Researchers Consider "NCI Translates" Approach
Last week nearly 800 cancer researchers, patient advocates, and NCI staff convened in Washington, D.C., for "NCI Translates: the NCI Translational Science Meeting." Attendees convened to discuss a new approach for accelerating early translational research that was recommended by NCI's Translational Research Working Group (TRWG). "This approach allows NCI to become a connectivity platform enabling researcher to collaborate to rapidly move discoveries to patients," said NCI Director Dr. John Niederhuber.
The meeting continues a process intended to identify promising basic science discoveries that can be expedited to the clinic and marketplace. It began in early 2008 when NCI program directors were asked to nominate exemplary NCI-funded translational research grants. About 500 researchers submitted abstracts describing their work, which were "self-coded" by population, organ site, and relevant developmental pathways.
These developmental pathways, proposed by the TRWG and recently described in Clinical Cancer Research, provide a template onto which scientific projects can be mapped and coordinated to accelerate translational progress.
"By the end of this first phase, we hope to demonstrate that this broadly collaborative approach can identify strong and compelling candidates for a prioritization and funding process that will be presented to NCI leadership in the spring," said Dr. Lynn Matrisian, who co-chaired the TRWG and now leads the TRWG implementation team.