SOURCE: Adelson Medical Research Foundation

September 14, 2010 19:21 ET

Adelson Medical Research Foundation-Sponsored Research Identifies Two Genes Newly Implicated in Aggressive Form of Ovarian Cancer

Foundation's Open and Highly Integrated Collaborative Model Brings Together Multi-Disciplinary, Multi-Institutional Scientific Teams to Address Major Unmet Medical Needs

NEEDHAM, MA--(Marketwire - September 14, 2010) -  The Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation (AMRF), a private foundation funding collaborative translational science programs, announced today an important new publication in the September 8, 2010 online issue of the journal Science Express. The paper, co-authored by AMRF-funded scientists Victor Velculescu of Johns Hopkins University and Dennis Slamon of the University of California, Los Angeles, identifies two genes not previously implicated in ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC). This finding provides two novel targets for the development of new drugs to treat this aggressive form of ovarian cancer that is generally resistant to current therapies.

"The collaboration among Drs. Velculescu, Slamon and their other Adelson Medical Research Foundation-funded colleagues brings together distinguished laboratories with capabilities in cancer genomics, genetics, and the treatment of cancer in women to uniquely analyze ovarian tumors," said Dr. Miriam Adelson, Trustee and Executive Director of the Foundation. "This is an example of our Foundation's unique collaborative model in action," noted Sheldon G. Adelson, Trustee of the Foundation and Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp. "By funding collaborative teams from a number of major biomedical research institutions and a variety of scientific disciplines, we are bringing new insights to some of the most challenging areas of cancer research," Dr. Adelson elaborated.

"This study implicates PPP2R1A as a novel oncogene and ARID1A as a novel tumor suppressor gene in OCCC, neither of which had previously been implicated in ovarian cancer," noted Dr. Kenneth H. Fasman, Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of AMRF. "This opens the door for two new directions in cancer drug discovery," Fasman said.

Victor E. Velculescu, M.D., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Oncology and Director of Cancer Genetics at the Ludwig Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. He has co-authored many seminal papers on cancer genomics with his Hopkins co-authors Bert Vogelstein and Kenneth W. Kinzler. Dennis J. Slamon, M.D., Ph.D., is director of Clinical/Translational Research, and director of the Revlon/UCLA Women's Cancer Research Program at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is Professor of Medicine, chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and Executive Vice Chair for Research for UCLA's Department of Medicine. For 12 years, Slamon and his colleagues conducted the laboratory and clinical research that led to the development of the new breast cancer drug Herceptin, which targets a specific genetic alteration found in about 25 percent of breast cancer patients. Drs. Velculescu and Slamon are members of the Adelson Medical Research Foundation's ovarian cancer research collaboration.

The Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation, established in 2006, is a private foundation committed to a model of open and highly integrated collaboration among outstanding investigators who participate in goal-directed basic and clinical research to prevent, reduce or eliminate disabling and life-threatening illness. The Foundation creates a culture of scientific discovery, evaluation, and clinical application directed by the experiences of scientists who are not bound by searching for the cure of any single disease. Programs within the Foundation are defined in broad terms. The Adelson Program in Cancer Research pursues therapies targeted to the mechanisms that make cells malignant, and the Adelson Program in Neural Repair and Rehabilitation seeks to manipulate the regeneration of axons in the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves.

For additional information on the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation, please visit

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Dr. Kenneth Fasman
    Vice President and Chief Science Officer
    Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation
    (781) 972-5900
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