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Washington Post - Biden holding cancer summit to pump up support for ‘moonshot’ effort

Vice President Biden will convene a day-long cancer summit in Washington on Wednesday that will be part pep rally, part Ted talk, part wonk-a-thon — all designed to garner support for the Obama administration’s year-long initiative to advance cancer research.

The summit, expected to draw as many as 300 people from academia, industry and advocacy groups to Howard University, is billed as a way to generate new ideas to beat a disease that kills almost 600,000 Americans a year. Dozens of regional summits will take place at the same time.

Bloomberg - Breakthrough Drugs Developed, Reviewed Faster

The FDA's breakthrough therapy designation has led to shorter drug development times and shorter FDA review times, industry experts said April 12 during a Senate briefing.

Enacted in July 2012 as part of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (Pub. L. No. 112-144), the breakthrough therapy designation expedites the development and review of drugs for serious or life-threatening conditions if the drug has demonstrated substantial improvement on at least one clinically significant endpoint over available therapies.

The Washington Post - He won his own battle against cancer. Biden just picked him to lead a war

Greg Simon was on his way to visit a friend in San Francisco in 2014 when he called his doctor to get the results of a long-overdue physical. Your cholesterol and PSA tests are fine, his doctor said. But, he added, you have leukemia.

The Scientist - The Challenges of Precision

The amount of genetic variation between cancer patients is astounding. Two people diagnosed with cancer in the same organ may, in fact, have two very different diseases. Consequently, we are now in the middle of a transition: we no longer classify cancer based solely on its tissue of origin, but also on the key mutations driving growth and spread of a patient’s tumor.

The Cancer Letter - Al Benson named to new role in ECOGACRIN leadership

Al B. Benson III was appointed deputy chair for policy and implementation by the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group.

Benson will lead EA’s efforts to strengthen collaboration between academic and community participants and expand real-world opportunities and community leadership. His expertise in program and guideline development will be critical to the development of a focused, integrated research program within ECOG-ACRIN, group of ficials said.


Precision Oncology News - In Precision Oncology, Drugs Coming to Market Based on Smaller, Early-Phase, Single-Arm Trials

When the first personalized cancer therapies came to market more than 20 years ago, some experts predicted that the field's growing understanding of the molecular features driving tumors would alter the way drugs are developed.

The oft-cited statistics about drug development is that it takes more than a decade and well over a billion dollars for a therapy to go from discovery to market. But many industry observers have been eagerly anticipating the time when the integration of genomics would transform drug development, shortening that timeline and reducing costs.

Pink Sheet - Richard Pazdur: 20th Anniversary Edition

Executive Summary

US FDA oncology chief celebrates his 20th year at the agency with a frank and wide-ranging podcast interview in which he addresses the next (two) phases of the Oncology Center of Excellence, his ‘think it/do it’ mentality, and whether advisory committees still give good advice.


Richard Pazdur is clearly having a lot of fun.


Bloomberg - FDA Drug Approvals Require Less Rigorous Evidence, Study Finds

An ongoing push to speed new medicines to patients has led to the growth of new Food and Drug Administration programs with relaxed evidence standards for approving drugs, according to an analysis from researchers at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.


The Cancer Letter - Top 25 Stories of 2019

We went through our analytics: here is what your colleagues in oncology read in 2019.


What are your colleagues reading in The Cancer Letter? Here are the highlights:

Oncology Times - FOCR Annual Meeting Focuses on New Drugs & Diagnostics

In its continuing efforts to help ensure that patients receive the best treatments in the safest and fastest way possible, the Friends of Cancer Research (FOCR) announced a new pilot project called ctMoniTR at its annual meeting, held in Washington, D.C. The pilot project aims to harmonize the use of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA)—genetic material shed from cancer cells that can be measured in blood—to monitor patients' response to cancer treatment. The pilot project will also test the feasibility of data comparison from different clinical studies.