NCI awards $13.3M for cancer research on drug sequencing

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

September 15, 2022 -- The National Cancer Institute (NCI) awarded a five-year, $13.3 million grant to a team of researchers to study sequential combinations of targeted inhibitors and immunotherapies for cancer.

The study, Spatiotemporal Tumor Analytics for Guiding Sequential Targeted Inhibitor-Immunotherapy Combinations (ST-Analytics), is designed to determine if recent advances in cancer treatment can yield greater patient benefit when administered in a specific sequence rather than simultaneously administered combinations. In other words, the study will focus not only on dosage but also timing by examining tumors at set points in treatment regimens.

The researchers from University of California, Los Angeles, Yale University, and the Institute for Systems Biology, a nonprofit biomedical research organization based in Seattle, will assess treatment efficacies and build computational models of how the tumors respond. They will use mouse models, validate findings with biobanked human tissues, and design clinical trial concepts.

The study will use molecular-computational models and the team will also train and educate the next generation of systems biologists focused on cancer and draw especially from underserved communities.

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