Experts meet to challenge approaches of testing and developing cancer treatments

Washington, DC Representatives from the National Cancer Institute, Food and Drug Administration, pharmaceutical industry, and academic research centers will meet at Georgetown University Medical Center on April 23 24 to critique current practices of clinical development of oncology agents.

Despite advances in recent decades, cancer remains a leading killer around the world, and effective therapies still elude many patients who need them. Comparing drug development practices in other therapeutic areas, national leaders in oncology and drug development and regulatory scientists will debate and identify improvements to intensify and accelerate clinical evaluation of novel oncology therapies.

Although cancer shares characteristics of other life-threatening chronic diseases, it is often called a different disease and thereby can follow different clinical trial protocols, said Dr. Carl Peck, workshop co-chairman and director of Georgetowns Center for Drug Development Science (CDDS). Different or not, proportionate to the large number of new oncology drugs being tested, fewer cancer drugs are being approved than in similar diseases this calls for critical assessment of cancer development methods in comparison with other approaches.

At the workshop, case studies from other therapeutic areas such as asthma and arthritis will be presented to show successful models of drug development. Workshop participants will participate in breakout groups to discuss employment of scientific clinical trial designs and better use of biomarkers and predictive diagnostic techniques in developing oncology agents. Other breakout groups will consider predictive diagnostic techniques, combination oncology therapies, and oncology trial infrastructure issues. The goal of the workshop is to develop concrete action items for change.

Workshop co-chairman Mark Ratain, MD of the University of Chicago said We owe it to our patients to improve the system, with s

Contact: Elizabeth McDonald
Georgetown University Medical Center

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