An elaborate clinical trial aims a multitude of targeted therapies at one formidable cancer

A $10 million gift from The Harry T. Mangurian Jr. Foundation will help The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society expand the Beat AML Master Trial underway at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and other leading cancer centers.

The Beat AML clinical trial aims to speed up the search for new treatments for acute myeloid leukemia, or AML, by matching patients with a treatment selected from an array of anti-cancer drugs, each designed to block a different tumor mutation or signaling pathway. The study emerged from a collaboration started in 2013 by the Knight Cancer Institute and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Standard treatment for AML is a drug combination developed more than 40 years ago. And with few advances since, less than a third of newly diagnosed AML patients survive beyond five years. Philanthropist Harry T. Mangurian Jr., who operated a race horse breeding farm in Florida and once owned the Boston Celtics, died of AML in 2008.

VIDEO: Brian Druker, M.D., talks about his hopes for the Beat AML Master Trial.

Mangurian’s legacy foundation, which previously donated $9 million to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, has now committed an additional $10 million to help LLS expand the master trial by adding more study arms, the society said in a news release.

The Beat AML Master Trial is open to people age 60 and older who have been newly diagnosed. Researchers take a bone marrow sample and complete a gene sequencing analysis within seven days. Patients whose cancers have genetic markers that can be targeted are assigned to receive personalized therapy. If no such “actionable” genetic findings are found, the study offers therapy with an investigational drug with broad activity against AML.

To date, more than 200 patients have enrolled in the trial. LLS set a goal of 500 subjects when the study began in November 2016. Seven pharmaceutical companies are providing investigational drugs for the clinical trial’s 10 active treatment arms (several of the companies’ drugs are in more than one arm).

Knight Cancer Institute clinical trial website telephone: 503-494-1080 email:

Eight medical centers have opened trial sites: the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center, and University of Maryland Marlene and Steward Greenbaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. LLS said four more centers are expected to join in the coming months.

Participating companies are providing the following investigational drugs:

  • Agios: ivosidenib (IDH1 inhibitor)
  • Alexion: samalizumab/ALXN6000 (anti-CD200)
  • Boehringer Ingelheim: BI 836858 (anti-CD33)
  • Celgene: enasidenib/AG-221/CC-90007 (IDH2 inhibitor)
  • Gilead: entospletinib (SYK inhibitor)
  • Astellas: gilteritinib (FLT3/AXL tyrosine kinase inhibitor)
  • Takeda: pevonedistat (NAE inhibitor)