V Foundation Announces Translational Grant Awarded in Partnership with Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Research Foundation


$600,000 grant awarded over three years at Boston Children’s Hospital.

The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a top-rated cancer research charity, is excited to announce a $600,000 grant has been awarded to Leonard Zon, M.D., at Boston Children’s Hospital, in partnership with the Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Research Foundation (ACCRF). Zon is evaluating a treatment for a salivary gland cancer, adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC).

"We are thrilled to team up with the V Foundation to find improved therapies for a patient population with a difficult prognosis and no approved drugs,” said Jeffrey Kaufman, Executive Director of ACCRF. “Without the support of the V Foundation, this innovative and promising attempt to repurpose an already-approved generic drug simply wouldn’t be happening.”

The Translational Grant is a three-year grant of $200,000 per year. These grants support “bench to bedside” research, whose endpoint is often planning or initiation of a clinical trial. Zon recently found retinoic acid treatment reduces the growth of adenoid cystic carcinomas. Retinoic acid has the ability to shut down the cause of the cancer, which is due to the overactivity of a gene called c-myb. Zon and his team will examine whether retinoic acid, which has been successfully given to patients with a rare type of leukemia, is active in the tumor and whether the growth of the tumor is reduced. Zon’s studies have the possibility of finding the first treatment for this metastatic tumor.

“As a physician-scientist, my goal is to move our basic research to improve the lives of patients,” said Zon. “We look forward to translating our discovery in the zebrafish model that found a drug (retinoic acid) that shuts down the oncogene (myb) in adenoid cystic carcinoma. We thank the V Foundation for the wonderful support and opportunity to work with us to help our patients.”

ACCRF was founded in 2005 to jumpstart a global, cutting-edge research effort for ACC research. Since then, they have awarded $13 million dollars for basic, translational and clinical research geared towards finding better therapies for ACC patients. ACC is a cancer that arises within secretory glands, typically originating in the head and neck region. ACCRF-affiliated researchers are undertaking extensive studies to understand how to interfere with the molecular pathways that permit myb to spur tumor growth.

“Dr. Zon’s research could have significant impact on the thousands of patients with adenoid cystic carcinoma,” said Carole Wegner, Ph.D., HCLD, Sr. Vice President of Research and Grants Administration for the V Foundation. “We are excited to partner with ACCRF and hope that this research could help create an effective therapy to target this disease.”

The V Foundation has proudly awarded more than $225 million for cutting-edge cancer research. The V Foundation holds a 4-star (highest) rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest evaluator of charities, and is among the top 3% of all charities evaluated. The V Foundation is a GuideStar Platinum charity.

For more information about the V Foundation for Cancer Research, please visit v.org.

About the V Foundation for Cancer Research

The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State University basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, the Foundation has funded more than $225 million in cancer research grants nationwide. The V Foundation awards 100% of direct donations to cancer research and programs. The V Foundation’s endowment covers administrative expenses. The Foundation awards peer-reviewed grants through a competitive award process strictly supervised by a Scientific Advisory Committee. For more information on the V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit v.org.

About the Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Research Foundation (ACCRF)

ACCRF was founded by patients in 2005 to accelerate the development of improved therapies and a cure for a rare cancer of secretory glands. The foundation coordinates and facilitates a research agenda that spans biobanking, model development, genomics, drug discovery, preclinical drug screening and clinical trial design. For more information on ACCRF or to make a donation, please visit www.accrf.org.

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