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News & Press: University News

Cutting Edge Cancer Trial At George Mason

Thursday, February 19, 2015  
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As reported by WUSA CBS Channel 9, a cutting-edge precision medicine study for cancer is underway at George Mason University.

Researchers at George Mason University's Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine are helping to extend the lives of four late stage breast cancer patients.

In the pilot study, close to 60 percent of the 25 patients saw their lives extended.

"Over half patients that went through this process, had increased survival. And in metastatic disease, that is really an unheard of event," said Dr. "Chip" Petricoin. His team of researchers analyzes slices of tissues taken from the patients' tumors and identifies the tumor's proteins.

"In less than five days (we) take that tumor analyze it with our new proteomic technology, and say, Ah Ha! This is the pathway that's really turned on. And here are drugs that turn off that pathway," Petricoin described.

He explained that the drugs used to attack the various proteins are already FDA-approved, but they may be earmarked for other cancers. It's about finding the right drugs to treat the person's specific tumors.

The study is call Side-Out, named after a volleyball term because volleyball teams across the country are raising the $1.5 million a year to fund the study.

Dr. Petricoin says rather than a treatment plan that's similar to throwing a dart at a board, personalized, tumor-targeted approaches will be the future of cancer treatment.

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