June 21, 2013 — There is nothing necessarily unique about presenting a cancer trial at a national oncology conference, but when that trial is funded by high school and college athletes, it becomes extraordinary. At the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in early June, scientists introduced the results for the Side-Out Protocol, a pilot study financed by volleyball teams through The Side-Out Foundation.
Equally unique is the fact that the Side-Out Protocol is a study specifically for patients with metastatic (Stage 4) breast cancer. Although metastatic cancer is the most advanced form of the disease, only about 5% of all cancer research goes toward metastatic cancer of all types. Results of the study are promising because they showed progression-free survival (the length of time during and after the treatment of a disease that a patient lives with the disease but it does not get worse, NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms) in nearly half the 25 patients enrolled in the trial.
George Mason University, home to the Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM), one of the research facilities involved in the Side-Out Protocol, published an article detailing the study and its implications for patients: Funded by Volleyball Tournaments, Breast Cancer Pilot Study Succeeds. The study participants interviewed for the article were focused on the opportunity to have more time with their loved ones. As one patient said, “Every time a drug gives me more time, it gives my family and me hope.”
The Side-Out Foundation, volleyball teams, CAPMM and and Caris Life Sciences (the other lead research facility involved in the study) continue to build upon this trial with phase 2 which will expand the clinical trial to more locations, incorporate additional methods of tumor analysis and increase the number of patient participants.
For more details about the trial or to learn about how to become a participant, contact Bryant Dunetz at [email protected] or 703-615-8740.