Clinical Trials and Research Opportunities

New treatments and therapies for people with Fanconi anemia are not possible without research. Listed below are current clinical trials and research opportunities available. Visit the links listed to learn more about eligibility and protocol descriptions. If you’re interested in participating in a clinical trial, scholarships are available from FARF in order to help offset the cost of transportation and housing. Please contact Marie Sweeten, Family Services Director: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 541-687-4658.

Tumor Testing Services for FA Patients

The Knight Diagnostic Laboratories at the Oregon Health & Science University specializes in molecular diagnostic testing of tumor tissue that may lead to targeted drug therapy options for patients based on the identification of DNA mutations in cancer samples. The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, led by Dr. Brian Druker, and the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund have collaborated to make next-generation sequencing available to Fanconi Anemia patients who develop a malignancy. This testing is especially suitable for squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, head and neck, esophagus, and cervix. It may also be used to screen for rare mutations in breast carcinoma and gliomas. The Fanconi Anemia Research Fund will pay for the portion of the test fee not covered by the patient’s insurance plan. http://www.knightdxlabs.com

Contact: OHSU Knight Diagnostic Laboratories | 855-535-1522 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Contact: Marie Sweeten, FARF | 541-687-4658 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI)

FA researchers are working hard to find effective treatments and a cure for Fanconi anemia, but they can’t do it alone. They need you. Researchers need samples to study, such as tumor samples and biopsied tissue. Please consider donating research material. All it takes is a phone call to FARF and completion of paperwork for the National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI).

Contact: Marie Sweeten, FARF | 541-687-4658 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Reducing the burden of squamous cell carcinoma in Fanconi anemia

New methods are being developed to detect very early signs of mouth cancer in simple, noninvasive ways. One of these methods involves brushing samples from the mouth with soft brushes and testing these samples for abnormal cells. This research study has three goals: to determine if this test would be helpful for people with FA, to learn more about molecules in the saliva that could indicate the presence of cancer, and to improve research collaborations in FA.

Contact: FARF | 541-687-4658 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Study of Pembrolizumab (MK-3475) for High-Risk Oral Intra-Epithelial Neoplasias

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX | currently recruiting participants

The goal of this clinical research study is to compare pembrolizumab to standard of care observation (no treatment) in controlling oral pre-malignant lesions. Pembrolizumab is FDA approved and commercially available for the treatment of certain types of melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer. It is currently being used for research purposes in head and neck cancer. FA patients who have not had a transplant and who have a history of oral lesions may be eligible to apply for this trial. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02882282

Contact: Renata Ferrarotto | 713-792-6363 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Eltrombopag for People with Fanconi Anemia

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), Bethesda, MD | not yet recruiting

Objective: To find out if a new drug, eltrombopag, is effective in people with Fanconi anemia and to know how long the drug needs to be given to improve blood counts. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03206086

Contact: Sophia Grasmeder | 301-827-0367 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

A Study of Prexasertib in Patients with Solid Tumors with Replicative Stress or Homologous Repair Deficiency

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA | currently recruiting participants

This is a research study of a checkpoint kinase 1 (CHK1) inhibitor as a possible treatment for advanced solid tumors that harbor genetic alterations in the homologous repair (HR) pathway or with genetic alterations that indicate replication stress. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02873975

Contact: Geoffrey Shapiro | 617-632-4942 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Quercetin in Children with Fanconi Anemia; a Pilot Study

Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH | currently recruiting participants (pre-transplant)

This is a pilot study aiming to assess feasibility, toxicity and pharmacokinetics of oral quercetin (a dietary supplement) therapy in patients with FA and is a first step towards a clinical study of the efficacy of quercetin therapy in delaying progression of bone marrow failure in FA. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01720147

Contact: Stephanie Edwards | 513-636-9292 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Lentiviral-mediated Gene Therapy of Fanconi Anemia Patients Subtype A (FANCOLEN-1)

Hospital Infantil Universitario Niño Jesús, Madrid, Spain & Hospital Vall d’Hebron, Barcelona, Spain | currently recruiting participants

This is an open clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a hematopoietic gene therapy procedure with an orphan drug consisting of a lentiviral vector carrying the FANCA gene for patients with Fanconi anemia of subtype A. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03157804

Contact: Julian Sevilla | +34 915035938 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Cancer in Inherited Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes

National Cancer Institute (NCI), Bethesda, MD | currently recruiting participants

This is a study to provide information regarding cancer rates and types in inherited bone marrow failure syndromes (IBMFS), including Fanconi anemia. It is a natural history study, with questionnaires, clinical evaluations, clinical and research laboratory tests, review of medical records, and cancer surveillance. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00027274

Contact: Blanche P. Alter | 240-276-7239 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

International Fanconi Anemia Registry (IFAR)

IFAR is a research study that began at Rockefeller University in New York City in 1982. The purpose of the IFAR is to study the nature, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals with FA. Information collected in this study will help researchers better understand FA and be able to better diagnose and treat the condition, which can then directly benefit individuals and families affected by FA.

Contact: Agata Smogorzewska | 212-327-8612 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Pilot Study of Metformin for Patients with Fanconi Anemia

Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA | currently recruiting participants

There have been preclinical studies from OHSU suggesting that metformin may improve blood counts in an FA animal model. This clinical trial is being conducted to determine if metformin improves blood counts in people with FA. The study also looks at the effects of metformin on DNA damage and aldehydes. You may be eligible for this study if you have FA and low blood counts, are between the ages of 6-35 years, and have not had a bone marrow transplant. As a participant in this study, you will be provided with metformin for 6 months and your blood counts, other laboratory tests, and clinical symptoms will be monitored while you are in the study. There are 2 required visits to Boston Children’s Hospital and compensation for reasonable travel expenses is provided.

Contact: Dr. Elissa Furutani | 617-632-1978 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Quercetin Chemoprevention for Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Patients with FA

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH | currently recruiting participants

In the lab, quercetin, a natural antioxidant, kills tumor cells in FA head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cell lines and also prevents development of SCC tumors in non-FA mice. Based on these strong and promising data this study will look at the beneficial effects of oral quercetin treatment for 2 years, in post-transplant patients with FA. It is hoped that treatment with quercetin will result in decreased oxidative stress and ongoing DNA damage of the mucosa, leading to the prevention of, or at least delay the development of squamous cell carcinoma.

Contact: Stephanie Edwards | 513-636-9292 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Trial vs. Treatment

It is critical to understand the difference between medical treatments and clinical trials. A medical treatment is a regimen specific to an individual patient and his/her condition, administered by doctors. A trial tests a potential drug, procedure, or medical device in people. Participants in trials play an integral role in determining the safety and efficacy of drugs or procedures. It is important to remember that clinical trials are meant for research, not to administer proven medical care.

Even though a medication may be approved for one condition or disease, it must be tested in the new population it is meant to help. It’s vital to conduct research in many people, because people may respond differently to the same treatment. Self-treatment with medications that have not been approved for a specific population/condition can be harmful to the individual; it may also hinder knowledge of the appropriate therapeutic use and benefit(s) of the medication. Always consult your physician before taking any action regarding medications or treatments.