whose incidence of gene mutation (thus familial) in the general population is thought to be as high as 1 in 5 (20%). The primary goal of this pilot was to determine whether a patient had a sporadic or inherited form of cancer, a critical distinction as it would determine the appropriate cancer treatment decisions for each patient…and make a case for changing current treatment guidelines.
INTERCEPT was so successful that the project, originally estimated 18-24 months in duration, is scheduled to conclude by year end, a total duration of 8 months. The ability of the findings, however, to make a substantial difference in the care of cancer patients nationwide and have the greatest impact on national guidelines, is dependent upon Mayo Clinic increasing its minority enrollment in the INTERCEPT pilot beyond the <3% that resulted from the 4 sites referring patients.
Therefore, CARE has granted funding to expand the pilot to include 400 African American cancer patients at St. Vincent’s Riverside in Florida through the Mayo Cancer Center, where the patient population is 30% African-American. This additional data, following the same study design as the current INTERCEPT pilot, will help substantiate the relevance for the general population…crucial if the goal of changing treatment guidelines is to be realized.
Continuing the Advancement of the Cellular Therapy Research Program Launched with CARE Funds in 2018
Through CARE’s seed funding of this Program in 2018, a solid foundation has been established for the Cellular Therapy Research Program at HHRI: Key experts and collaborators have been recruited, laboratory resources have been developed and expanded, and accelerated progress toward applying successes in immunology to individual patient treatment were realized. With CARE’s 2019 continued support of this Program, this vital work can be expanded to enable the Program to continue to grow, make progress toward becoming self-sustaining, and begin to provide new treatment to patients.
Physician Scientists will be able to further develop protocols for cellular therapy and banking of biological samples; deepen collaborations that will leverage knowledge about how the outcomes of drug combination treatments can be enhanced.
· The state of the art HonorHealth laboratory development and biobanking will continue unabated, ensuring biological collections meet the needs of HH physician-scientists; HH will continue working with the Early Detection Program to improve integration of clinical information gathered from electronic medical records.
CARE’s support in 2019 will help expand the TIL therapy program, launched in 2018 with CARE support, to enable treatment of individual cancer patients with their own modified cells to help them fight their cancers.
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