NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
July 20, 2004 • Volume 1 / Number 29 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Featured Article

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  

Director's Update

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  


This NCI Cancer Bulletin is produced by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). NCI, which was established in 1937, leads a national effort to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer. Through basic and clinical biomedical research and training, NCI conducts and supports research that will lead to a future in which we can prevent cancer before it starts, identify cancers that do develop at the earliest stage, eliminate cancers through innovative treatment interventions, and biologically control those cancers that we cannot eliminate so they become manageable, chronic diseases.

For more information on cancer, call 1-800-4-CANCER or visit http://cancer.gov.

NCI Cancer Bulletin staff can be reached at ncicancerbulletin@mail.nih.gov.