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Please note that some translations using Google Translate may not be accurately represented and downloaded documents cannot be translated. Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund assume no liability for inaccuracies that may result from using this third-party tool, which is for website translation.

New grants advance key research across multiple disease areas

Conquer Cancer

Summer 2024
By Colleen Sullivan

Longtime Dana-Farber supporter Conquer Cancer,® the ASCO Foundation, recently awarded $1.45 million to support seven researchers pursuing projects in a wide range of disease areas.

Ana Garrido-Castro, MD, and Guilherme Nader-Marta, MD, are both leading studies into treatments for metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), an aggressive form of breast cancer for which few targeted treatments exist. Garrido-Castro is evaluating the use of antibody-drug conjugates (ADC), which are antibodies that carry potent chemotherapy and bind to specific targets on cancer cells, thereby delivering chemotherapy in a targeted manner to tumors. Garrido-Castro is now conducting a multicenter, phase 2 trial that aims to identify which patients will benefit most from sequential ADC therapy.

Nader-Marta has found a potential drug target in TNBC—a protein called prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) which often presents in high levels in patients with metastatic TNBC. Nader-Marta will test the efficacy of a drug that has already demonstrated efficacy in patients with prostate cancer.

With her funding, Elizabeth Carstens, MD, is refining the use of CAR T-cell therapy in patients with advanced multiple myeloma. This therapy entails collecting T cells from patients and altering them outside of the body to produce chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) that can target cancer cells. Carstens is testing a method to reprogram T cells so that patients can generate them inside the body, reducing the time needed for the procedure.

“By supporting these physician-scientists, we accelerate lifesaving research and empower more people to conquer cancer.”

Nancy Daly, MS, MPH, Conquer Cancer

Narjust Florez, MD, is leading a study into the effects of immune checkpoint inhibitors on fertility in women of childbearing age receiving treatment for early stage lung cancer and melanoma, with the goal of enhancing patient-provider communication around these topics and creating interventions to mitigate the negative effects of these therapies.

Riaz Gillani, MD, is studying inherited genetic changes in DNA damage repair genes that increase risk for Ewing sarcoma—one of the most common bone and soft tissue cancers that affects children and adolescents—in order to improve prevention methods, predict treatment resistance, and design more informed treatment plans.

ER-positive HER2-negative breast cancer is one of the most common forms of breast cancer found in male patients. Jose Pablo Leone, MD, is leading a multicenter study that aims to expand endocrine therapy options for this patient population.

Jaclyn LoPiccolo, MD, PhD, is analyzing the genetic changes associated with young-onset lung cancer to help identify patients at higher risk for developing the disease and predict how the cancer will respond to targeted treatments.

“We’re so proud to support these researchers as they pursue innovative projects across the cancer spectrum,” said Conquer Cancer CEO Nancy Daly, MS, MPH. “By supporting these physician-scientists, we accelerate lifesaving research and empower more people to conquer cancer.”

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