SU2C Catalyst®

SU2C Catalyst is a new approach to rapidly explore novel uses of medicines, devices and/or diagnostics to accelerate research on cancer prevention, detection and treatment.


SU2C Catalyst is a new collaborative initiative intended to leverage all stages of the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostic, and device industries to bring new treatments to patients as rapidly as possible. SU2C Catalyst establishes a mechanism through which industry and academic scientists in the cancer community conduct SU2C collaborative research projects that will deliver significant benefits for patients and society, accelerating the development of new treatments and, where appropriate, combination therapies.

Unique Advantages

The principles guiding SU2C collaborations with industry are designed to accelerate the pace of groundbreaking translational research that provides new therapies to patients rapidly:


These clinical trials and translational research project involve multiple sites, which is uncommon among Investigator Initiated Studies


The construct generates and identifies new and unexpected uses of medicines or technologies, reviewed by industry and academic leaders


An accelerated grant selection process reduces the time required to go from concept to project initiation


SU2C’s reputation and well established relationships with over 140 research institutions results in prioritization of SU2C clinical trials

Scientific Review

Top of field investigators provide keen insights as they serve on selection subcommittee and Review Teams


Company experts and academic leaders provide recommendations that can be incorporated before grants are awarded and at 6-month scientific reviews

Milestone Driven

SU2C provides a rigor and laser focus to achieve milestones


SU2C projects attract top tier investigators who create and transform new fields of research


SU2C’s network of funded academic leaders and up and coming investigators provides an environment for innovative collaboration


Strong collaborative relationships with leading advocacy organizations broadens the SU2C family, resulting in increased awareness of patient-friendly trials and supportive services


SU2C’s unique ability to leverage massive media power to increase clinical trial accrual

Accelerating the Pace

“What’s exciting about this grant is that it is designed to include drugs from two different pharmaceutical companies. Companies don’t often share intellectual property and work together for these trials, but on the Stand Up To Cancer platform, it overcomes those barriers.”

– Dr. Alan D’Andrea

Charter Supporters


The generous funding of our charter industry leaders supports the costs and oversight of the trials and/or translational research, including funding for the participating investigators and institutions. Our industry supporters also make available medicine(s), diagnostic test(s) and/or device(s) to SU2C Catalyst teams.

SU2C Catalyst Teams

Ovarian+ Learn More

DNA Repair Therapies for Ovarian Cancer
This study builds on the groundbreaking work of the SU2C-OCRFA-NOCC Ovarian Cancer Dream Team aimed at developing a standard of care for patients with advanced or metastatic triple negative breast cancer and patients with platinum-resistant recurrent ovarian cancer. The researchers plan to identify key cellular components that drive this recurrent disease to better predict and improve patient outcomes.

Team List:
Alan D’Andrea, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Elizabeth Swisher, MD, University of Washington
Gini Fleming, MD, University of Chicago
Panos Konstantinopoulous, MD, PhD, Partners in Healthcare
Scott Kaufmann, MD, PhD, Mayo Clinic

Patient Advocates: Jamie Crase, Kathleen Gavin, Deb Polinsky

Sarcoma+ Learn More

Pembrolizumab and Radiation Therapy to Improve Outcome in High-Risk Sarcoma
This innovative combination of immunotherapy (pembrolizumab), and radiotherapy will be assessed for its role in preventing metastatic sarcoma. This project has the potential to change the standard of care and improve survival for sarcoma patients. Crucial insights gained from the translational research associated with the clinical trial will be pivotal for understanding the role of immunotherapy and radiotherapy combination in sarcoma treatment, and pave the way future clinical trials.

Team List:
David Kirsch, MD, PhD, Duke University Medical Center
Denise Reinke, MS, NP, MBA , Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration (SARC)
Kent Weinhold, PhD, Duke University Medical Center
William Tapp, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Matt Van de Rijn, MD, Stanford University
Karla Ballman, PhD, Weill Cornell Medical College
Andrew Wagner, MD, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
George Demetri, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Young Investigator: Yvonne Mowery, MD, PhD, Duke University Medical Center

Patient Advocate: Corrie Painter, PhD

Pancreatic+ Learn More

Targeting VDR to make pancreatic cancer competent for immunotherapy
While current treatment regimens for advanced pancreatic cancer can achieve remission in a majority of patients, the cancer often grows back. A relatively nontoxic therapy is needed to keep the cancer in remission. This proposal tests a combination of immunotherapy (pembrolizumab) and vitamin D analog (paricalcitol) for the maintenance of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer who have been put in to remission.

Team List:
Daniel Von Hoff, MD, FACP, The Translational Genomics Research Institute, Honor Health Research Institute, US Oncology, City of Hope, Mayo Clinic
Haiyong Han, PhD, The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Ronald Evans, PhD, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Michael Downes, PhD, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Michael Barrett, PhD, Mayo Clinic Arizona
Erkut Borazanci, MD, Honor Health Research Institute
Andy Lowy, MD, University of California, San Diego, Moores Cancer Center

Patient Advocates: Roger Magowitz, Howard Young

Lung Epigenetics+ Learn More

Advanced non-small cell lung cancer
This ambitious clinical trial combines two epigenetic drugs that reshape DNA with an immune-based therapy for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Data from this study will identify how modifications to the structure of DNA can make the tumor susceptible to immunotherapies, producing more potent treatments for NSCLC patients. In addition, the team will look for cellular markers that predict who will benefit most from this treatment. If successful, these results will not only benefit patients with NSCLC but potentially those with other cancer types.

Team List:
Stephen Baylin, MD, Johns Hopkins University Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
& Van Andel Research Institute
Matthew Hellmann, MD Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Peter Jones, PhD, DSc, Van Andel Research Institute
Hui Shen, PhD, Van Andel Research Institute
Hossein Borghaei, DO, MS, Fox Chase Cancer Center
Jaruska Naidoo, MBBCh, Johns Hopkins University Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive
Cancer Center and Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
E. John Wherry, University of Pennsylvania

Patient Advocate: Pat Gavin

Pediatrics+ Learn More

Hypermutant Cancers
This bold global clinical trial focuses on pediatric cancers with an extraordinary number of DNA mutations regardless of cancer type. The team has had initial success treating children with a single immunotherapy drug and is now investigating multiple immunotherapy drug combinations. The team is also looking for biological indicators that will help predict which patients will be best suited for each combination. These results could inform treatment strategies for adult tumors such as, melanoma, lymphomas, and other solid tumors.

Team List:
Uri Tabori, MD, The Hospital for Sick Children (Canada)
John Maris, MD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Victor Velculescu, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
Patrick Forde, MBBCh, Johns Hopkins University
Valsamo Anagnostou, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
Pamela Ohashi, PhD, University of Toronto (Canada)
Trevor Pugh, PhD, University of Toronto (Canada)
Cynthia Hawkins, MD, PhD, FRCPC, The Hospital for Sick Children (Canada)
Adam Shlien, PhD, The Hospital for Sick Children (Canada)
Eric Bouffet, MD, The Hospital for Sick Children (Canada)
Alberto Martin, PhD, University of Toronto (Canada)
David Fabrizio, PhD, Foundation Medicine USA (FM)

Patient Advocate: Denise Bebenek

Reversing Resistance (Melanoma)+ Learn More

Reversing primary anti-PD-1 resistance with ipilimumab and nivolumab – Melanoma
This study aims to improve outcomes for patients that have developed resistance to PD-1 immunotherapy. The project adds another checkpoint blockade drug either as a single agent or in combination with PD-1 therapy for metastatic melanoma patients. Associated translational research will provide a molecular understanding to further the clinical development of this combination as well as on how patients respond to single agent or combination therapy in other cancers.

Team List:
Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
Siwen Hu-Lieskovan, MD, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
Ari Vanderwalde, MBioeth, MPH, MD, University of Tennessee College of Medicine
Michael Wu, PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Jeffrey Sosman, MD, Northwestern University
Kenneth Grossman, MD, PhD, University of Utah
Alain Algazi, MD, University of California, San Francisco

Multiple Myeloma+ Learn More

Immunotherapy to prevent progression in Multiple Myeloma
This project will use immunotherapy to attempt to improve the treatment of simmering multiple myeloma by targeting cells outside the original tumor that are in danger of becoming tumor cells. The clinical trial will attempt to delay organ damage, improve the response to treatment, and maintain remission of the cancer, perhaps even eradicating the early cancer cells as well.

Team List:
Irene Ghobrial, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Viktor Adalsteinsson, PhD, Broad Institute
Marzia Capelletti, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Patient Advocate: Jack Whelan



Reversing Resistance II (Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer)+ Learn More

Tumor Infiltrating lymphocyte adoptive T cell therapy for non-small cell lung cancer
Adoptive T cell therapy trains a patient’s own immune system to attack the cancer, and has been effective in melanoma and some blood cancers. This project will use a novel approach, combining adoptive T cell therapy with immunotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer patients to deliver a one-two punch to tumors.

Team List:
Scott Antonia, MD, PhD, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Inc.
Eric Haura, MD, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Inc.
Benjamin Creelan, MD, MS, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Inc.
John Koomen, PhD, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Inc.
Jamie Teer, PhD, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Inc.
Dung-Tsa Chen, PhD, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Inc.
Frederic Kaye, MD, University of Florida

Patient Advocates: Rosalynne I. Miller, Joan Tashbar 

Urothelial Bladder Cancer+ Learn More

Overcoming atezolizumab resistance with epigenetic therapy in urothelial cancer
Cancers can be resistant to particular treatments, or develop resistance over time. This study will attempt to reverse resistance to an immunotherapy using epigenetic therapy in patients with bladder cancer. The epigenetic therapy attempts to “reset” the state of the cancer cells so that they remain susceptible to the immunotherapy. Results could impact treatment of many cancers that are resistant to immunotherapy, as the techniques of using epigenetic treatment to sensitize cells for immunotherapy may be similar across cancer types.

Team List:
Peter A. Jones, PhD, DSc, Van Andel Research Institute
Elizabeth Plimack, MD, MS, Fox Chase Cancer Center
Jean-Pierre Issa, MD, Temple University
Stephen Baylin, MD, Johns Hopkins University Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and Van Andel Research Institute
Hui Shen, PhD, Van Andel Research Institute
Tanya Dorff, MD, University of Southern California
Noah Hahn, MD, Johns Hopkins University’s Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
Scott Jewell, PhD, Van Andel Research Institute
Kerry Campbell, PhD, Fox Chase Cancer Center
Jaroslav Jelinek, MD, PhD, Temple University

Patient Advocate: Pat Gavin

Metastatic Breast Cancer+ Learn More

Immunotherapy combination strategies in ER-positive metastatic breast cancer
Some tumors have ways of blocking themselves off from immune cells. This study examines ways of changing the tumor and surrounding tissues to allow the patient’s own immune cells to attack the cancer. If successful, this would turn non-responsive tumors like ER+ breast cancer into tumors that are susceptible to immunotherapy, opening up new treatment options for many patients this and other solid tumor cancers.

Team List:
Ingrid Mayer, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Justin Balko, PharmD, PhD, Vanderbilt University
Melinda Sanders, MD, Vanderbilt University
Yu Shyr, PhD, Vanderbilt University
Jeffrey Sosman, MD, Northwestern University
Hope Rugo, MD, University of California at San Francisco

Patient Advocate: Lynn Cargen