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Side-Out Foundation Awards $160,000 to Support Mason Breast Cancer Trial

Sep. 29, 2011

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Bethesda, Md.—The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) announced today that the Side-Out Foundation, a Virginia-based nonprofit that supports advances in therapy for cancer patients, has donated $160,000 to the I-SPY 2 breast cancer clinical trial, which will be conducted at George Mason University.

The I-SPY 2 (Investigation of Serial Studies to Predict Your Therapeutic Response with Imaging And Molecular Analysis 2) trial, launched in 2010 by the FNIH Biomarkers Consortium, is a groundbreaking clinical study that is testing new individually targeted breast cancer drugs in patients diagnosed with localized, aggressive cancers.

“We are proud to have Side-Out as a partner supporting the I-SPY 2 trial,” says Scott Campbell, executive director and CEO of the FNIH. “The Foundation’s ability to collaborate with unique organizations provides critical resources to help advance breast cancer research.”

“The Side-Out Foundation is best known for its cutting-edge clinical trial focused on patients with metastatic breast cancer. Supporting I-SPY 2 at the early stage and the Side-Out protocol at the later stage positions our foundation to cover the full range of the disease,” says Rick Dunetz, executive director and CEO of Side-Out.

A major goal of the I-SPY 2 trial is identifying specific molecular signatures, also known as biomarkers, in cancerous tumors that can predict how a patient will respond to a particular therapy. The grant from Side-Out will be used to perform a set of novel protein tests that can help measure which drugs will be most beneficial for women with different types of tumors. The tests, known as Reverse Phase MicroArray assays (RPMA), have been developed in the laboratory of Emanuel Petricoin at Mason's Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine.

“I’m extremely grateful to the FNIH and Side-Out Foundation for providing this critical funding. With this money, we will be able to utilize the power of our RPMA technology to dissect and elucidate the drug target architecture of a heterogeneous disease like breast cancer in a way that has never been done before,” says Petricoin. “Combining the RPMA pathway mapping approach with a clinical trial like I-SPY 2 where multiple targeted therapies are assessed could be a perfect opportunity to identify key markers that can predict and personalize therapy for cancer patients.”

For more information about the I-SPY 2 breast cancer clinical trial please visit fnih.org

About George Mason University
George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University—Where Innovation Is Tradition.

About The Side-Out Foundation
The Side-Out Foundation (Side-Out) was established in 2004 to make a significant and identifiable difference in the lives of breast cancer patients and their families by supporting clinical trials, increasing compassionate support services and educating communities. Young women athletes at high schools and colleges across the country participate annually in the signature Dig Pink® fundraising events. For additional information about the Side-Out Foundation, please visit www.side-out.org

About the FNIH Biomarkers Consortium
Managed by the FNIH, The Biomarkers Consortium is a public-private biomedical research partnership that develops and qualifies biomarkers in order to accelerate the development of new medicines and improve patient care. For additional information, please visit www.biomarkersconsortium.org

About the Foundation for the NIH
Established by the United States Congress to support the mission of the NIH—improving health through scientific discovery in the search for cures—the Foundation for the NIH is a leader in identifying and addressing complex scientific and health issues. The Foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization that raises private-sector funds for a broad portfolio of unique programs that complement and enhance NIH priorities and activities. For additional information about the Foundation for the NIH, please visit www.fnih.org

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