Where We Stand Now
The Cancer Drug Development Roundtable ended Wednesday afternoon, and I left it feeling we’d achieved what we set out to accomplish. As we’d hoped, the event – organized and sponsored by the OSUCCC – James and the Friends of Cancer Research – was a good next step toward solving the problems that currently make it impossible to conduct clinical trials that evaluate two or more experimental drugs simultaneously in patients.
The Roundtable was the first time that the key players have come together with the goal of addressing this challenge to cancer drug development. The fact that they made the time to attend the Roundtable shows that these representatives from the cancer-research and patient-advocacy communities, the pharmaceutical industry, and the FDA and NCI recognize the importance of solving the problem.
The group mapped out specific areas on which to focus and agreed to continue working together until a plan is hammered out. Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, and Dr. James Doroshow, director of NCI’s Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, both agreed to return to continue the conversation.
Here are a few key points that emerged:
- This problem is not new, but participants agreed that no one has stepped up to address it the way that the OSUCCC – James and Friends of Cancer Research have done.
- Participants pinpointed specific barriers that need resolving. They include scientific and logistics issues, competitive and business obstacles, needed regulatory clarifications and a model mechanism that allows different stakeholders to work together.
- Participants were enthusiastic about solving these problems and agreed that, while scientists’ discoveries and companies’ investments are critical considerations, it is most important to focus on the patient.
We are committed to seeing this through and have offered to host the group’s next gathering. We will keep you informed.
Check out ONN’s “Ohio Means Business” starting May 11, 2011 at 7:30pm to learn more about the business barriers of cancer drug development and how they’re affecting cancer researchers at The Ohio State University.