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The ROS1ders Announces Recipients of the Inaugural ROS1+ Cancer Innovation Awards


Media Contact

Janet Freeman-Daily +1 779-707-1337

Sacramento, CA (October 10, 2023) – Patient group The ROS1ders, a global group of people living with ROS1+ cancer, announced the inaugural recipients of The ROS1+ Cancer Innovation Award. Funds for the awards were raised through individual contributions to The ROS1ders by patients and supporters who seek to accelerate study of this relatively rare cancer.

Each award carries a one-year, $75,000 seed grant to fund high-risk, high-reward research projects in ROS1+ cancer.

The recipients of the 2023 ROS1+ Cancer Innovation Awards are:

  1. Lynn Heasley, PhD, and Raphael Nemenoff, PhD, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus — Novel murine ROS1+ cancer models for next-generation therapeutics This project aims to develop the first genetically engineered mouse that has ROS1+ cancer AND an intact immune system. These mice will enable study of the immune microenvironment surrounding the cancer as well as new treatment options.

  2. Jürgen Wolf, MD, University Hospital Cologne (Universitätsklinikum Köln) – An international consortium to generate high-quality real-world evidence for the optimization of treatment strategies in ROS1-positive lung cancer This project builds on the existing system in Germany for gathering ROS1+ cancer patient data and samples and expands it to a consortium of countries within the European Union. ROS1+ cancer is rare--it’s hard to gather enough data on a large number of patients to determine best treatment practices. The database aims to generate evidence that can guide the treatment of patients and improve outcomes.

“Today’s ROS1+ cancer community is grateful to be the first generation whose lives are extended by years thanks to biomarker testing and targeted therapy,” said Janet Freeman-Daily, co-founder and president of The ROS1ders. “However, the currently approved drugs don’t work well for everyone. Our patient-driven organization aims to encourage more researchers to study our disease, develop effective treatments, and share their results through open science best practices. This research gives us hope for improved survival and quality of life.”

About The ROS1ders

Founded by patients in 2015 and incorporated in 2019, The ROS1ders is the largest global group of patients and family members living with ROS1+ cancer. It seeks to improve outcomes for all ROS1+ cancers through community, education, and research. Membership in their private Facebook group exceeds 1000 people from over 30 countries. The nonprofit is internationally recognized in the oncology and patient advocacy communities as experts in their disease. Its resources include a medically-vetted website and collaborations with international ROS1+ clinicians, researchers and industry. Please visit to learn more.

About ROS1+ Cancer

  • ROS1+ cancer is relatively rare, occurring in just 1-2% of non-small cell lung cancer. The incidence is thought to be similar in other types of cancer.

  • Biomarker testing for ROS1 fusions is recommended in guidelines for non-small cell lung cancer, but few other cancers, yet.

  • Patients are typically younger than the average NSCLC patient, have adenocarcinoma, and have no smoking history (a smoking history should not exclude patients from biomarker testing or targeted therapies).

  • Oral targeted therapies are the recommended first-line treatment for metastatic ROS1+ NSCLC and have increased the survival of patients by years. However, these drugs eventually stop working due to acquired resistance. The mechanisms of resistance are not well understood.

  • Worldwide, few researchers study ROS1+ cancer.

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