Meeting

The Role of Clinical Studies for Pets with Naturally Occurring Tumors in Translational Cancer Research


When: June 8, 2015 - June 9, 2015 (8:00 AM Eastern)

Topics Biomedical and Health Research, Diseases, Health Care Workforce, Health Services, Coverage, and Access, Quality and Patient Safety
Activity: National Cancer Policy Forum
Board: Board on Health Care Services

Many novel drug candidates fail in human clinical trials despite evidence of drug efficacy in traditional preclinical murine models because these animal models often lack key characteristics of human cancers - such as long latency, genomic instability, and heterogeneity among the tumor cells and the surrounding microenvironment. Recently, there has been renewed interest in studying tumors that spontaneously develop as a result of normal aging in companion animals because they share many characteristics with human cancers - such as histological appearance, tumor genetics, biological behavior, molecular targets, therapeutic response, and acquired resistance, recurrence, and metastasis.
Often referred to as comparative oncology, translational studies in pets can serve as a useful intermediary between traditional preclinical models and human clinical trials. Once a drug has been approved, comparative oncology can also yield valuable insight into post-marketing challenges such as safety, dosage, and regimen. The Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium provides infrastructure and resources needed to integrate clinical trials for pets with naturally occurring cancers into the development of new drugs, devices, and imaging techniques for human cancers. Trials are conducted by 20 veterinary academic centers in the U.S., with thorough owner education and informed consent to investigate new diagnostic or treatment options for the benefit of both animal and human health.
However, the cancer research community has not reached agreement on the value of these clinical trial data for advancing human cancer research or how best to integrate comparative oncology trials within the cancer research continuum. This workshop, hosted by the National Cancer Policy Forum, will examine the rationale and potential for integrating clinical trials for pets with naturally occurring cancers into translational cancer research and development. It will also highlight potential opportunities to overcome existing challenges.

Participants will be invited to discuss topics that may include:

• An overview of the limitations of current preclinical oncology models and resulting late-stage drug development failures and costs;
• Strategies to support the incorporation of data from clinical trials for pets with cancer in drug development pathways;
• Gaps in the evidence base to support integration of such trials in the drug development continuum and ways to address those gaps;
• Challenges and potential solutions to greater integration of such trials in cancer drug development pathways;
• Opportunities for further collaborations and information exchange between human and veterinary oncologists.

Confirmed Speakers
Matthew Breen, North Carolina State University
Carl Barrett, AstraZeneca
Peter Choyke, National Cancer Institute
Lou DeGennaro, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Mark Dewhirst, Duke University
Timothy Fan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dan Gustafson, Colorado State University
Lee Helman, National Cancer Institute
Michael Kastan, Duke Cancer Institute
Anne Keane, Achaogen
Chand Khanna, National Cancer Institute
Deborah Knapp, Purdue University
Michael Lairmore, University of California—Davis
Amy LeBlanc, National Cancer Institute
John Leighton, Food and Drug Administration
Wendy Levin, MEI Pharma
Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cheryl London, The Ohio State University
Patricia LoRusso, Yale University
Patricia Olson, Independent Advisor on Animal Health & Welfare
Elaine Ostrander, National Human Genome Research Institute
Rod Page, Colorado State University
Beverly Teicher, National Cancer Institute
Doug Thamm, Colorado State University
Jeff Trent, TGEN
Daniel Tumas, Gilead Sciences
David Vail, University of Wisconsin

Workshop Planning Committee
Michael B. Kastan, Chair, Duke Cancer Institute
Mark Dewhirst, Duke School of Medicine
Chand Khanna, National Cancer Institute
John K. Leighton, Food and Drug Administration
Patricia N. Olson, Independent Advisor on Animal Health & Welfare
Elaine A. Ostrander, National Human Genome Research Institute
Beverly A. Teicher, National Cancer Institute
Daniel B. Tumas, Gilead, Inc.

Current Project Sponsors
The Flint Animal Cancer Center, Colorado State University
University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
University of Wisconsin – Madison: Carbone Cancer Center, Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, and the School of Veterinary Medicine
University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine and the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center
University of Pennsylvania
Purdue University: College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Center for Cancer Research 
Skippy Frank Translational Medicine & Life Sciences Fund
University of Colorado Cancer Center
Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine
College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University
University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine
Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine
Morris Animal Foundation
Animal Cancer Foundation
Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine


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