The Angiogenesis Foundation Convenes Top Cancer Experts to Revise Methods For Testing Modern Cancer Treatments
SAN FRANCISCO, May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- To pave the way for new cancer therapies, the Angiogenesis Foundation will convene an expert panel of 15 cancer specialists to challenge the methods used to test antiangiogenic drugs in cancer patients. The symposium "Clinical Trials of Antiangiogenic Therapy for Cancer: Issues, Problems, Solutions" will take place today at the Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco. Dr. William W. Li, President of the Angiogenesis Foundation will co-chair the event along with Dr. Lee Rosen of UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center, and Dr. Lee Ellis of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The distinguished panel will discuss the clinical challenges faced by developers of antiangiogenic drugs that starve tumors by cutting off their blood supply. "The time has come to take a critical look at the methods used to test modern cancer drugs," commented Dr. Li. "We are moving beyond chemotherapy, towards better, safer agents. Along with these improvements comes the need to update the way we design clinical trials." Historically, clinical trials of cancer drugs deliver high doses of toxic drugs for short periods of time, and measure tumor shrinkage as the 'gold standard' of success. In contrast, antiangiogenic drugs selectively attack only abnormal blood vessels feeding cancer cells. Such agents are generally well-tolerated and may not require the maximum tolerated dose in order to deliver their benefits. By halting tumor growth, cancer patients can continue to live productive lives. "Antiangiogenic therapy promises to transform cancer from an acute lethal disease into a chronic manageable condition, like diabetes," said Dr. Li. The Angiogenesis Foundation is concerned, however, that using the traditional rules of cancer trials could make a breakthrough antiangiogenic drug look like a failure. "Based on the biology of these drugs, I believe we'll need to treat earlier and treat longer, use lower doses, and we will need new endpoints," noted Li. "Rather than focus on tumor shrinkage, we need to focus on survival, disease stabilization, and improved quality of life. This is a major paradigm shift for all the players involved in cancer drug development." Five antiangiogenic drugs, Marimastat, Prinomastat, MMi-270A, Bay 12,9566, and SU101, have already been halted in development after failing conventionally-designed cancer trials. To avoid unnecessary future failures, the panel will discuss how clinical trial design should be updated to match the new molecular processes being targeted. Among the issues to be covered by the experts: -- How the "new biology" of cancer leads to different expected outcomes from traditional cancer trials -- What concerns the biopharmaceutical industry has in changing long held trial practices -- Which clinical endpoints and biological markers reflect successful antiangiogenic therapy -- What new imaging technologies are available for tracking tumor blood vessels -- What are the regulatory considerations for antiangiogenic agents -- What are the long-term treatment concerns such as side effects and acquired drug resistance The expert panel includes specialists from Montreal Jewish General Hospital, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic, USC Norris Cancer Center, University of Arizona, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, Stanford University, Harvard Medical School, University of Pennsylvania, UCLA, SUGEN/Pharmacia, Indiana University, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Angiogenesis Foundation has invited an audience of high-ranking industry executives, National Cancer Institute officials, FDA members, financial analysts, and journalists to attend the symposium The Angiogenesis Foundation (www.angio.org) is a nonprofit organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1994, its mission is to improve global health by facilitating the development and application of angiogenesis- based Medicine, through effective research and education. The Foundation worked collaborated with the National Cancer Institute in 2000 to develop new imaging standards for cancer clinical trials, and has presented findings to the Food and Drug Administration, the Health Care Finance Administration, and the Congressional Women's Caucus on Capitol Hill. Contact: Lori Atwater (617) 576-5708 MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X10575042
SOURCE The Angiogenesis Foundation
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