Of Mice and Men: Award-Winning Oncologist Leads New Advancement in Personalized Medicine
Arlington, VA – November 13, 2008 – After hearing the words, “you’ve got cancer,” most patients are given a drug or combination of agents according to guidelines or standards of care. These treatments, in the oncologist’s best judgment, are considered most likely to work based on the results of clinical studies in patients with similar tumor types. Cancer patients often require several courses of drugs and regimens sequentially, that are ineffective or poorly tolerated, prior to identifying the optimal therapy.
“In the meantime, precious time is lost, patients suffer unpleasant side effects, while tumors may continue to grow and mutate and become resistant to therapies, further reducing the future effectiveness of other anti-cancer agents,” says Dr. David Sidransky, a leading oncologist. “In addition to the precious expenditure of time, current cancer drugs are increasingly expensive. When patients undergo several courses of therapy that are essentially ineffective against their specific cancer, the costs of therapy increases unnecessarily.”
Recognized for his work with early cancer detection as one of TIME Magazine’s top physicians and scientists to watch in 2001, Dr. Sidransky most recently developed the use of a new test to evaluate the effectiveness of anti-cancer agents before they are administered to patients. This innovation involves the implantation of primary human tumors in immune deficient mice followed by growth and propagation of the resulting engraftment, called Biomerk Tumorgrafts™, that closely preserves the biological characteristics of the original human tumor. Treatment drugs are then administered to evaluate the Biomerk Tumorgraft’s sensitivity or resistance to each drug. Dr. Sidransky merged his company and its Tumorgraft technology with Champions Biotechnology, Inc. (CSBR), and became Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Biomerk Tumorgrafts may provide personalized oncology benefits including the ability to:
identify unique patient tumor characteristics that provide insight into optimal treatment choices; test the effectiveness of numerous anti-cancer drugs on a patient’s Tumorgraft before choosing the next drug to administer to the patient; develop a personalized vaccine directly from the patient’s tumor; and bank the patient’s Tumorgraft for future growth and propagation to enable future studies if needed. “The Biomerk Tumorgraft platform could become a key enabler of personalized medicine,” says Dr. Sidransky, “thereby enabling the medical community to isolate the right drug, for the right patient, at the right time,” For more information, log on to www.championsbiotechnology.com.