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CNS Oncol. 2017 Jul 18. doi: 10.2217/cns-2017-0014. [Epub ahead of print]

CNS Anticancer Drug Discovery and Development: 2016 conference insights.

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Department of Neurosurgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 94143, USA.
Department of Neuro-Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Hoffman-La Roche Ltd, Basel, Switzerland.
Senior Scientist, Genentech, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.
Department of Chemistry, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA.
Oncological & Pharmacological Sciences, Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.
Department of Neurology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 949143, USA (W.A.W.), CA, USA.
Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, Albany, NY 12208, USA (J.M.G.).


CNS Anticancer Drug Discovery and Development November 2016, AZ, USA The 2016 second CNS Anticancer Drug Discovery and Development Conference addressed diverse viewpoints about why new drug discovery/development focused on CNS cancers has been sorely lacking. Despite more than 70,000 individuals in the USA being diagnosed with a primary brain malignancy and 151,669-286,486 suffering from metastatic CNS cancer, in 1999, temozolomide was the last drug approved by the US FDA as an anticancer agent for high-grade gliomas. Among the topics discussed were economic factors and pharmaceutical risk assessments, regulatory constraints and perceptions and the need for improved imaging surrogates of drug activity. Included were modeling tumor growth and drug effects in a medical environment in which direct tumor sampling for biological effects can be problematic, potential new drugs under investigation and targets for drug discovery and development. The long trajectory and diverse impediments to novel drug discovery, and expectation that more than one drug will be needed to adequately inhibit critical intracellular tumor pathways were viewed as major disincentives for most pharmaceutical/biotechnology companies. While there were a few unanimities, one consensus is the need for continued and focused discussion among academic and industry scientists and clinicians to address tumor targets, new drug chemistry, and more time- and cost-efficient clinical trials based on surrogate end points.


academia; chemotherapy; gliomas; medulloblastoma; neuro-oncology; pharmaceutical industry

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