Panel Calls for Increased Emphasis on Translational Research
The President's Cancer Panel (PCP) released a new report last week calling for some far-reaching changes aimed at improving the translation of cancer research findings into new interventions and the delivery of those interventions to health care providers and patients.
The report includes 20 recommendations and identifies groups and organizations that should be involved in their development and implementation. The recommendations call for new ways to address patent and intellectual property issues that often prevent research on promising compounds or combinations of licensed drugs, increased support for the dissemination of information about and adoption of new interventions, and increased funding for team science and systemic changes that promote careers in translational research.
The latter issue was raised "over and over again" during the four hearings the PCP held on translational research, said the Panel's chairman, Dr. LaSalle Leffall, Jr. These aren't empty sentiments, Dr. Leffall told attendees last week at a conference on translational research training programs jointly sponsored by NCI and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. "The team science concept is permeating many institutions," he added. Read more
A New Generation of Researchers for a New Kind of Research
Last week, while attending some events on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus, I saw the past, present, and future of cancer research. At the General Motors Cancer Research Annual Scientific Conference, I had the opportunity to hear talks by Nobel laureates and other icons of science about our remarkable progress against breast cancer and where research on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer is headed.
A short while later, I met with 250 National Cancer Institute (NCI) summer interns - some of the best, brightest, and most enthusiastic high school, college, and medical school students in the country. They can be the leaders, I told them, who will take us to an unbelievable destination.
And finally, I spoke at a meeting of leaders from academic medical centers, comprehensive cancer centers, and others who have established exciting programs aimed at turning out a new generation of translational cancer researchers - researchers who have a knowledge and expertise that spans from the bench to the bedside, and even to computational sciences, engineering, and mathematics.