BSA Supports Genome Pilot Project
The National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Board of Scientific Advisors (BSA) last week unanimously endorsed a 3-year pilot project to assess the feasibility of sequencing genomic changes in human tumors on a large scale. The Human Cancer Genome Pilot Project (HCGPP) will be conducted as a partnership between NCI and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).
"This is truly an integrated effort," said Dr. Anna Barker, NCI deputy director for strategic scientific initiatives, "not just an NCI project." Dr. Barker told BSA that by leveraging both institutes' funding, resources, and expertise, the collaboration will allow a greater return on those investments.
Enabled by the reference human sequence from the Human Genome Project, NCI and NHGRI hope the pilot project will establish a firm foundation for molecular oncology by focusing on a combination of genome characterization and resequencing to identify genetic aberrations in major cancer types. By identifying the molecular pathways that underlie cancer, the HCGPP could provide valuable new targets for cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, and drug development.
Guest Update by Drs. James H. Doroshow, Joseph E. Tomaszewski,
and Jerry M. Collins
DTP Celebrates 50 Years of Advancing Cancer Research
This month, NCI celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Developmental Therapeutics Program (DTP), which has played a key role in supplying the nation's trove of treatments against cancer. Since its inception in 1955 as the Cancer Chemotherapy National Service Center, DTP has contributed to the development of 38 anticancer drugs, including paclitaxel, bortezomib, and cetuximab. Now, as part of the Division of Cancer Treatment & Diagnosis (DCTD), DTP continues its role in planning, conducting, and facilitating the discovery and development of new therapeutic agents for cancer.
That concisely stated role encompasses a wide range of collaborative activities. DTP, through its own researchers and those supported by the program's grants and contracts, searches for unique anticancer agents in synthetic molecules, biologicals, and natural products. DTP staff and contractors perform the screening and related biological, toxicological, and pharmacological evaluations necessary to ensure these compounds can be introduced safely to cancer patients.