Sally Church, while adjusting to the high altitude of Denver at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) meeting on molecular diagnostics and cancer therapeutics, penned this item about new cutting edge ideas from the show.
She mentions the need for closer and more collaborative relationships between basic and clinical research in order to translate the knowledge and ideas into practice in the clinic more quickly. Essentially, better collaboration between academia, industry, between labs and between companies, even between what some may seem as competitors. Sounds a lot like a cry for more open innovation.
A second theme she called out is the need to put more emphasis on systems biology - to look at "pathwayness" - that is trying to understand the complex pathways involved in cancer and devising strategies against the pathway versus attacking individual receptors that may only shut off portions of the pathway that can be bypassed by the cancer.
By taking the more open innovation route, and by picking up the tools we already have to more coherently apply to the pathways approach, we can potentially target more effective treatments for the individual patient -- and get there more rapidly. It again highlights a need for more work to identify biomarkers that can be used to assess successful outcomes in clinical trials within patient subpopulations - so we can apply the best treatments to the patient populations most likley to respond favorably.
Posted by Bruce Lehr September 30th 2010.