Workshop Results in Research Framework
Presentations from the workshop, "Models and Procedures for Evaluating Radioprotectors," held in Dec. 2003 and sponsored by NCI's Radiation Research Program (RRP) were summarized in the April 30 issue of Science. Drs. C. Norman Coleman and Helen B. Stone of RRP and their colleagues described a number of approaches to prevent, mitigate, and treat radiation injury, which results from whole- and partial-body exposure to radiation. Research presented at the meeting is expected to lead to developments that will improve survival and reduce normal tissue injury following accidental or intentional exposure to radiation. Dr. Coleman also noted that the meeting laid the groundwork for the discovery and delivery of new radiation modulators, which will require input and collaboration from experts in radiation biology, inflammation, immunology, tissue injury, drug development, and clinical radiation oncology. A new initiative is under development with NCI, NIAID, and NIH for the development of countermeasures to radiation exposure (http://www3.cancer.gov/rrp/).
NCI and NHGRI Host Tumor Sequencing Workshop
"Exploring Cancer Through Genomic Sequence Comparisons," a workshop co-chaired by Dr. Anna Barker, NCI, and Dr. Francis Collins, NHGRI, was held on April 14-15 in Bethesda, Md. The meeting convened genomics experts, technology developers, and cancer biologists from the public and private sectors to discuss how new genomic resources could support the development of diagnostics and therapeutics specifically tailored to the disease.
Participants highlighted recent discoveries such as work correlating EGFR somatic mutations with response to Iressa by Dr. Matt Meyerson's group at Dana-Farber (published in Science this week; see lead story), and research identifying mutational patterns that could help characterize new oncogenes from Dr. Victor Velculescu's laboratory at Johns Hopkins (Science 304:554). Attendees further emphasized the potential for tumor sequencing initiatives to stimulate new approaches for early cancer detection. Said Dr. Maynard Olson, University of Washington, "The enthusiastic dialogue at the workshop illustrates that we are transitioning to the next generation of genomic resources that will inform the development of novel cancer interventions."