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NCCN Awards Grants to Three Researchers to Investigate Volasertib in Hematologic Malignancies

The NCCN Oncology Research Program has awarded three research grants to investigate the safety and effectiveness of volasertib in hematologic malignancies.

FORT WASHINGTON, PA — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) Oncology Research Program (ORP) has awarded three grants to investigators from NCCN Member Institutions to scientifically evaluate and define the safety and clinical effectiveness of the investigational compound volasertib in the treatment of hematologic malignancies. These grants are made possible through funding from Boehringer Ingelheim, Inc.

“This award allows researchers from three NCCN Member Institutions to focus on clinical evaluation of this novel Polo-like kinase inhibitor,” said Robert C. Young, MD, Interim Vice President, NCCN ORP. “We are grateful for our ongoing collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim to advance clinical research and improve the lives of people with cancer.”

The following proposals have been awarded funding:

Volasertib is an investigational compound that inhibits enzymes called Polo-like kinase (PLK). PLK1 is the best characterized kinase of the PLK family. PLK1 regulates cell division (mitosis). This inhibition can result in prolonged cell cycle arrest, ultimately leading to cell death (apoptosis).1 Volasertib is currently being evaluated in clinical trials for various solid tumors and hematologic malignancies.

The awardees responded to a Request for Proposals issued by the NCCN ORP to the 26 NCCN Member Institutions. Submissions were peer reviewed by the NCCN Volasertib Scientific Review Committee. The funded concepts were selected based on several criteria, including scientific merit, existing data, and the types of studies necessary to further evaluate the safety and efficacy of volasertib.

The NCCN ORP draws on the expertise of the investigators of NCCN Member Institutions and NCCN Affiliate Research Consortium (ARC) to facilitate all phases of clinical research. This research is made possible by collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in order to advance therapeutic options for patients with cancer.

For more information about NCCN ORP, visit NCCN.org/ORP.

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1  Döhner, H. Randomized, phase 2 trial of low-dose cytarabine with or without volasertib in AML patients not suitable for induction therapy. Blood. 2014. 124 (9) 1426-1433.

About Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation.

Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, the company operates globally with 146 affiliates and more than 47,000 employees. Since its founding in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel treatments for human and veterinary medicine.

Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to improving lives and providing valuable services and support to patients and families. Our employees create and engage in programs that strengthen our communities. To learn more about how we make more health for more people, visit our Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

For more information please visit www.us.boehringer-ingelheim.com, or follow us on Twitter @BoehringerUS. 

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 27 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
  • Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
  • 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
  • University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
  • Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
  • Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital