The American College of Surgeons Oncology Group has proposed trials of long-term follow-up in patients treated surgically with or without chemotherapy and radiation therapy, using the repository containing the original tumor tissue and a sample of non-tumor tissue. Those trials have been rejected by the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) of NCI. I speak for the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group when I say this should change. There should be an acceptance of this group’s strengths, and a willingness to fund follow-up trials using the available tissue to do the correlative studies that everybody agrees are so valuable.
Dr. Ganz: I am going to let Dr. Horning have the last word.
Dr. Horning: I wanted to support what Lois just said. My strong feeling is that the integration of the basic science is absolutely imperative to move this field forward. Among the biggest news in science in the last couple of weeks are the results of HapMap project.1 People are debating about what this is going to mean in terms of the prediction of disease and possibly implications for prevention. There is a feeling that this is going to impact our understanding of how individuals handle different drugs. Cancer chemotherapeutic agents are going to be lead candidates for study.
The other point I want to make is that I do not think it is an either/or situation. It is not, and should not be, that we are competing for the same funding. This is a perfect time for team science. It is a perfect time for multiple principle investigators. I think we have to think about how we can work together and collaborate.
What we really talked about a lot today is the fact that we wish we had more evidence-based guidelines and measures for today’s patients. We also know that there is a built in latency period for many of these side effects to play out over time. We critically need the biomarkers and surrogate markers to predict them as early as possible, so that intervention strategies can be employed.
Dr. Ganz: So, I think we are about ready to have the rest of the group join us. Thank you all.
The International HapMap Project is a partnership of scientists and funding agencies from Canada, China, Japan, Nigeria, the U.K., and the United States to develop a public resource that will help researchers find genes associated with human disease and response to pharmaceuticals (www.hapmap.org, accessed December 28, 2005).