FDA To Establish New Cancer Office
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on July 16 that it will create the Office of Oncology Drug Products (ODP) to help foster a strong and consistent approach to the review process for drugs and most therapeutic biologics used to diagnose, treat, and prevent cancer.
"Biomedical research in the United States is second to none, and it is our responsibility to see that patients reap the fruits of that research," said Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. "We are committed to creating the most effective and efficient review process possible to ensure life-saving treatments are made available to cancer patients."
"This initiative by FDA will benefit cancer patients in the future by helping new cancer drugs reach the community," said National Cancer Institute Director Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach. "As NCI promotes research to develop new interventions to prevent, detect, and treat cancer, we look forward to supporting FDA's efforts. Read more
The Tumor Microenvironment:
Providing Important Clues to Metastasis
Cancers become most deadly when they metastasize, yet finding ways to combat metastasis has been a significant Achilles heel of cancer research. But our growing understanding of the role that a tumor's "microenvironment" plays in metastasis may allow us to shift the tide.
We now know that the tumor microenvironment is an important component of tumor initiation, progression, and metastasis, and as a result, may play prominently in the development of new therapeutic approaches to combating cancer. The tumor microenvironment, or stroma, not only contributes to some of the destructive characteristics of malignant cells, but it also can undermine treatment by partially shielding tumors from therapeutics, altering drug metabolism, and contributing to drug resistance. Because stromal elements figure in all stages of tumor development, they represent attractive therapeutic targets. Manipulating host-tumor interactions, for example, may help prevent cells from becoming malignant or even encourage malignant cells to revert to their normal state. Read more