This laboratory conducts preclinical testing of new approaches to the therapy of the Ewings family of tumors (EFT)

The Ewings family of tumors (EFT) are seen in both children and adults. Recurrent metastatic EFT are cancers that are very difficult to treat. Testing novel drugs and drug combinations against laboratory models of EFT (preclincal testing) can provide data to help clinical investigators design clincal trials to test new therapeutic approaches to cancers. In the cases of cancers such as EFT, in which the numbers of patients are small enough to prevent a major interest from pharmaceutical companies, academic laboratories funded by both government and private resources play an important role in carrying out preclinical testing.

Recognizing the need for preclinical testing in EFT, beyond what is provided in the NCI PPTP, a group of Children's Oncology Group (COG) investigators sought to have established a laboratory devoted to EFT preclinical testing. These investigators, which included Poul Sorensen, MD PhD, Mark Bernstein, MD, and Richard Gorlick, MD, approached a generous donor, The Charles and Dana Nearburg Foundation, who via the National Childhood Cancer Foundation (NCCF), is providing funding for an EFT preclinical testing laboratory. A request for proposals was sent out and the committee chose the current lab to carry out the work.

The funding for the EFT Preclinical Testing Lab is provided via CureSearch (www.CureSearch.org) in memory of Rett Nearburg (www.rett.org) and is known as Rett's Initiative - Ewings Family Tumors Preclinical Testing Research. Additional funding for this laboratory is provided via Department of Defense (DOD) grant USAMRC 06213001 to the Children’s Oncology Group.

The EFT Preclinical Testing Lab is under the direction of Co-PI's C Patrick Reynolds, MD PhD and Min Kang, PharmD.

The lab will test new drugs and new combinations of drugs against EFT cell lines and xenografts. Data will be provided to COG clinical investigators to aid in prioritizing new agent studies. A particular goal of the EFT Preclinical Testing Lab is to provide data enabling phase II studies of new drugs in the COG.