National Comprehensive Cancer Network

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NCCN Receives $4 Million Oncology Research Grant from Wyeth


NCCN recently received a $4 million research grant from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of temsirolimus in the treatment of solid tumors. Temsirolimus is currently approved to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). This grant is the largest research award received by NCCN to date. Investigators from NCCN Member Institutions are eligible to apply for the research funding.


January 15, 2009

FORT WASHINGTON, PA — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has been awarded a $4 million grant from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals to support clinical studies of temsirolimus (Torisel®, Wyeth) in the treatment of solid tumors. This is the largest individual research grant that NCCN has received since the inception of its Oncology Research Program in 1999.

Temsirolimus is a targeted therapy approved to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC), a type of cancer that originates in the kidney. Clinical trials supported by this grant will evaluate the effectiveness of temsirolimus in solid tumors, including but not limited to, breast, endometrial, head and neck, hepatocellular, hormone-refractory prostate, non-small cell lung, and ovarian cancers.

“This grant represents the largest research award to date for NCCN and is an outstanding achievement,” says William T. McGivney, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN. “The funding not only helps accelerate potentially life-saving research in the field of cancer, but also creates a collaborative opportunity for investigators from NCCN Member Institutions. Obtaining major research grants represents yet another way in which NCCN lives out our mission of improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer.”

Temsirolimus is the only commercially available inhibitor of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). The mTOR signaling pathway regulates cell growth and promotes angiogenesis, a physiological process that is a fundamental step in the transition of tumors from a dormant state to a malignant state. By disrupting this pathway, temsirolimus may inhibit the growth of tumors.

“This collaboration represents a unique opportunity to benefit from the research expertise of NCCN and their Member Institutions as we explore the potential of Torisel in the treatment of a variety of solid tumors,” says Mikael Dolsten, President, Research and Development, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. “We are pleased to support an organization that shares our commitment to innovative cancer research to the benefit of patients with cancer.”

The primary goal of clinical trials resulting from this grant is to help determine the role of temsirolimus in the treatment of solid tumors in a variety of cancers. Significant secondary goals include:

  • Identification of cancers or cancer subtypes that may be dependent on the mTOR pathway.
  • Clarification of the mechanism of action of mTOR inhibition in different tumors.
  • Investigation of combination therapy with cytotoxics, targeted therapies, biologic agents, and radiation therapy, based on hypothesis generating preclinical studies.
  • Identification of biomarkers and molecular imaging that can be used to assess mTOR inhibition.

The NCCN Oncology Research Program (ORP) facilitates all phases of clinical research by identifying clinical investigators and initiating trials at NCCN Member Institutions. The ORP draws on the expertise of investigators at 21 of the world’s leading cancer centers and establishes collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotech companies in order to advance therapeutic options for patients with cancer.

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 25 of the world's leading cancer centers, is dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers. The primary goal of all NCCN initiatives is to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of oncology practice so patients can live better lives. For more information, visit NCCN.org.

The NCCN Member Institutions are:

  • Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center at The Nebraska Medical Center
  • City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center
    Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
  • Duke Cancer Institute
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center / Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
  • The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
  • Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
  • Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Moffitt Cancer Center
  • The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute
  • Roswell Park Cancer Institute
  • Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine
  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • Stanford Cancer Institute
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
  • UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • University of Colorado Cancer Center
  • University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
  • Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital