To launch the first phase of the Initiative, the MMRF will disseminate a request for applications to researchers worldwide working in cancer immunology and will select those with the greatest promise to produce results quickly. This first phase will bring together researchers from different institutions and laboratories to form collaborative Networks of Excellence in immunotherapy, which will focus on data generation and hypothesis testing. The second phase of the Initiative will be used to move the findings into the clinic in the form of novel immune clinical trials. Long-term goals of the Networks include predicting responses to different types of immune agents including antibody and cell-based therapies and ultimately identifying novel combination immune therapies for clinical trials.
“Immunotherapy has transformed outcomes for patients with many kinds of cancers that previously had few effective options,” said the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Giusti. “There is a significant opportunity to improve the efficacy of these immune agents and identify patients more likely to respond to specific immune approaches, and by applying our unique precision medicine model, we’re confident we’ll put the promise of a cure within reach.”
The MMRF Model is the only end-to-end system to accelerate precision medicine in cancer. It is based on three interrelated pillars: The Data Bank, The Learning Network, and The Clinic, and involves building large datasets, developing and testing hypotheses and moving the findings rapidly into the clinic. The Foundation engages the best science and technology partners to accelerate development of treatments for patients as quickly as possible with
increasing momentum towards a cure.
The MMRF convened leading cancer immunology experts from academia, the pharmaceutical industry, and government to identify the areas of greatest potential and urgent need in immunotherapy in order to determine the Initiative’s areas of focus: provide standardized immune testing to pre-select patients most likely to benefit from specific immune treatments, identify resistance mechanisms to current immunotherapeutic approaches, and to rapidly accelerate promising combinations of immunotherapies for the treatment of myeloma.