BSA Approves Nanotechnology Initiative
On July 12, the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Board of Scientific Advisors (BSA) approved by unanimous vote the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer concept, a $145 million, 5-year initiative that will explore the potential for integrating nanotechnology platforms into cancer research. The Alliance, including researchers, clinicians, and public and private organizations, will build on existing scientific knowledge and accomplishments to help find ways to apply nanotechnology to cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment.
"This new cancer initiative comes at a critical time, given the scientific advances in genomics, proteomics, and molecular imaging; our increased understanding of the mechanisms of cancer; and the rapidly expanding information technology capabilities for handling vast amounts of data," said NCI Director Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach. "The NCI Alliance has the potential to be transformational as we work together across all scientific disciplines to develop new preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic applications." Read more
SPOREs: A Force in Translational Research
One of the central components of NCI's efforts to move new interventions to patients more quickly is the Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs). The SPOREs program is a true success story. When the program was launched in 1992, there were 8 SPOREs for 3 cancer sites; there are now 61 SPOREs for 14 cancer sites. In 1995, there were 3 SPORE-operated clinical trials; in 2004, there are 120.
The 12th SPOREs Investigators' Workshop closed today in Baltimore; it demonstrated that SPOREs have become models of collaboration. Nearly every SPORE is part of an inter-SPORE network that is jointly conducting research and clinical trials. The six lung cancer SPOREs, working with some industry groups, for example, are conducting trials investigating EFGR inhibitors and novel Hedgehog pathway inhibitors. The 10 breast cancer SPOREs are working with the American College of Radiology Imaging Network and the Cancer and Leukemia Group B on a phase III, multicenter breast cancer therapy trial using advanced technologies like MRI and genomic and proteomic analyses to develop molecular characterizations of breast cancer tumors and measure tumor response to neoadjuvant therapy. Read more