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Research Landscape

Since its inception in 2005, ACCRF has transformed the landscape of ACC research from a backwater into a vibrant field of study. The development of biobanks and preclinical models permitted an explosion of knowledge about the basic biology of ACC that is now being translated into promising clinical trials.

Founded by motivated and passionate patients, ACCRF has attracted some of the world’s leading oncology researchers to its Scientific Advisory Board. These thought leaders set the strategic direction for the ACCRF’s research agenda and established the foundation as the essential hub of ACC research. Thus far, ACCRF has provided grants to more than 50 grantees at more than 30 academic institutions, and has collaborated with more than 30 private companies in seeking novel therapies for ACC patients. The graphic below includes only some of the groups that have partnered with the foundation.

Sitting at the center of this network, ACCRF is a convener, facilitator, collaborator, funder, educator, communicator and advocate for all those interested in ACC research. This research network has accomplished a great deal over the past 15 years:

Looking forward, the field of ACC research remains enticing to academic and industry researchers for several compelling reasons:

  • Clear unmet need: No approved therapies for the majority of patients who develop recurrent/metastatic disease.
  • Rare but not too rare: ACC is an orphan disease yet still has a substantial patient population (11,000 in the US alone).
  • Homogeneous disease: 2-3 major genomic drivers suggest broadly applicable treatments.
  • Known and broadly relevant biology: Major genomic drivers of ACC are implicated in many other cancers.
  • Rapid translation: Specimens, preclinical models and disease experts are readily available.
  • Active clinical trialists: Coordinated and collegial network of medical oncologists with ACC experience.
  • Motivated patients: Well educated patients accrue quickly to clinical trials.

In January 2023, ACCRF Executive Director Jeff Kaufman provided an overview of ACC basic and translational research at a conference in Shanghai, China: