A new collaboration between the University of Texas’s MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Rare Cancer Research Foundation aims to solve a problem that has been a major obstacle for research: low numbers of and restricted access to samples. With research made easier, the development of treatments should quicken as well.
About the Collaboration
The goal of this partnership is to help cancer patients throughout the country send samples of their tumors to the MD Anderson Cancer Center. With all of the samples in one place, researchers are able to analyze and create laboratory models, both of which are essential for drug development.
The Rare Cancer Research Foundation’s online platform, Pattern.org, will allow patients to send biopsies of their tumors, along with surgical samples. Once MD Anderson has these samples, they can use them to create and conduct clinical trials.
Not only does this new partnership help rare cancer patients through research and drug development, but it allows patients to play a role in their own care. No matter where one lives, they can send their samples in and help their patient community.
The MD Anderson Cancer Center originally created its Rare Tumor Initiative back in 2019. Part of this initiative came to fruition in 2021, when they partnered with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The collaboration led to a translational research platform that acted as a data resource for the medical field and cataloged rare cancer models.
Hopefully, these and all future efforts will lead to new treatment options for patients living with a rare cancer.
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