The emerging field of cancer prevention through chemoprevention agents and cancer vaccines offers significant promise for reducing suffering and death from cancer. However, that promise may not be kept unless major barriers to progress are lowered or eliminated. Among the most significant barriers are the relatively small investment from government and industry in research and development of cancer preventive agents; a predominant emphasis of translational cancer research on therapeutic interventions for metastatic or advanced cancer; complexities of prevention trial design; a relatively uncharted Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process for preventive agents; insufficient public and patient understanding of the importance and potential for cancer preventive measures, with consequent unpredictable public and patient willingness to take preventive agents; an uncertain reimbursement from payers; and limitations in patent law, liability protection, and data package exclusivity that undermine the opportunity for recouping investment. Viewed individually or collectively, each of these barriers serves as a substantial deterrent to intellectual and financial investment by all sectors of the cancer community. In an effort to ultimately overcome these barriers, a Cancer Prevention Research Summit was assembled June 12-13, 2006 in Bethesda, Maryland, organized by C-Change with support from the AACR. The Summit brought together some 120 leaders from private, public, and not-for-profit entities, including cancer researchers and clinicians; federal health officials; regulatory agency representatives; pharmaceutical, biotech, and food industry leaders; patent attorneys; economists; public and private provider group executives; and advocates. Participants engaged in a detailed process to more carefully define the major barriers, identify potential solutions, and formulate initial priorities and recommendations for action. At the conclusion of this dialogue among experts, the following recommended actions were outlined: define policy solutions to patent, intellectual property, and liability law barriers; create an advisory document about the approval process for cancer chemopreventive agents and vaccines for the FDA; develop new design models for cancer chemopreventive clinical trials; outline the business case for chemopreventive agents and vaccines for federal research agencies, payers and investors; and implement a communications strategy to increase public awareness about the importance of chemoprevention and cancer preventive vaccines.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research