Systematically uncovering chordoma’s most promising vulnerabilities
The new paradigm of precision oncology relies on the identification of specific molecular features in cancer cells that are essential to their growth and survival, called “therapeutic targets.” Hence, finding effective treatments for chordoma depends first and foremost on illuminating such vulnerabilities. These targets could be, for example, certain proteins upon which tumor cells are uniquely dependent for survival, processes that are inappropriately activated in tumor cells, or calling cards of tumor cells to which therapies can be directed.
Our Target Discovery Initiative aims to systematically uncover the most promising therapeutic targets in chordoma among the vast number of possible therapeutic targets that exist within tumor cells. The Initiative is guiding the redirection of existing treatments to chordoma (drug repurposing) or, if necessary, the development of new drugs against currently inaccessible targets.
The Chordoma Foundation is supporting a broad portfolio of projects employing cutting-edge technologies to uncover aspects of chordoma biology that could serve as therapeutic targets. Key areas of focus include:
- Mapping the spectrum of chordoma dependencies: creating a deep understanding of the genes and proteins upon which chordoma cells depend for growth or survival
- Conducting multi-omic analyses: characterizing alterations in genes (genome), gene expression (epigenome), proteins (proteome), and additional “omes” to paint a comprehensive, multi-layered picture of chordoma biology
- Understanding the chordoma microenvironment: learning how chordoma interacts with immune cells and surrounding tissues
To date, this research has pointed to more than 30 potential targets, most of which already have corresponding therapies either approved in other cancer types or in development. To determine the fastest path to new treatment options for chordoma patients, we're actively exploring many of the targets in Chordoma Foundation Labs and with our collaborators.