Pattern.org was created by the Rare Cancer Research Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of rare cancer patients by accelerating research. Pattern.org specifically, is a branch of the organization which connects patients to research projects they can have a major impact on- simply by donating their excess tumor tissue.
One of the biggest barriers to rare disease research is that scientists can’t investigate every experimental therapy as quickly as they’d like to, purely because there aren’t enough patient samples to conduct that many studies. Pattern.org gives rare patients the opportunity to submit consent forms which allow researchers to conduct studies with their excess tumor cells. These cells may come from procedures like a drainage for a pleural effusion or a surgical resection. The donating of the excess cells from procedures like these don’t change the operation itself in any way.
These donated cells and tissues allow researchers to grow their own version of the patient’s tumor in the laboratory. On these tumors, they are able to safely, quickly, and effectively, investigate new potential therapies that may be able to treat the exact tumor type of the patient.
The entire process of signing up and providing consent takes just 10 minutes, and pattern.org has an easy to follow explanatory video on how to enroll in the program. Once enrolled, they take care of all of the logistics of getting your samples to researchers.
LUNGevity is a nonprofit organization specifically dedicated to lung cancer. In addition to funding research, they also provide patient support and education for the disease. The ultimate goal? Establishing more lung cancer survivors.
“LUNGevity believes that patient-driven research will significantly accelerate progress for lung cancer patients.”
A New Partnership
LUNGevity has recently partnered with pattern.org and the Broad Institute. In essence, LUNGevity is working to engage their patient community to donate their excess tumor tissue through pattern.org to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Specifically, these samples will go to the Broad Institute’s Cancer Cell Line Project. This project is working to create cell lines and organoids which mimic patient’s tumors. Researchers are then able to investigate experimental therapies with these models, helping them better understand specific lung cancer types and unique potential treatments.
Perhaps the best part of this new partnership is that the opportunity for discovery will not be limited to the walls of the Broad Institute. Broad has stated that all of their models, created with patient’s excess tissue, as well as the data from these models, will be shared “broadly with the scientific community.”
In this way, research will be accelerated at an even greater pace. Hopefully, we will see this collaborative effort result in new therapeutic options for those living with adenocarcinoma of the lung, anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positve non-small cell lung cancer, and other lung cancer diagnoses.
You can read more about this exciting new partnership here.