FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: John Reher
Executive Director, ABC2
Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2) Foundation
Comments on Genentech's
Brain Cancer Trial Results Presented at ASCO
BURLINGAME, Calif. - June 4, 2022 - Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2), a non-profit foundation dedicated to accelerating therapies leading to a cure for brain cancer, commented on Genentech's Phase I brain cancer clinical trial data presented by Dr. Michael Prados of the University of California, San Francisco at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting being held in Chicago this week.
"We are extremely encouraged to see that Tarceva (erlotinib HCl), tested in very early clinical trials, showed a positive response rate in patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)," stated John Reher, ABC2 Executive Director. "We want to congratulate Genentech on the safety profile and clinical activity reported in this study of Tarceva in GBM, as therapies for this poorly treated cancer are clearly needed. We applaud their groundbreaking efforts to rapidly test Tarceva in GBM, following initial positive studies in non-small cell lung cancer. Tarceva offers the potential of a novel treatment for patients suffering from this devastating disease."
Based on the positive results presented this week, Genentech has announced plans to begin a Phase II trial with Tarceva in GBM. The study will be conducted in collaboration with the ABC2 clinical network of leading neuro-oncology centers and ABC2 will be funding a portion of the trial.
Henry S. Friedman, M.D., James B. Powell Jr. Professor of Neuro-Oncology at Duke University and a charter member of the ABC2 clinical network, stated, "This report provides exciting information regarding the potential merit of EGFR-targeted therapy using Tarceva in the treatment of malignant GBM. It is possible that this agent alone or in combination, targeting a pathway critical for the growth of some malignant GBMs, may prove to be a major step forward in the treatment of this tumor."
EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) is part of the signaling pathway that is involved in the growth of numerous cancers. Tarceva, which targets EGFR, is designed to block tumor cell growth. High expression of EGFR may be associated with GBM, presenting the rationale behind clinical testing of Tarceva as a potential therapy.
Alfred Yung, M.D., Margaret and Ben Love Chair of the Department of Neuro-Oncology at U.T. M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and a charter member of the ABC2 clinical network, commented, "The data from the Phase I Tarceva trial are very encouraging because we have not previously seen this type of response rate in recurrent GBM in a Phase I trial. Furthermore, this clinical study is the first proof of concept that turning off a growth signal such as EGFR can reduce tumor growth and benefit patients."
ABC2 was founded in May 2001 by Dan and Steve Case and their families, along with leading scientists and entrepreneurs. ABC2 aims to raise awareness about brain cancer and help mobilize critical scientific research through research grants and partnerships. As a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit foundation, ABC2 funds outstanding and novel translational science that is aimed at the discovery of a cure for brain cancer. Under the collaboration agreement with Genentech, ABC2 will receive commensurate royalties if Tarceva is approved for GBM, which it will use to fund future translational research programs.
Each year more than 17,000 people in the United States find out that they have a primary brain tumor. An additional 100,000 patients are diagnosed with a brain tumor that has metastasized from another part of the body. The mission of ABC2 is to accelerate a cure for brain cancer by increasing the number of potential therapies discovered and then rapidly moving them into the clinic to help patients. In order to accelerate progress in what has been an under-served field of research, ABC2 provides researchers from all backgrounds with the support they need to make critical breakthroughs in brain cancer research. Further information can be found at: www.abc2.org.
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