We have some exciting RET-specific research grant updates to share! RETpositive's science advisors, Hilary Hammell and Nicolas LeBel, recently met with our 2022 grant awardees and have painstakingly reviewed their research progress reports. Here's what they uncovered:
- Two of our grantees have discovered very encouraging combinations of RET inhibitors with other drugs, several of which are already FDA-approved. One combination specifically has been shown not only to delay resistance in preclinical models, but also overcome it in a broad range of resistant tumors, making this our strongest candidate to date. The researchers are currently working to produce additional validation data, and there are already plans to reach out to the drug manufacturers to discuss clinical trials.
Customized drug regimen
- On top of this, extensive data are being generated on understanding which RET inhibitors work for which patients, as well as which resistance mutations those inhibitors are effective against. If confirmed, these results may be practice-changing and will help doctors pick the very best drug for each patient, as well as direct people to the right next-generation drug trials.
- On the immune side, one of our grantees has been hard at work generating T-cell receptors to help the immune system recognize and kill RET tumors. Receptors have already been identified and being tested in preclinical models as we speak. They are already exploring ways to partner with industry to turn this into a clinical trial.
Customized drug regimen
- Additionally, other groups have uncovered targets on dormant tumor cells, paving the way for immune therapies to eliminate them. This would effectively be a 1-2 punch therapy: first use Retevmo/Gavreto to eliminate the bulk of the disease, then use this new therapy to wipe out any remaining tumor cells.
We have always centered around covering as many bases as possible: we wanted a good mix of better understanding the biology of the disease, as well as very translational research which can yield new therapies within the next few years.
Those two priorities work in tandem, as the first generates information about new approaches, and the second turns those leads into actual therapies.
Due diligenceWe strive to further our understanding of the disease biology, as well as very translational research which can yield new therapies within the next few years.
These two priorities work in tandem, as the first generates information about new approaches, and the second turns those leads into actual therapies.
This is why we are fundraising again this year – to fund a new set of projects: with your continued support, we can accelerate and expand our research, and ultimately make RET-positive cancer a chronic disease. As a registered 501(c)3 non-profit, your donations are tax-deductible in the US, so please consider supporting our efforts.
Stay tuned for upcoming interviews!
RET-positive's next interview will be with RETexpert Dr. Alexander Drilon, Chief, Early Drug Development Service with clinical expertise in Lung Cancer; Early-Phase Clinical Trials, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Drilon will discuss his research on understanding new forms of resistance and ways to overcome them.