Among the winners of the first Grant for Oncology Innovation (GOI), awarded by EMD Serono, a biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA, were two research projects focused on colon cancer therapy.
Dr. Clara Montagut, from Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, Spain, won the GOI grant for her proposed research on “Ultra-selection and molecular monitoring of Colorectal Cancer patients treated with anti-EGFR therapy using NGS platforms and serial liquid biopsies,” while Dr. Ulrich Guller of Cantonal Hospital in St. Gallen, Switzerland, won the award for his project “Prospective, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, phase III randomized trial of adjuvant aspirin treatment in PIK3CA mutated colon cancer patients.”
The winning research projects, which also included a study on non-invasive monitoring of breast cancer therapy, will receive a total of $1.3 million in grants, and were officially announced at a ceremony during the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) meeting in Madrid, Spain.
The GOI was launched back in 2013 with the aim to support researchers who are developing groundbreaking projects that have the potential to translate its results into clinically personalized treatments of solid tumors.
Applications are evaluated by a Scientific Steering Committee composed of internationally renowned oncologists and researchers, and potential research topics that can be funded through this grant include molecular biomarkers or new-targeted treatments, technology platforms for the routine analysis of molecular biomarkers, side effect management and platforms or tools that allow patients to access individualised treatment.
“I would like to congratulate the winners and their teams for the quality of their proposed research projects. In the last decade alone, innovative research in oncology has made a number of groundbreaking discoveries leading to a better understanding of individual tumor biology that has allowed for a personalized approach to patient care. We hope that this first Grant for Oncology Innovation will help enable further pioneering research into the personalized treatment of cancer that may ultimately lead to improved clinical outcomes for patients”, Belen Garijo, President and CEO of the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany said in a press release.