California Institute for Regenerative Medicine awarded a $9.28 million grant will support a clinical trial at City of Hope to evaluate chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer that spread to the brain.

About 20% of breast cancers are HER2-positive, and nearly half of women with this type of breast cancer develop brain metastases.

“Our team’s goal is to develop a novel therapy for [patients with breast cancer] with brain metastases who currently have no other effective treatments,” Saul Priceman, PhD, assistant professor in the department of hematology and hematopoietic cell transplantation at City of Hope, said in a press release. “This is a beautiful example of how early support from private donors and foundations helped to develop a therapy and initiate a trial we were desperate to bring to patients, and now this … award funds the entire clinical trial and helps to leverage the knowledge gained here to further advance this therapy.”

The trial opened in fall 2018. Jana Portnow, MD, associate clinical professor in the department of medical oncology and therapeutics research at City of Hope, is the lead clinical investigator.

To learn more about this trial, read this Q&A that HemOnc Today and conducted with Priceman earlier this year.

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