Gene Mutations and Precision Cancer Medicine

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Date(s) - June 27, 2022
8:00 pm EDT - 9:00 pm EDT

This webinar, hosted by FCF in collaboration with TargetCancer Foundation and Angiosarcoma Awareness, is the first of four webinars in which we explore how precision cancer medicine is being applied to rare cancers.

A major mode of precision cancer medicine entails identification of all mutations in a patient’s tumor cells that are potentially associated with cancerous growth. A key goal is to develop targeted cancer therapies that attack specific molecular drivers of cancer, and to use these treatments specifically in those patients whose cancers are most likely to respond.

This particular webinar will explore the application of gene sequence-based precision medicine to rare cancers, and the special challenges that must be overcome to improve treatment efficacy for these diseases. Key questions to be addressed include:

  • What exactly is precision cancer medicine?
  • What are predisposing mutations for cancer?
  • What are cancer drivers and driver mutations?
  • What is “tumor mutational burden” and “microsatellite instability”?
  • How can identification of gene mutations enable individualized cancer therapy?
    • Targeted therapy
    • Immunotherapy
  • How effective is the approach today, especially for rare cancers, and what are the prospects for future development?
  • What special challenges must be overcome to improve efficacy for rare cancers?


  • Razelle Kurzrock, MD – Associate Director, Cancer Center / Froedtert Hospital, Medical College of Wisconsin: Razelle Kurzrock is a highly distinguished oncologist. She served previously at the University of California San Diego Moores Cancer Center and at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. She has extensive experience in personalized cancer therapy and innovative clinical trials. She has published almost 900 peer-reviewed articles in elite medical journals, and she has been the Principal Investigator (PI) of numerous grants and funding awards totaling over $100 million. Dr. Kurzrock has a special passion to study and treat Rare Cancers. She founded a Rare Tumor Clinic at UCSD, heads the Early Therapeutics and Rare Cancers Committee for the NCI cooperative group SWOG, and has founded a Precision Medicine and Rare Cancers Clinic at MCW. She is PI of TargetCancer Foundation’s TRACK (Target Rare Cancer Knowledge) Study for precision medicine of rare cancers.
  • Jim Palma – Executive Director, TargetCancer Foundation: Jim Palma joined TargetCancer Foundation in 2010 and has overseen its growth from a small start-up to a nationally recognized foundation supporting comprehensive cancer research programs and patient support services. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) and is a founding Co-Chair of the NORD Rare Cancers Coalition. In addition, Jim is a Steering Committee member at the GI Cancers Alliance and the Global Cholangiocarcinoma Alliance.
  • Corrie Painter, PhD – Associate Director of Operations and Scientific Outreach for the Broad Cancer Program, Associate Director of Count Me In: Corrie Painter is the associate director of operations and scientific outreach in the Cancer Program of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. She leads the Angiosarcoma Project, a nationwide direct-to-patient genomics initiative aimed at generating the genomic landscape of this orphan disease, and she is working to build scientific resources to enable broad-scale rare cancer research across many indications. A trained cancer researcher with a PhD in biochemistry, Painter serves as the associate director of Count Me In, which launches patient-driven research projects across multiple cancer types. As a rare cancer survivor, she brings a personal perspective to addressing unmet needs for these diseases.
  • Mark Furth, PhD – Scientific Director, Fibrolamellar Cancer Foundation (FCF): Mark Furth joined the FCF in 2018 and leads its research efforts. He previously led programs in translational research and technology development at the Wake Forest School of Medicine, particularly for the Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the Comprehensive Cancer Center. He has broad experience in both academic institutions (National Cancer Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Wake Forest) and the biopharmaceutical industry (Oncogene Science, Regeneron, Glaxo Research Institute, PPD Discovery).

View a recording of the event

Please click here to view a recording of the event on FCF’s YouTube channel.