National Comprehensive Cancer Network

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NCCN Receives $2.1 Million in Oncology Research Funding from Pfizer


NCCN recently received a $2.1 million research grant from Pfizer to gain further insights into the use of the investigational compound Axitinib in various tumor types. Investigators from NCCN Member Institutions are eligible to apply for the research funding.


November 30, 2010

FORT WASHINGTON, PA — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) has been awarded a $2.1 million grant from Pfizer to develop a program to scientifically evaluate and define the clinical activity of axitinib in various tumor types.

“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,” said William T. McGivney, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN. “NCCN is committed to enhancing cancer care by evaluating new investigational agents such as axitinib to determine their full potential in treating several types of cancer.”

The first phase of the program will involve the establishment of an NCCN Axitinib Request for Proposals Development Team to evaluate existing data and to discuss and define the types of studies necessary to further evaluate the activity of axitinib in solid tumors.

Axitinib is an oral and selective inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGF) I, II and III which may play roles in tumor growth, vascular angiogenesis and metastatic progression of cancer. Axitinib has been tested in various phase I, II and III trials including thyroid cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and advanced renal cell carcinoma. An additional phase II trial in HCC is underway. Pfizer recently announced that the global randomized phase III AXIS 1032 trial (A4061032), studying axitinib in previously treated patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC), met its primary endpoint of progression free survival. Axitinib is an investigational compound.

“It is a privilege for us to have the opportunity to collaborate with NCCN on the further evaluation of axitinib,” said Mace Rothenberg, MD, Senior Vice President of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs for Pfizer’s Oncology Business Unit. “Partnerships like this are vitally important in cancer research. By working collaboratively across the scientific community, Pfizer Oncology hopes to add to the broader understanding of new medications and to further our shared goal of improving the outlook for cancer patients worldwide.”

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. The ORP will use the grant from Pfizer to support investigator initiated clinical and correlative studies at its NCCN Member Institutions for axitinib. This research grant model has been very successful in moving science forward as evidenced by the many scientific articles published on ORP supported research.

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