Line of sight to drugs against chordoma’s Achilles’ heel
If there’s one lucky thing about chordoma, it’s that research has revealed it to have a characteristic vulnerability – an Achilles’ heel – which it is utterly dependent on for survival. The good news is that this vulnerability, called “brachyury,” is not present in normal cells, which means that drugs against it could stop chordoma without harming the patient. Though historically considered “undruggable,” recent scientific breakthroughs have cleared the way for brachyury drugs to be developed. If ever there was a shot at potentially curative treatments for a cancer, this is it. With adequate investment, these drugs can reach clinical trials in the next 4-5 years.
Clues that better treatments may already exist
Researchers have found a number of existing drugs (approved or currently in clinical trials for other cancers) that show significant efficacy against chordoma in the lab. Bringing those drugs into clinical trials for chordoma could quickly provide better treatment options for patients and buy time while new and potentially curative drugs targeting brachyury are developed.
Conditions set for rapid research progress
After a dozen years of recruiting top researchers to chordoma and building critical research-enabling infrastructure, the barriers that typically stifle progress for rare cancers have been overcome and the playing field has been leveled. Now, questions can be answered faster and more efficiently than ever, and investments in research can produce results on a timescale that is meaningful for those facing chordoma today.
A united chordoma community
Once isolated and disconnected, more than 85% of the U.S. patients and many more across the world are now connected through the Chordoma Foundation. This creates opportunities uncommon for a rare cancer to learn from each patient’s experience, to help patients get the best care medicine has to offer, to conduct clinical trials, and to ensure that the community benefits from better therapies as they are developed.
Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, currrently every contribution to the Chordoma Foundation will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $500,000! Double your impact by making a gift today.