This grant application requests partial support for the Fourth International Chordoma Research Workshop (ICRW) being coordinated and co-sponsored by the Chordoma Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2007 to rapidly advance chordoma research. This workshop aims to catalyze new advances in chordoma research and treatment development by providing a forum for investigators to exchange information and ideas, forge new collaborations, and collectively plan future research. The workshop will be held at the Liberty Hotel in Boston, MA on March 21-22, 2013. It will include didactic presentations followed by group discussions, a poster presentation, and small round-table discussions. The workshop will bring together a multidisciplinary group of specialists including treating physicians;basic, translational, and clinical researchers interested in chordoma;leaders in the patient community;and experts in related fields, such as genomics and drug development, who possess knowledge, resources, or techniques applicable to advancing chordoma research. Special efforts will be made to involve both women and scientists and clinicians from underrepresented communities. The workshop will provide a unique opportunity for cross-fertilization of ideas among participants with diverse expertise and will enable investigators to develop partnerships with colleagues from different disciplines, institutions, and countries. The impact of the workshop will be measured by surveying participants before and after the workshop to assess how many new relationships and collaborations form as a result of the workshop. The proceedings of the workshop will be published in order to update the broader research community about the state of science surrounding chordoma and the most important opportunities for future research. Ultimately the results of the research catalyzed by this workshop will lead to improved diagnosis and treatment and better long-term outcomes for patients with chordoma.
In the past five years, studying chordoma - a rare cancer of the skull and spine - has contributed to major discoveries with broad implications for cancer research, including that germline copy number variations can cause cancer, that cancer can result from chromothripsis (chromosome shattering), and that T (brachyury) is a cancer gene. The Fourth International Chordoma Research Workshop will further catalyze chordoma research by providing a forum for investigators to exchange new information and ideas, and forge new collaborations with a diverse group of physicians and scientists. The outcome of this workshop will translate to improved treatments for patients with this deadly bone cancer, and, by gathering a unique multi-disciplinary group of scientists, could help enable additional advances broadly applicable to the understanding and treatment of cancer.