Update from the Chordoma Foundation - November 2016

Donated tumor tissue enables development of valuable research tools

One of the most important tools researchers use to test cancer drugs are called patient derived xenograft (PDX) models, which are human tumors grown in mice. Closely mimicking the conditions of a tumor inside the human body, they serve as valuable predictors of how drugs will perform in cancer patients. Multiple PDX models are needed to determine whether results are applicable to all chordoma patients or just a subset. To develop much needed PDX models, we’ve taken multiple approaches including creating an industrial scale xenograft development pipeline. Since launching this program a year ago, we have engrafted more than 20 tumors in mice, and our goal is to reach 50 by the end of 2017. Resulting models will be included in our Drug Screening Pipeline and made available to the research community.
Read more about our xenograft development pipeline and how to contribute »


Our team is growing to speed the pace of progress

After working for nearly a decade to break down barriers to progress, chordoma research is poised to advance like never before. Taking on this next phase in research will require a significant increase of resources and succeeding will require investing those resources wisely. We're delighted to welcome several new team members whose energy and expertise will be invaluable in helping us achieve this goal.
Meet the new members of our Board of Directors: David Sandak, David Drewry, and Ingemar Lanevi »

Meet our new development team: Breanna McCormley and Daniel Baroff »
NOW HIRING: We are looking for a Director of Research to manage our growing research portfolio and advance new drug development efforts. If you are interested or know someone who might be, check out the position description here.

Cell line prize continues to produce results

We are proud to report that this month our cell line prize was featured as a “standout example of philanthropic support for scientific research” in the new Giving Smarter Guide for Funding Scientific Research produced by the Center for Strategic Philanthropy at the Milken Institute. Check out the report here.

Continuing our quest to spur development of new chordoma cell lines, we recently awarded our 8th cell line prize. The recipients were Dr. Francis Hornicek and Dr. Zhenfeng Duan of Massachusetts General Hospital, who developed a sacral chordoma cell line called CH22. It now joins our Cell Line Repository where it will be made available to academic and industry investigators worldwide. Special thanks to the Chordoma Survivors Facebook Group, for raising $10,000 to fund this prize!


As we enter the holiday season, this year we have much to be thankful for. From the growth of our Doctor Directory and Patient Navigation Service, to the continued expansion of the chordoma research community, to the promising results coming out of our new Drug Screening Pipeline, the pace of progress has been astounding. And it’s all thanks to the remarkable dedication of our donors, champions, and volunteers who have come together to drive change. THANK YOU for everything you do to create a brighter future for chordoma families.
Check out some of the amazing things this community has done in 2016 »

Make your holiday shopping count for chordoma

Planning to shop online at Amazon this holiday season? There's an easy and automatic way for you to support our work while doing it! When you visit and designate the Chordoma Foundation as your charitable organization, Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases. Simply use your existing Amazon email address and password to log in at

Make a tax-efficient stock gift

Want to help support our mission while reducing your tax bill? You can by making a donation of appreciated securities to the Chordoma Foundation. When you donate securities, you'll receive a tax deduction for the full fair market value of the gift and also avoid paying taxes on any capital gains. For more information on how to make a gift of appreciated securities, contact Breanna McCormley, Director of Development, at


NCI-MATCH trial applies molecular testing to guide therapy

In recent years, the toolbox of targeted cancer therapies has grown dramatically. At the same time, new molecular profiling technologies are enabling a more precise understanding of the unique changes in each individual’s tumor. The convergence of these two developments has the potential to usher in a much-anticipated era of personalized medicine in which the treatment for each individual cancer patient is tailored based on the molecular make up of his or her tumor. Now, an ambitious clinical trial is being conducted by the National Cancer Institute at more than a thousand locations worldwide to put this approach to the test. Patients who enroll in this trial will receive extensive molecular profiling of their tumors to determine what therapeutic targets may be present. That information is then used to choose one of 19 drug therapies that target a specific molecular abnormality in the tumor. Chordoma patients with recurrent or metastatic disease whose tumors have not responded to other drugs are eligible to participate. Participants will receive free molecular testing as well as treatment at no cost. Find out more on the NCI-MATCH trial website or by contacting a Patient Navigator.


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