Solid Tumor Fact Sheet

CIRM funds many projects seeking to better understand solid tumors and to translate those discoveries into new therapies.

Description

Solid tumors include cancers of the brain, ovary, breast, colon and other tissues. Many people believe that one quality solid tumors share is a reliance on cancer stem cells. These cancer stem cells are thought to divide to produce the bulk of the cells that make up the tumor.

The hypothesis suggests that unlike most cells of a tumor, the cancer stem cells divide very slowly and are less likely to be destroyed by chemotherapies that kill the fast-growing tumor cells. The thought is that cancers might recur because the chemotherapy kills the bulk of the tumor, but leaves behind the cancer stem cells that can, over time, form a new tumor.

Stem cell scientists are studying cancer stem cells from solid tumors in the lab to find ways of destroying them. If these cancer stem cells share characteristics that allow them to be destroyed by the same drug, then a single new drug could significantly improve cancer treatment for a range of different cancer types.

Clinical Stage Programs

Stanford University

The Stanford University team has found a protein on the surface of leukemia stem cells that protects those cells from elimination by the patient’s own immune system. They call this protein a “don’t eat me” signal. They will create an antibody therapy that blocks that protein and makes the cancer stem cell available to be attacked and destroyed by the immune system.

Forty Seven Inc.

This company is using the same antibody therapy as in the Stanford trial, this time to fight colorectal or bowel cancer. They are combining their antibody therapy with another antibody-based cancer drug called Cetuximab in hopes of treating patients with colorectal cancer.

University of California, Los Angeles

A team led by scientists at UCLA has identified several potential drugs that kill cancer stem cells from the ovary, colon and brain in the lab dish. They will continue studying these drugs to find one that is most likely to be safe and effective at destroying cancer stem cells in people. Once they’ve identified the best candidate drug, the team plans to start clinical trials.

Participant in UCLA clinical trial talks about his cancer diagnosis and his clinical trial experience

CIRM Grants Targeting Solid Tumors

Researcher name Institution Grant Title Grant Type Award Amount
Stewart Abbot Fate Therapeutics, Inc. IND enabling development of FT516: A Natural Killer Cell Immunotherapy for Cancer Derived from a Human Inducible Pluripotent Stem Cell Late Stage Preclinical Projects $4,000,000
Zoran Galic University of California, Los Angeles Genetic Enhancement of the Immune Response to Melanoma via hESC-derived T cells SEED Grant $616,800
Michael Barish City of Hope, Beckman Research Institute Genetically-modified neural stem cells for treatment of high-grade glioma Disease Team Planning $55,000
Elizabeth Lawlor Children's Hospital of Los Angeles hESC as tools to investigate the neural crest origin of Ewing's sarcoma SEED Grant $595,576
Michael Snyder Stanford University Center of Excellence for Stem Cell Genomics - Stanford Genomics Centers of Excellence Awards (R) $22,796,609
Antoni Ribas University of California, Los Angeles Stem Cells for Immune System Regeneration to Fight Cancer New Faculty II $3,072,000
Joshua Stuart University of California, Santa Cruz Center of Excellence for Stem Cell Genomics - UCSC Genomics Centers of Excellence Awards (R) $4,000,000
Brigitte Gomperts University of California, Los Angeles Stem Cells in Lung Cancer New Faculty II $2,381,572
John Zaia City of Hope, Beckman Research Institute The Innovation-Alpha Clinic for Cellular Therapies (I-ACT) – A Program for the Development and Delivery of Innovative Cell-based Treatments and Cures for Life-threatening Diseases. Alpha Stem Cell Clinics $8,000,000
Siavash Kurdistani University of California, Los Angeles Epigenetics in cancer stem cell initiation and clinical outcome prediction New Faculty I $3,063,450
Robert Dillman Caladrius Biosciences Tumor stem cell-targeted immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma –a randomized phase 3 clinical trial. Clinical Trial Stage Projects $3,000,000
Robert Wechsler-Reya Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute The role of neural stem cells in cerebellar development, regeneration and tumorigenesis Research Leadership $5,226,049
Anthony Gringeri ImmunoCellular Therapeutics A Phase III randomized double-blind, controlled study of ICT 107 with maintenance temozolomide (TMZ) in newly diagnosed glioblastoma following resection and concomitant TMZ chemoradiotherapy Clinical Trial Stage Projects $5,391,016
Antoni Ribas University of California, Los Angeles Genetic Re-programming of Stem Cells to Fight Cancer Disease Team Therapy Planning I $97,785
Albert Wong Stanford University 2nd Generation Vaccine for the Treatment of Glioblastoma Therapeutic Translational Research Projects $2,929,889
Albert Wong Stanford University Recombinant Bispecific Antibody Targeting Cancer Stem Cells for the Therapy of Glioblastoma Disease Team Therapy Planning I $109,750
Owen Witte University of California, Los Angeles Identification of stem cell surface markers as potential therapeutic targets for advanced prostate cancer Inception - Discovery Stage Research Projects $209,160
Stephen Forman City of Hope, Beckman Research Institute Targeting glioma cancer stem cells with receptor-engineered self-renewing memory T cells Early Translational III $5,215,447
Hiromitsu Nakauchi Stanford University Novel Rejuvenated T Cell Immunotherapy for Lung Cancer Quest - Discovery Stage Research Projects $1,968,456
Antoni Ribas University of California, Los Angeles Genetic Re-programming of Stem Cells to Fight Cancer Disease Team Therapy Development - Research $19,875,776
Mark Chao Forty Seven Inc. A Phase 1b/2 Trial of the Anti-CD47 Antibody Hu5F9-G4 in Combination with Cetuximab in Patients with Solid Tumors and Advanced Colorectal Cancer Clinical Trial Stage Projects $10,234,048
Noriyuki Kasahara University of California, Los Angeles Stem cell-based carriers for RCR vector delivery to glioblastoma Early Translational II $3,340,625
Owen Witte University of California, Los Angeles Trop2 dependent and independent mechanisms of self-renewal in human cancer stem cells Basic Biology IV $1,254,960
Dan Kaufman University of California, San Diego Targeted off-the-shelf immunotherapy to treat refractory cancers Quest - Discovery Stage Research Projects $1,936,936
Karen Aboody City of Hope, Beckman Research Institute Stem Cell-mediated Therapy for High-grade Glioma: Toward Phase I-II Clinical Trials Disease Team Research I $17,890,623
Michelle Monje Stanford University White matter neuroregeneration after chemotherapy: stem cell therapy for “chemobrain” New Faculty Physician Scientist $2,800,536
Yuan Chen City of Hope, Beckman Research Institute A Novel Approach to Eradicate Cancer Stem Cells Quest - Discovery Stage Research Projects $1,839,484
Dennis Slamon University of California, Los Angeles Therapeutic Opportunities To Target Tumor Initiating Cells in Solid Tumors Disease Team Research I $19,979,660
Robert Reiter University of California, Los Angeles Clinical Development of an N-cadherin Antibody to Target Cancer Stem Cells Early Translational IV $4,075,668
Christine Brown City of Hope, Beckman Research Institute Phase I Study of Chimeric Antigen Receptor Engineered Central Memory T cells for the Treatment of Malignant Glioma Clinical Trial Stage Projects $12,753,854
Irving Weissman Stanford University Development of Therapeutic Antibodies Targeting Human Acute Myeloid Leukemia Stem Cells Disease Team Research I $18,759,276
Irving Weissman Stanford University Clinical Investigation of a Humanized Anti-CD47 Antibody in Targeting Cancer Stem Cells in Hematologic Malignancies and Solid Tumors Disease Team Therapy Development III $6,505,568
Mark Walters Children's Hospital of Oakland Research Institute University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) CIRM Alpha Stem Cell Clinic Alpha Stem Cell Clinics Network Expansion $7,999,999
Mitchel Berger University of California, San Francisco Stem Cell-Mediated Oncocidal Gene Therapy of Glioblastoma (GBM) Disease Team Research I $6,214,914
Dennis Slamon University of California, Los Angeles A Phase I dose escalation and expansion clinical trial of the novel first-in-class Polo-like Kinase 4 (PLK4) inhibitor, CFI-400945 in patients with advanced solid tumors Disease Team Therapy Development III $6,924,317
John Cashman Human BioMolecular Research Institute Human Pancreatic Cancer Stem Cells: Developing a Novel Drug for Cancer Eradication Inception - Discovery Stage Research Projects $303,894
Zack Jerome University of California, Los Angeles Generation of clinical grade human iPS cells New Cell Lines $1,341,000
David Cheresh University of California, San Diego CD61-driven stemness program in epithelial cancer Basic Biology V $1,161,000
Julia Unternaehrer-Hamm Loma Linda University Targeting cancer stem cells with nanoparticle RNAi delivery to prevent recurrence and metastasis of ovarian cancer Inception - Discovery Stage Research Projects $172,870
Total:
$218,093,567.00

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