Dr. Arend, an assistant professor and senior scientist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham has received funding from 2 drug companies – Bristol Myers Squib and Exelixis to perform an investigator initiated trial for patients with carcinosarcoma: “A phase II single arm study of cabozantinib plus nivolumab and ipilimumab in women with recurrent gynecological carcinosarcoma (GCS)” (on clinicaltrials.gov website: NCT04149275).
Dr. Williams-Scalise joined Dr. Arend’s lab on May 18, 2020 in a post-doctoral position. The focus of her research will be to perform important translational studies and to create Patient-Derived Xenograft and novel 3D models with tissue collected from patients on this study. She will also be doing single cell RNA sequencing and genomic analysis on tissue. Blood collected from patients will be utilized to help identify novel biomarkers that correlate with patient response to therapy.
Dr. Williams-Scalise has expertise with in vitro 3D and in vivo modeling to test novel therapeutic agents against cancer. In addition, she has a strong background in characterizing the molecular features identifying responders versus non-responders for new treatments used in cancer. Her previous work has identified biomarkers that could be used for screening cancer progression, therapeutic resistance, and immune response. Recently, she identifed a novel therapeutic regimen incorporating immunotherapy that delivered a durable therapeutic response, which was awarded 1st place at a research conference, and is currently under review at Cancer Research.
With the help of GCS funds, our goal is that her research at UAB in Dr. Arend’s lab will help to identify new therapeutic options for women with GCS.