A recent $10 million commitment by The Rossy Foundation to establish the David Liposarcoma Research Initiative aims to bring hope to liposarcoma patients worldwide. This five-year initiative will support groundbreaking research into liposarcoma at Dana-Farber and partner institutions to revolutionize treatment of this rare, underfunded, and understudied disease. This investment represents The Rossy Foundation’s largest commitment to Dana-Farber and the most support dedicated to liposarcoma in the Institute’s history. The Rossy Foundation and KBF CANADA have partnered to fund the first phase of the initiative, thanks to the generosity of The Rossy Foundation.
Cancers known as sarcomas develop from stem cells and connective tissues such as muscle, fat, and bone that hold the body together. Since sarcomas are rare—they account for about 1% of cancers in adults—investment in liposarcoma research has been limited. Recent improvements in technology and an increasing number of available patient samples have led to a growing molecular understanding of liposarcoma and point to new targets for therapy, and this support will push this research forward.
This initiative will focus on collaborations among several departments at Dana-Farber and be led by George Demetri, MD, director of the Sarcoma Center, senior vice president for Experimental Therapeutics, and Quick Family Chair in Medical Oncology at Dana-Farber. He and his colleagues are leading a broad spectrum of studies to better understand this disease, unleash the immune system against it, overcome drug resistance, and advance novel therapies.
“The visionary and forward-looking support from The Rossy Foundation will greatly enhance our understanding of the underlying biology, genomics, epigenetics, immunologic and mechanistic characteristics of liposarcomas,” said Demetri. “It is our hope that the new research collaborations made possible by this gift will ultimately lead to better therapeutic options for patients diagnosed with this rare disease.”
“We appreciate The Rossy Foundation’s very generous commitment, as well as their recognition of the strength of Dana-Farber’s exceptional portfolio of basic science and clinical research programs to mobilize our world-class Sarcoma Center,” said Dana-Farber President and CEO Laurie H. Glimcher, MD.
The David Liposarcoma Research Initiative brings together teams of 11 principal investigators from four institutions—Dana-Farber, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard—to collaborate within the cycle of discovery, validation, and clinical testing. Dana-Farber will be the lead and coordinating institution.
“The Rossy Foundation is proud to make this meaningful contribution toward better treatments for liposarcoma, which affects more than 4,000 patients in the United States and Canada every year,” said Gregory J. David, vice-chair of The Rossy Foundation. “The David Liposarcoma Research Initiative, under the direction of Dr. George Demetri, will drive breakthroughs that not only transform the landscape of liposarcoma research, but most importantly help extend and enhance the lives of patients across the globe.”
This initiative will be overseen by an international Scientific Advisory Board. In October 2022, The David Liposarcoma Research Initiative International Scientific Symposium in basic, translational, and clinical liposarcoma research will convene as an opportunity for the team to share results, guide the development of clinical trials in years three through five, and stimulate new partnerships in this field.
The Rossy Foundation, based in Montreal, funds initiatives in health care, including cancer research, as well as mental health, civic engagement, education, and the arts. KBF CANADA works with Canadian donors to promote and implement international charitable projects all over the world. KBF CANADA is part of the KBF Family (KBF BRUSSELS, KBF US, KBF CANADA, Give2Asia), and is registered with the Canada Revenue Agency as a charitable organization. This commitment supports The Dana-Farber Campaign, an ambitious $2 billion multi-year fundraising effort that will accelerate success and help Dana-Farber defy cancer through investments in revolutionary science, extraordinary care, exceptional expertise, and essential opportunities.