Today’s Cancer Clinical Trials. Tomorrow’s Cures.

On September 10th, 2014, posted in: Cancer 101 by

With hundreds of new cancer therapies in various stages of clinical development, this is one of the most promising and exciting times in clinical cancer research history. Today, through clinical trials, effective therapies are being developed that are also more targeted and less toxic, causing fewer immediate and long-term side-effects for patients. For decades, clinical trials were aimed at treating cancers that were categorized into types based on the size and appearance of malignant cells seen under a microscope. Whereas, today, cancer clinical trials are focusing on genomics, screening for molecular features that may predict response or resistance to a drug, molecular imaging, studies of genetic factors that may predict drug toxicity, and harnessing the body’s own immune system to fight tumor cells.

These tremendous advances and opportunities in clinical cancer research also raise important public policy questions:
• What are cancer clinical trials, who conducts them, how do they lead to improved outcomes for cancer patients and how are they different from clinical trials for other diseases?
• How have cancer clinical trials evolved in recent years?
• What new areas of clinical cancer research are on the horizon?
• What is it like to be a patient who is participating in a cancer clinical trial?
• What can be done to ensure that the United States maintains its preeminent position as the world leader in medical advances?


Wendy K.D. Selig, President, National Coalition for Cancer Research; President and CEO, Melanoma Research Alliance

Peter J. O’Dwyer, M.D., Director, Developmental Therapeutics Program, Abramson Cancer Center; Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Files: PPT

Ross L. Levine, M.D., Laurence Joseph Dineen Chair in Leukemia Research, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Files: PPT

Julie R. Brahmer, M.D., Interim Director, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center (Bayview campus), Interim Co-Director, Upper Aerodigestive Program, and Associate Professor of Oncology, The Johns Hopkins University
Files: PPT

Andrew (Andy) Messinger, Short Hills, New Jersey, cancer survivor and clinical trial participant

Robert L. Comis, M.D., President and Chairman, Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups; Group Co-Chair, ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group, and Professor of Medicine, Drexel University
Files: PPT1 | PPT2

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