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Panel Envisions New Translational Program to Hasten Hematologic Cancer Drug Research and Development

Panel Envisions New Translational Program to Hasten Hematologic Cancer Drug Research and Development

BETHESDA, Maryland—A National Cancer Institute (NCI) panel, which
explored how to improve survival among leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma patients
and stem the soaring death rates for those with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and
multiple myeloma, has recommended giving priority to 10 areas of research.

The group also called for the creation of a formal, NCI-supported system to
be known as the Cancer Translational Research Allied Consortium (C-TRAC), to
speed the discovery and development of new therapies for hematologic cancers.

"The ultimate goal of the C-TRAC will be to shorten drug development
time from 5 to 10 years to 2 years through a novel alliance among academic,
industry, government, and patients," the report said.

The panel attributed the current long-development time to many barriers that
"ultimately are related to the absence of adequate infrastructure for the
development of the therapeutics." The C-TRAC concept is not meant to
replace the research infrastructure of the pharmaceutical industry, but to
create a parallel system for the rapid translation of research findings, the
report said.

The 80-page report is the result of a 10-month effort by the 34-member Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Myeloma Progress Review Group (PRG),
which included experts from NCI and from academia, industry, and advocacy
organizations.

Priority Research Areas

The 10 priority research areas identified by the review group are:

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