SOURCE: Adelson Medical Research Foundation

February 13, 2012 12:00 ET

Adelson Medical Research Foundation Sponsored Research Uses Unique Model System to Identify Effective Drug Combinations to Treat 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 - Feb 13, 2012) - The Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation (AMRF), a private foundation funding collaborative translational science programs, announced today a significant publication in the February 14, 2012 issue of the journal Cancer Cell. The paper by AMRF-funded investigators Joan Brugge and lead author Taru Muranen of Harvard Medical School, in collaboration with Gordon Mills of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, uses a unique three-dimensional cellular model of ovarian cancer to explore mechanisms of resistance to targeted cancer therapies in a more physiological context and more predictably identify effective combinations of drugs to treat ovarian cancer.

"Dr. Brugge is a key member of a group of AMRF-funded scientists trying to advance our understanding of ovarian cancer origins and metastasis," said Dr. Miriam Adelson, Trustee and Executive Director of the Foundation. "Our Foundation encourages teams of accomplished scientists from multiple disciplines and institutions to reach for significant new research goals rather than incremental progress," noted Sheldon G. Adelson, Trustee of the Foundation and Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp.

"There are high hopes for the new generation of PI3K/mTOR-pathway inhibitors, but potential resistance to these drugs in epithelial cancers is a concern. Dr. Brugge and her colleagues have developed a powerful three-dimensional model of ovarian tumors that more accurately captures cancer mechanisms such as vascular intravasation and matrix-associated resistance," noted Dr. Kenneth H. Fasman, Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of AMRF. "Their model reveals that resistance is found only in subpopulations of tumor cells associated with the extracellular matrix, potentially explaining why these drugs are not uniformly effective on all cells in the tumor. This new publication demonstrates an approach to efficiently testing such targeted therapeutics in combination with others in the hope of overcoming this resistance."

Joan S. Brugge, Ph.D., is Professor of Cell Biology and Chair of the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School. The Brugge laboratory is investigating the cellular processes and pathways that are involved in normal morphogenesis of epithelial tissues and the initiation and progression of epithelial tumors.

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 neurons in the brain, spinal cord and periphery.

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

Contact Information

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    Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation
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