The NCCN Oncology Research Program (ORP) collaborates with pharmaceutical companies to obtain funding to support investigator-initiated trials at NCCN Member Institutions. The NCCN ORP strives to improve the quality of life for patients and to reduce cancer-related deaths by advancing cancer therapies through research. NCCN ORP studies explore new avenues of clinical investigation and seek answers to important, cancer-related questions.
Since its inception in 1999, the NCCN ORP has successfully raised more than $22 million dollars in support of the aforementioned endeavors. During the past year, the NCCN ORP provided $4.9 million of research funding to investigators at NCCN Member Institutions.
Studies made possible through NCCN ORP funding evaluate innovative combinations and sequencing regimens of drugs, mechanisms of action of specific agents, drug resistance, and extended uses for specific agents. Additionally, the NCCN ORP organizes scientific advisory boards to advise companies on their drug development strategies. Another scientific committee, the Request for Proposals (RFP) Development Team, evaluates potential uses of promising agents and provides expert advice on the best avenues of research to pursue. This team then develops an RFP that is announced to investigators at NCCN Member Institutions, and proposals are reviewed and funded through the NCCN ORP.
The most recent funding to the NCCN ORP has been provided by Allos Therapeutics, Inc., through a grant intended to support clinical studies of pralatrexate (FOLOTYN®, Allos Therapeutics, Inc.) in the treatment of select hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. Pralatrexate was recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory peripheral T-cell lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that is uncommon, but aggressive.
Clinical trials supported by this grant will evaluate innovative single agent and combination studies of pralatrexate in multiple myeloma, ovarian cancer, head and neck cancer, gastroesophageal cancer, and various solid tumors. This grant presents a significant contribution to the NCCN ORP program.
Paul Berns, President and Chief Executive Officer of Allos Therapeutics, Inc., noted the reciprocal nature of this opportunity. “Our collaboration represents a unique opportunity to benefit from the research expertise of NCCN and the NCCN Member Institutions, as we explore the potential of investigator-initiated clinical studies of FOLOTYN,” said Mr. Berns.
Echoing this statement, William T. McGivney, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of NCCN, said, “Through this research grant from Allos Therapeutics, Inc., we are pleased to provide NCCN Member Institutions with an opportunity to take part in innovative cancer research with the hope that their work will ultimately benefit patients with cancer.” Click here to learn more about the aforementioned pralatrexate studies.
NCCN aims for the NCCN ORP to become a Center for Excellence in the United States for providing outstanding research and research services. Through this recent Allos Therapeutics, Inc. grant, and others like it, this vision is supported.