Dear Laura,


Here comes the sun! Check out what The Clearity Foundation is up to this summer...



Spreading the Word at ASCO and AACR Conferences 


American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 

In June, Clearity hosted an educational event and presented a research poster at the ASCO conference, a meeting that calls together leading oncologists to update them on the latest cancer research. Both events received a receptive audience and encouragingly, the front page of The Wall Street Journal on June 5th featured coverage of the conference focusing on the field of personalized medicine in cancer treatments, particularly on the use of molecular profiling.  "A pattern is developing at an accelerated pace where we are able to match genetic information about a tumor to a new agent and get results," reports John Mendelsohn, president of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. 

During the conference, Clearity hosted an educational event at theWit Hotel, called "Accelerating Progress Toward Individualized Treatment for Ovarian Cancer."  The packed event featured speakers Beth Y. Karlan, MD, Ursula A. Matulonis, MD, and J. Tate Thigpen, MD and was generously supported by Abbott, Sanofi-aventis and Nektar. The following day, the Clearity team presented a research poster on the expression of biomarkers associated with treatment responsiveness in matched primary and recurrent ovarian specimens, available here. 

Some other exciting research presented at ASCO included new findings about drugs used to treat ovarian cancer.  Promising drugs on the horizon include Avastin, Olaparib, Iniparib, Aflibercept, EC145, and NKTR-102.  Several of these drugs target specific biomarkers in various types of ovarian tumors, and all of them have exhibited benefits for specific types of patients (platinum-resistant, for example).  Summary available here.

American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

Earlier in April, The Clearity Foundation presented its research based on the expression of biomarkers in ovarian tumors at the American Association for Cancer Research.  A summary of the presentation can be found here.  More details about the biomarker study can be found at this link.


A "Thank You" to Clearity 



Joanie Triestman sent us a special "thank you," and shares her personal story battling ovarian cancer and recurrence armed with her tumor profile. She writes "As a person with a recurrence, the timing of the profiling could not have been more critical. The reports that were provided changed the course of my treatment and I know will change my overall survival. The Clearity Foundation is a critical piece that can change outcomes for ovarian cancer patients around the world." You can find the rest of Joanie's story at  this link.  



Raising Awareness & New Beginnings 

 Nikki Schultz  

This month, Clearity welcomes a new intern, Nikki Schultz.  Nikki's mother, Karen Robbins, was diagnosed at Stage IIIC in May 2010 and after ten months of grueling treatments, she sadly passed away in March.  Nikki read about us in O, The Oprah Magazine just days later and felt compelled to take action: "I immediately started to cry, wondering why I hadn't heard of this wonderful foundation ten months previously.  Suddenly, however, I was hit with a profoundly quiet, peaceful answer: 'This is happening now for a reason.'"  You can find her full story here. Nikki explains, "Through sharing my story, I hope to find other families like mine who could use a friend like Clearity."  Clearity's Aware, Share, Care campaign is dedicated to spreading awareness in order to reach every patient and family that can benefit from molecular profiling.  Please support Aware, Share, Care by visiting this link and learning more.


Congratulations, Dr. Shawver!

On June 9th and 10th, 2011, Dr. Laura Shawver was honored at University of Iowa Carver School of Medicine with a Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor the college bestows among its graduates for her contributions to advancing the field of oncology through cancer drug development and improving treatment options for patient.  Congrats, Laura! More at this link.  

On Your Mark, Get Set, GO! 

 laura & keith 

Clearity's Annual AFC Race will take place on Sunday, August 21, 2011, in San Diego.  Support your special runner on this year's TEAM CLEARITY by visiting this link.  

San Diego Event on July 6th

Laura Shawver, Ph.D. will present "Navigating Cancer Treatment in the New Era of Personalized Medicine" at the Center for Ethics in Science and Technology Program. Details can be found here.


Ivan and Mike

Ivan Garcia-Bassets, PhD, & Michael Petka



Thank You Michael Petka and Ivan Garcia-Bassets, PhD


In this month's newsletter we recognize two volunteers who have provided much needed behind-the-scenes scientific and technological assistance to our patient molecular profiling efforts.


Michael Petka has been a Clearity volunteer since September of 2010 and has markedly improved our capabilities in managing the increasing amount of data associated with the analysis of results from patient tumor profiling.  Mike has applied his extensive experience with database design and information technology (IT) to upgrade our database of patient results and histories to a format that would allow us to easily retrieve the data for creation of the Molecular Profiling Summary Reports that we provide to every patient and physician that use our services.  Today, he continues the optimization of that database structure to cope with our evolving demands for data integration and analysis and provides much appreciated advice regarding IT systems.


Ivan Garcia-Bassets, PhD, is a cancer researcher, who has volunteered with Clearity since the end of 2010.  His expertise is in epigenetic control of cancer cell growth and he is currently investigating the role for this type of regulation in ovarian cancer. Ivan recently completed a carefully curated update of currently enrolling ovarian cancer clinical trials that incorporates information for each drug and associated target(s).  This enhanced information is now available at the Clinical Trials tab for our revised web portal that offers new, improved capabilities for finding these trials -- we can now search for trials based on drug or molecular target and link directly to the NCI website for additional information regarding trial site locations, etc.


Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to Michael and Ivan.  We couldn't do it without you!