BETHESDA, Md--The reports of the progress review groups on
prostate and breast cancers present the National Cancer Institute
(NCI) with both opportunities and challenges, director Richard D.
Klausner, MD, told the National Cancer Advisory Board.
"Here are the oncology communities coming together and saying:
This is what we need," Dr. Klausner said. The challenge for the
Institute, he said, is how to satisfy each panels
recommendations and create a knowledge base for each cancer "in
our environment of investigator initiated research filtered through peer-review."
He said the two reports are being analyzed by NCI staff to develop
ways to respond, adding that he expects to see specific new programs
and requests for research applications emerging as a result of the
recommendations. "For the Institute, the affected fields, and, I
think, all of the other agencies involved in funding research in
these areas, these two reports are going to be very influential,"
Dr. Klausner noted the overlap in some of the major recommendations
made by the two panels, such as a greater emphasis on understanding
the basic biology of breast and prostate cancer. This has raised a
question, still unresolved within NCI, of whether the institute
should organize additional peer review groups to address other
cancers, including lung, colorectal, and ovarian. "If we
do," he said, "what do we learn from the tremendous overlap