Over the last decade or so, we’ve seen a lot of new targeted agents approved in a variety of different tumour types. Of the big five cancers (breast, lung, melanoma, prostate, and colorectal) one clearly stands out as missing out on exciting new developments in the last 5 years.
In fact, we haven’t really seen anything startlingly new in the colorectal cancer (CRC) space since 2004, when the FDA approved cetuximab (Erbitux) and bevacizumab (Avastin) to much fanfare a few weeks apart at the beginning of that year. Sure, there have been other EGFR and VEGF inhibitors approved since, including panitumumab (Vectibix), z-aflibercept (Zaltrap) and regorafenib (Stivarga) in various lines of therapy, but you could argue that they’re all more of the same (type of inhibitors) and incremental in their improvements, rather truly game changing or disruptive.
Why is this? Why is there a discrepancy?
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It’s a busy day of science at the 102nd American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting in Orlando, You can follow what’s happening on twitter, #AACR. Pharma Strategy Blog has an excellent “Cover it Live” widget that shows everyone’s #AACR tweets. It allows you to go back in time, so you can see what happened earlier. AACR also has some excellent webcasts and podcasts from the meeting.
However, what caught my attention this morning was the launch of a new journal, Cancer Discovery; preview copies were handed out to attendees at the plenary session this morning.
In a world where we are already overwhelmed by data, publications and sources of information, why is this journal both important and worth reading?
Firstly, this team has a distinguished group of editors, Lewis Cantley, PhD and José Baselga MD PhD are Editors-in-Chief. However, what attracted me was the way this journal, in a highly readable way, covers a wide range of topics from news, updates on current research to mini reviews and research articles.
In the news section, the journal picked up on nanodiamonds for drug delivery (a topic previously mentioned on this blog), and discussed the Gilead acquisition of Calistoga from perspective of bringing PI3K delta inhibitors to market.
I liked the selected highlights of recent articles of exceptional significance from the cancer literature. The mini review on the “stumbling blocks on the path to personalized medicine in Breast Cancer” summarized the challenges in the clinical development of PARP inhibitors. The research articles reminded me of those I’ve read in other journals such as Science, with high quality figures and tables.
If AACR and the editors can keep up the high standard of the April 2011 preview copy they have published, Cancer Discovery will definitely be on the reading list of those involved with cancer research, new product development and translational medicine.
You can find out more about Cancer Discovery and read online articles on the AACR website.