Tearing Down, Building Up
Bold steps nationally as cancer hospital rises locally
MICHAEL A. CALIGIURI, MD
DIRECTOR, COMPREHENSIVE CANCER CENTER CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, JAMES CANCER HOSPITAL AND SOLOVE RESEARCH INSTITUTE THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY, JOHN L. MARAKAS NATIONWIDE INSURANCE ENTERPRISE FOUNDATION CHAIR IN CANCER RESEARCH
Reviewing this issue of Frontiers,
I realize that "tearing down and building up" is almost a theme here at the OSUCCC – James. For example, our cancer center is taking an important step toward tearing down one of the great stone walls impeding the investigation of novel cancer therapies: the inability to test combinations of unmarketed agents that are owned by different pharmaceutical companies.
Concerns about intellectual
property rights, liability and other issues make it impossible to test promising combinations of agents being studied individually in clinical trials, no matter how sound the rationale (e.g., page 10). In December 2010, the Food and Drug Administration released the document Guidance for Industry Codevelopment of Two or More Unmarketed Investigational Drugs for Use in Combination, and it was a welcome first step toward dealing with the problem.
The OSUCCC – James has taken a bold second step. On May 4, we hosted a day-long drug development
roundtable that brought together representatives from Ohio State's cancer program, the pharmaceutical
industry, FDA, NCI and the advocacy
group Friends of Cancer Research. In coming weeks we will draft a template agreement that we hope will become a model for future agreements to permit the co-
development of agents owned by different companies. This effort is
part of our deep commitment to anticancer drug development,
illustrated by the cover story in this issue of Frontiers.
We talk again about tearing down and building up in the story "Breaking
the Therapeutic Barrier" about our
work to improve treatment of pancreatic and other GI cancers. Additionally, "Extended Benefits" describes the critical role of training grants in building a strong cancer research community.
Speaking of building, we learned earlier this year that the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services awarded Ohio State $100 million that will enable expanded services and the integration of radiation oncology in the new Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, slated to open in 2014.
We do all this, of course, for one reason: to build a cancer-free world.