New approach to cancer research aims to accelerate studies and reduce cost
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IMAGE: This is Hagop Kantarjian, M.D. view more 

Credit: MD Anderson Cancer Center

HOUSTON — A new model for improving how clinical trials are developed and conducted by bringing together academic cancer experts and pharmaceutical companies is being tested by research experts at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

An assessment of the alternative research model was published in the May 14 online issue of Cancer. The model was piloted in a multi-study leukemia research program established between MD Anderson and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and revamped how studies were designed and carried out.

Current methodology often limits patient access to and eligibility for studies, slows down drug development and increases costs. Since the 1980s, drug companies have employed Contract Research Organizations (CROs) – outside groups that have limited input from academic cancer experts and that focus on the one-drug, one-cancer approach to designing clinical trials with restrictive guidelines for patient eligibility.

The model allows researchers to arrive at findings more quickly, to conduct multiple clinical trials of pharmaceutical company drugs across several cancer types, to lessen expenses and to increase the likelihood of finding medical solutions more quickly. MD Anderson has more than 50 research partnerships and

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