On November 7, 2013, the sixth Friends-Brookings conference was held in Washington, DC, with generous support from the American Society for Clinical Oncology and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. This year's conference, attended by hundreds of leaders in their fields, featured three sessions that proposed innovative approaches to current challenges in drug development:
Panel One: Facilitating Development of Immunotherapies
Panel Two: Lung Cancer Master Protocol Activation Announcement
Panel Three: Optimizing Dosing of Oncology Drugs
Immunotherapies hold the potential for long-term antitumor activity; however, the response to immunotherapies is often delayed. The pre-conference white paper that was put forth sought to identify new tools for measuring the activity of immunotherapies, and proposed several endpoints that could account for the potential of delayed treatment effect.
Dr. James Allison discussed the "durable response" that various immunotherapies have been shown to deliver in clinical research on patients with lung, brain, and prostate cancers, and noted that the approach has been shown to work in virtually all types of cancer. Dr. Tai-Tsang Chen further explored the rationale for agreeing on a new set of intermediate endpoints or tools to measure the activity of immune checkpoint modulators. He proposed an alternate approach to evaluating survival, dubbed the "milestone survival analysis," which measures the proportion of survivors at a pre-specified time, and detailed the pros and cons of this approached compared to those of the conventional approach of measuring survival. And reflecting on the discussion of alternative endpoints, Dr. Amy McKee reminded the group that "overall survival as an endpoint is still the gold standard" in any effort to measure the efficacy of a cancer therapy.
L-R: Amy McKee, Steven Rosenberg, Tai-Tsang Chen, Axel Hoos, Ramy Ibrahim, Mark Gorman
L-R: Mary Redman, Jeff Abrams, Vince Miller, Ann Ashby,
Vali Papadimitrakopoulou, David Gandara, Janet Woodcock, Roy Herbst, Jeff Allen
L-R: Richard Pazdur, Oliver Rosen, Lori Minasian, Daniel Auclair, Atiqur Rahman, Richard Schilsky