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Researchers Receive Grants from NCCN Oncology Research Program Funded Through GlaxoSmithKline


The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) Oncology Research Program (ORP) recently awarded research grants to investigators following a review of proposals submitted in response to the NCCN Dabrafenib and Trametinib Request for Proposals. These grants were made possible through a $4-million research grant from GlaxoSmithKline to scientifically evaluate and define clinical effectiveness of dabrafenib (GSK2118436) and trametinib (GSK1120212) in treatment of advanced melanoma and other advanced cancers.


FORT WASHINGTON, PA – The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) Oncology Research Program (ORP) recently awarded 11 research grants to investigators following a review of proposals submitted in response to the NCCN Dabrafenib and Trametinib Request for Proposals. These grants were made possible through a $4-million research grant from GlaxoSmithKline to scientifically evaluate the clinical effectiveness of dabrafenib (GSK2118436) and trametinib (GSK1120212) in treatment of advanced melanoma and other cancers.

The NCCN ORP is pleased to have the opportunity to work with GlaxoSmithKline on the dabrafenib and trametinib research projects, said Diane Paul, MS, RN, Vice President, NCCN ORP. These 11 new studies – bringing the total ORP clinical trials to more than 70 – afford the NCCN Member Institutions and their investigators the opportunity to identify breakthroughs in various cancer settings, and determine whether these drugs can improve patient outcomes.

According to GlaxoSmithKline: Dabrafenib (GSK2118436) is an investigational, orally bioavailable, selective RAF kinase inhibitor (BRAF). Activating mutations in BRAF are present in approximately 50 percent of melanoma and approximately eight percent of all cancers. The mutation appears to have a direct role in activating the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway, which controls processes such as cell proliferation, differentiation, survival, and apoptosis (cell death).

Trametinib (GSK1120212) is also an investigational, orally bioavailable inhibitor of mitogen-activated extracellular signal regulated kinase 1 (MEK1) and MEK2. MEK proteins are key components of the extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) pathway, which is commonly hyper-activated in tumor cells. Constant and unregulated activation of this pathway has been implicated in many cancers. MEK 1/2 are thought to play a role in the activation of key signaling pathways that regulate cell growth.
The following proposals for dabrafenib have been awarded funding:

The following proposals for trametinib have been awarded funding:

The awardees responded to a Request for Proposals issued by the NCCN ORP to the 21 NCCN Member Institutions. Submissions were peer reviewed by the NCCN Dabrafenib and Trametinib Scientific Review Committees. The awardees were selected based on several key criteria, including scientific merit, existing data, and the types of studies necessary to further evaluate the activity of dabrafenib and trametinib.

The NCCN ORP is organized to obtain funding to support scientifically meritorious research projects at NCCN Member Institutions. Policies and standards for the program were set by the NCCN Investigator Steering Committee, a group comprised of senior research physicians appointed by each NCCN Member Institution. The NCCN ORP has received more than $36 million in research grants from major pharmaceutical companies to support investigator-initiated trials. These trials explore new venues of clinical investigation that answer important scientific questions. Studies evaluate combinations and sequencing regimens of drugs, drug resistance, mechanisms of action of specific agents, or explore extended uses for scientific agents.

About GlaxoSmithKline

GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world`s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit www.gsk.com.

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