Washington Update: Obama Appoints New Head of NCI | Friends of Cancer Research

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Washington Update: Obama Appoints New Head of NCI

Friends of Cancer Research Newsletter


President Obama Appoints New Director of NCI

  Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) congratulates Dr.Harold Varmus on his appointment as Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI).   "As world renowned clinical investigator and Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Varmus will bring exceptional experience in clinical research, clinical practice, and patient care to the NCI," Friends Chair & Founder, Dr. Ellen Sigal said of the announcement.   Dr. Sigal continued, "Having lead one of the premier research institutions in the world, Dr. Varmus has proven his exceptional leadership capacity. I am confident that he will continue to make sound, scientifically-based decisions, that will benefit the entire cancer research community and ultimately benefit patients battling cancer." Dr. Harold Varmusis is the current President and CEO of the highly prestigious Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Prior to that, Dr. Varmus served as the Director of the National Institutes of Health and was co-recipient of a Nobel Prize for studies of the genetic basis of cancer. Dr. Varmus spent much of his academic career at the University of California- San Francisco before becoming Director of the NIH. For a Full Biography of Dr. Varmus [Click Here]





Groundbreaking Public-Private Collaboration Combines Personalized Medicine and Novel Trial Design to Develop Potentially Life Saving New Breast Cancer Drugs On March 17, 2010, leaders from the academic research community, members of congress, including Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA), and leaders from government agencies, including Dr. Janet Woodcock from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Anna Barker from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), joined the Biomarker Consortium* at the National Press Club to announce the launch of "The I-SPY 2" Trial," a highly anticipated clinical trial to help screen promising new drugs being developed for women with newly diagnosed, fast-growing breast cancers.

"This is an excellent example of a new and innovative model to truly help patients," said Dr. Ellen Sigal, Chair & Founder of Friends of Cancer Research, and Chair of the Public-Private Partnerships Committee for the Foundation for the NIH (FNIH). "This type of public-private partnership, with collaboration between government agencies, patient groups, industry and multiple academic institutions, is vital to the process, and is the direction science needs to be heading."


This collaboration comes on the heels of an announcement, on February 23rd, of a joint FDA-NIH Leadership Council to spearhead collaborative work on important public health issues. More information on the announcement last month can be found [HERE].

  • The I-SPY 2 trial will employ a groundbreaking clinical trial model that uses biomarkers from individual patients' tumors to screen promising new treatments and identify which treatments are most effective in specific types of patients.
  • The innovative adaptive trial design will enable researchers to use early data from one set of patients to guide decisions about which treatments might be more useful for patients later in the trial, and eliminate ineffective treatments more quickly.

"I-SPY 2 promises to leverage convergence of progress on a number of research fronts to speed the evaluation of promising new breast cancer drugs using molecular cancer biomarkers to identify those agents that are effective in specific subpopulations of breast cancer patients," said Dr. Anna D. Barker, Deputy Director, NCI, and....To Continue Reading Click [HERE]





Focus on the National Cancer Institute (NCI): 10logoARRA Funds Support Comparative Effectiveness Research in Cancer NCI has announced that, to date, ARRA funds have enabled NCI to support approximately $70 million in comparative effectiveness research, including $50 million in Grand Opportunities and $13 million in Challenge Grants. Grantees/Researchers are examining a broad spectrum of cancer-related issues, including smoking cessation trials, cancer screening methods, risk behavior interventions, surgery and treatment options, community cancer surveillance and genomic medicine. Remaining NIH ARRA funds for CER will be used to support a variety of initiatives, including training the next generation of CER researchers and improving CER methods.To Read About the CER-Related Projects NCI Has Funded [Click Here]To Read More About CER and Keep Up To Date on Current Actions [Click Here]




Hill Briefing with Rep. Rosa DeLauro, March 24th, 11:00am

Science and Progress at the FDA:Realizing the Return on Investment from Biomedical Research A discussion on why increased scientific capacity at the FDA is what will ensure patients and their families can access and benefit from the latest scientific breakthroughs.Wednesday, March 24, 201011:00am-12:00pmRoom H137 in the U.S. CapitolFor More InformationCLICK HEREPlease RSVP To: HChaney@focr.org or 703.302.1540