Padres Pedal the Cause Announces New Round of Funding for Cancer Research

Grant awards include inaugural funding for clinical trials

Padres Pedal the Cause continues the fight against cancer through the announcement of a new wave of funding for local cancer research. Six translational research teams, comprised of members from across the region’s top NCI-designated Cancer Centers, and four clinical trials received funding to advance research that could ultimately lead to cures for cancer. Funding for the ten new projects came from Padres Pedal the Cause’s 2017 fundraising efforts, which netted more than $2.4 million to benefit basic science and clinical research teams from Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute and Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego.

To date, Padres Pedal the Cause has funded 48 translational cancer research projects, including the six just announced, that are in the beginning stages of research collection. Additionally, and for the first time, Padres Pedal the Cause included funding for four investigator-initiated clinical trials, targeting breast, prostate, lung and gastrointestinal cancers.

“Padres Pedal the Cause is committed to building a world without cancer, and we are delighted to invest in research in both the start-up phase of data collection and in the clinical trial phase to test new or different approaches to cancer treatments,” said Executive Director Anne Marbarger. “The four clinical trials selected are exploring the efficacies of novel therapies for some of the most common cancers, and can help these therapies move into standard practice for lifesaving cancer treatments for the greater community.”

Barbara Parker, MD, breast oncologist and senior deputy director of cancer medicine at Moores Cancer Center has engaged in one of the clinical trials with fellow medical oncologist and breast cancer specialist, Rebecca Shatsky, MD. Their research will combine the novel antibody Cirmtuzumab with the chemotherapy drug Paclitaxel to measure the effectiveness in reducing or eradicating breast cancer stem cells and tumors.

“Our primary objective, of course, is to determine whether the drug combination is safe and tolerable and to measure its anti-tumor activity,” said Parker. “If it proves safe and shows effectiveness against breast cancer, we can progress to subsequent trials to determine how best to use the drug combination.”

Since inception in 2013, Padres Pedal the Cause has raised and donated over $7.1 million to fund local cancer research, and has set the goal to raise $3 million in 2018 through its annual fundraising event, taking place on November 17. Already the largest event in its history, Padres Pedal the Cause will welcome more than 2,300 participants, survivors, teams, sponsors and volunteers to Petco Park to ride one of four cycling routes, ranging from 25 to 100 miles, run or walk a new 5K along San Diego’s Embarcadero, or take a high-energy stationary bike right on the first base line. The day culminates in an inspirational program and finish line festival on the field at Petco Park, celebrating the fundraising efforts by the participants and their supporters. 100% of all funds raised by participants is donated to make funding of the discovery cancer research projects possible.

“We are in a critical time of advancement for cancer research, especially considering that investigational funding is becoming more scarce,” says Marbarger. “The San Diego community is an unique culture of biotech industry and life science research collaborations, resulting in innovative cancer discoveries and cure accelerants. Padres Pedal the Cause is proud to support these scientists in the fight to end cancer, and we invite the whole community to join us on this mission.”

Congratulations to the 23 principal investigators and their teams that are accelerating cures for cancer. The Padres Pedal the Cause Discovery Grant recipients are:

Investigator-Initiated Clinical Trial Awards:

  1. Low Dose Chemotherapy for Immuno-activation in Lung Cancer by Hatim Husain and Michael Karin
  2. Investigating the Efficacy of Radium-223 with Olaparib in Men with Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer by Rana McKay and Christina Jamieson
  3. A Phase 1B Pilot Clinical Trial of Cirmtuzumab, an Anti-ROR1 Monoclonal Antibody, in Combination with Paclitaxel for the Treatment of Patients with Metastatic, or Locally Advanced, Unresectable Breast Cancer by Barbara Parker and Rebecca Shatsky
  4. An Open-Label, Phase 2 Efficacy Study of Temozolomide (TMZ) In Advanced Succinate Dehydrogenase (SDH)-Mutant/Deficient Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST) by Jason Sicklick and Adam Burgoyne

Translational Awards:

  1. Targeting FZD7 in Human Cancer by Karl Willert and Dennis Carson
  2. Inhibiting Liver Cancer Stem Cells to Improve Response to Thermal Ablation by Isabel Newton, Nicholas Webster and Gen-Sheng Feng
  3. Targeting CD114 Signaling in Pediatric Medulloblastoma by Peter Zage, Robert Wechsler-Reya and Pablo Tamayo
  4. Evaluation of Carcinogen Exposure via Genome-Wide DNA-Adduct Signatures by Oliver Harismendy and Ludmil Alexandrov
  5. Impact of Metformin on Clonal Hematopoiesis and Clinical Outcomes in Breast Cancer by Rafael Bejar and Dorothy Sears
  6. Knowledge-Based Planning and Treatment Decision-Making for Gynecologic Brachytherapy by Sandra Meyers, Kevin Moore and Jyoti Mayadev

A detailed description of the 52 cancer research projects funded by Padres Pedal the Cause Discovery Grants is available on our Impact page.

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