CommentaryTherapeutics Development

A National Cancer Clinical Trials System for Targeted Therapies

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Science Translational Medicine  23 Mar 2011:
Vol. 3, Issue 75, pp. 75cm8
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3001716


Today, modern technologies in genomics, biomarker detection, and molecular imaging are providing information that will enable physicians to select appropriate treatments for individual cancer patients from among more than 800 new experimental drugs and antibodies that target the products of the aberrant genes that can cause cancer. At this promising time in cancer research, the U.S. National Cancer Institute–sponsored collaborative clinical trials program needs an overhaul in its operations and an infusion of adequate funding. The process of clinical trial design, review for approval, and implementation must be streamlined to make it more efficient. Multiple stakeholders in the academic, governmental, and commercial sectors must better integrate their efforts. Improvements must be made in the incorporation of new technologies, prioritization, and timely completion of trials, and provision of financial support that covers actual costs. The result will be more rapid translation of recent scientific advances into increased benefits for patients with cancer.


  • Citation: J. Mendelsohn, A National Cancer Clinical Trials System for Targeted Therapies. Sci. Transl. Med. 3, 75cm8 (2011).

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