How can we work together to achieve a future in which we’re beating cancer by providing care that is effective, affordable, high quality and patient-centered?
Ellen Sigal: The key to beating cancer will be found through true collaboration from all sectors.
For years, Friends of Cancer Research has convened the best and the brightest from all sectors to address some of the most pressing issues in cancer treatment. By creating venues focused on an open and constructive dialogue, we have found real solutions and established some pretty groundbreaking initiatives.
One of these such venues is an annual conference we hold each year in partnership with the Brookings Institution. As an outgrowth of that conference, we are in the final stages of planning of a Lung Cancer Master Protocol. This project, a true public-private partnership which includes the NCI, NIH, industry and academia, has the potential to revolutionize and accelerate the way new biomarker-defined therapies are tested for lung cancer. In this project, the master protocol will govern how multiple drugs, each targeting a different biomarker, will be tested as potential treatments for lung cancer. Each arm of the study will test a different drug that has been determined to target a unique genetic alteration. The use of cutting-edge screening technology will help identify which patient is a molecular match to each arm. This will create a rapidly evolving infrastructure that can simultaneously examine the safety and efficacy of new drugs. This approach will have the ability to improve enrollment, enhance consistency, increase efficiency, reduce costs, and most importantly – improve patient’s lives.
As the project moves forward, each of our partners has committed to do business differently. It is our hope that this can serve as a template for the future of clinical research.
This trail, and collaborations like these, represent how working together can create new opportunity for patients with serious illness, and find solutions for areas where few treatment options may be available or accessible. We should all commit to being open to new models like this, after all, the patients that we are striving to help don’t have the time to wait.