Shirley Wang writes in today’s Wall Street Journal that “scientists studying a four herb combination discovered some 1,800 years ago by Chinese herbalists have found that the substance enhances the effectiveness of chemotherapy in patients with colon cancer.
The AACR debuted at its annual conference today an informative video about the accomplishments and possibilities of cancer research. Check it out.
UCSF’s Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann is profiled in the Sunday, April 11, 2010 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle. The story is featured on the front page.
Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann explains her translational vision for
fighting cancer during her recent keynote address to UCSF’s breast oncology leaders. She describes 1997 to 2001 as oncology’s golden years. Rituxan, Herceptin and Gleevec debuted and changed the face of cancer treatments. Dr. Desmond-Hellmann believes that academia can today play a critical role in introducing “the platinum age” of cancer drug development.
“Cancer research is too slow, too expensive, too inefficient and too uncertain…we need to understand earlier and with greater confidence what the best ideas are,” she says. Read the full article here.
UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann discusses the future of oncology
drug development and adaptive clinical trial design and what it means
to patients in an interview with Pharma Strategy Blog’s Sally Church. Here are excerpts from the post:
“What’s really neat about the I-SPY trial is that Laura Esserman, the PI of the trial, is a breast cancer surgeon here at UCSF and has added so much value to the project because she sees patients early and has a unique opportunity to offer neoadjuvant therapy.
Patients are getting their primary therapy before they get surgery, so for imaging and biomarkers – either established or exploratory – it is a fantastic opportunity. The endpoint is pathological complete response, so you can see if the tumor has disappeared or not.”
“It’s a fantastic rapid readout model so you can get answers much more quickly in a year, including pathological specimens, along with the answers from biomarkers and imaging, which are important.
The FDA has allowed a master IND agreement for this study, so it will be possible to move agents in and out of the trial quickly. So if agent A looks promising it can be advanced quickly and more patients put on it, but if agent B looks toxic, it can be discarded quickly. It’s not just a clinical trial but a experimental trial process that gives you a rapid readout of whether the agent works or not.”
“The hope is that you won’t wasting time and money in phase III trials, but most importantly, patients experience on that molecule. If the answer is yes on I-SPY, you then have a biomarker hypothesis for that agent and can then do a more traditional phase III trial having increased your chances of success.”
Read about the i-Spy 2 adaptive clinical trial which was launched on March 17 in Washington.
Watch the video from the Biomarkers Consortium press conference:
CNBC’s Mike Huckman looks back at pharma’s biggest decade, and also looks ahead at what’s to come in today’s segment “Big Pharma’s Big Decade.” UCSF’s Chancellor Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann is featured in the program. Dr. Desmond-Hellmann who brought the world’s anti-cancer blockbuster drugs to market says what she’s “most proud of is that we changed the way people think about cancer.”
2010 could be a year of firsts– the first therapeutic vaccine for prostate cancer, first Lupus drug, first once a week drug to treat diabetes, and the first new flu vaccine technology since the 1950’s.
According to Dr. Desmond-Hellmann, “what is tremendous is how there is literally an explosion of biology – it should be a golden era.” She also believes that there could be a significant break-through in Alzheimer’s disease on the horizon. Drugs today just treat the symptoms but don’t slow the progression.
Dr. Desmond-Hellmann concludes by saying: “If there was a genuine breakthrough in Alzheimer’s we’re talking about the kinds of medicines that could be the biggest products in the world… bigger than Lipitor and Avastin… from a business perspective this could be huge.”
Watch the video here.
UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann is featured in the CNBC's special "Biopharma: 10 Years in the Making." Watch the segment here: