Timeframe: 2010 – 2011
Goals: Identify and launch initial fibrolamellar carcinoma research efforts
Principal Investigators: W. David Hankins, MD
Study overview: The International Cancer Alliance for Research and Education (ICARE) focuses its programs on building and funding local and international medical academic research teams (I-TEAMS) that identify, initiate and fund cutting-edge research projects to support decisions of patient/doctor teams. In January, 2010, the Foundation requested that an ICARE Investigative Team (I-Team) be established to conduct “accelerated personalized translational research” on fibrolamellar carcinoma. After numerous discussions, Dr. Hankins of ICARE began to identify, organize, motivate and mobilize leading global scientists and physicians who had the potential to rapidly identify, or create cutting-edge medical solutions that would contribute to fibrolamellar patients’ survival.
Dr. Hankins’ organizational efforts led to a business plan outline that consisted of four “Freedom of Pursuit” research awards to be distributed under Dr. Hankins guidance as unrestricted research support to the laboratories of selected scientists, plus an amount to cover ICARE’s overhead expenses throughout the project. The goal of this unrestricted funding was to allow FCF/ ICARE to successfully recruit world class scientists and have them contribute their expertise and lab work to answer important questions of clinical significance to cancer research and FLC.
Results: Funded investigators who were given “Freedom of Pursuit” grants funded by this FCF/ICARE effort included:
- Lola Reid, PhD (University of North Carolina)
- Michael Torbenson, MD (Johns Hopkins University)
- Yuzhuo Wang, PhD (University of British Columbia)
- W David Hankins, MD (ICARE).
Two of these grantees, Lola Reid and Michael Torbenson, had significant prior expertise in liver cancer and produced output that advanced the scientific understanding of FLC.
Since the conclusion of the joint FCF/ICARE effort in late 2011, no grants issued by FCF have been unrestricted in their use.