Klausner Tells NCAB About Bypass Budget, Plans for HPV Vaccine

Oncology NEWS International Vol 5 No 10, Volume 5, Issue 10

BETHESDA, Md--Planning for science is "oxymoronic," because you can't plan for results, NCI Director Richard Klausner told the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB). "Instead, you have to plan for facilitating large-scale thinking," he said.

BETHESDA, Md--Planning for science is "oxymoronic,"because you can't plan for results, NCI Director Richard Klausnertold the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB). "Instead,you have to plan for facilitating large-scale thinking,"he said.

The NCI will try to do just that by establishing an environmentin which science can take place. "The NCI Office of SciencePolicy, headed by Dr. Edward H. Harlow, will be our nerve centerfor science planning," Dr. Klausner said. "Dr. Harlowwill be working over the next year on strategic planning and theformation of new working groups to get us where we need to go."

In his report on the NCI's budget proposal for the 1997/98 fiscalyear, Dr. Klausner presented the board with an 80-page booklet,The Nation's Investment in Cancer Research, which givesthe proposed bypass budget as well as a history of NCI's progressagainst cancer and an explanation of NCI's research programs,infrastructure, and opportunities for new investments.

"This booklet is designed to give the President, the Congress,and the people of the United States a glimpse of NCI, who we are,what we are, and how money is handled," he said. [The bookletmay be ordered by calling 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).]

Dr. Klausner also explained the steps NCI's intramural programis taking to develop a vaccine against human papil-lomavirus (HPV),which has been identified as the cause of most cases of cervicalcancer.

Investigators have found a way to use certain insect cells thatproduce a high quantity of very immunogenic viral particles, hesaid. These particles are being used to introduce excellent immuneresponses to HPV-16, the form of HPV that accounts for about 50%of all HPV infections.

"We will be jumping on this discovery as an immediate opportunityto push through a program for the development of an effectivehuman vaccine for HPV that will act as a systemic means of protection,"he said. The researchers plan to come up with a mix that willgive people coverage for about 80% of all HPV types.

Dr. Klausner informed the board of the institute's overwhelmingsuccess in enlisting patients into the breast cancer susceptibilitystudy being done with the cooperation of the Jewish community.

The study, which needed at least 5,000 participants, already hasenrolled 5,300. DNA tests have been done in that group, to determinethe presence or absence of BRCA1. "Right now, those dataare being analyzed, and the results should be available at thenext NCAB meeting," Dr. Klausner said.