The recent AACR-NCI-EORTC Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics international conference in San Francisco was an informative meeting.
What I particularly liked was the strategic overview that took place in many of the plenary sessions.
As an example, Johann de Bono, Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine at The Institute of Cancer Research/The Royal Marsden in London highlighted the potential drug development targets based on prostate cancer biology:
- Androgen Receptor (AR)
- Heat Shock Proteins (Hsp)
- Signaling: HER3, MET, IGF-1R, CCL2, IL-6, Src
- PI3K/AKT/TOR signaling
- PARP and BRCAness
- Estrogen receptor (ER)
- c-MYC & CHK1
His presentation discussed the possible therapeutic approaches, and complexity involved in developing novel targeted therapies for prostate cancer.
This is something that I expect we will hear more of at the AACR special conference on Advances in Prostate Cancer Research early next year.
In particular, de Bono discussed drug development strategies to target androgen receptor signaling, and some of the future challenges including:
- Proving to the regulatory authorities that circulating tumor cell (CTC) count falls are a robust immediate endpoint of overall survival
- Developing improved imaging for bone metastases
As a side note, there were several posters for cabozantinib (XL184) at the meeting (available on the Exelixis website), including preliminary research on computer-aided quantitative bone scan assessment.
However, as de Bono mentioned in his presentation, “diffusion weighted MRI shows hot spots not detected by bone scans.”
2010 and 2011 were good years for prostate cancer drugs, and with new approvals for MDV3100 and radium-223 (Alpharadin) expected, 2012 is set to be another “grand cru” year, to paraphase Bertrand Tombal.
If you were not able to make it to San Francisco for the Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics conference, webcasts of many sessions will be available on the AACR site.