Our organization focuses on cancer prevention because the best way to avoid cancer and the associated human and economic burdens is to keep cancer from happening. We want the story of cancer to be akin to the story of polio. As with polio, a cure for most advanced cancers does not exist, so prevention is the best strategy. With the discovery and use of the Salk/Sabin polio vaccines, most of the world is free from polio.
CPI and Cancer Prevention
Why does CPI focus on cancer prevention?
Why do research and drug development programs rarely focus on cancer prevention?
Cancer prevention clinical trials have a longer timeline than therapeutic trials and the outcomes (success or failure) are harder to test. These inherent difficulties make cancer prevention research less attractive to both the academic and pharmaceutical scientists. Academics are under pressure to publish regularly on a shorter timeline than prevention studies can meet. Similarly, many pharmaceutical companies need a quicker return on investment than cancer prevention drug development allows. There are exceptions. For example, the successful development of the HBV vaccines for hepatitis and liver cancer prevention, and HPV vaccines, which prevent cervical and head & neck cancers have been both lifesaving and profitable.
How can CPI enable cancer prevention drug discovery and development?
The hope for CPI-funded research projects is that they will lead to discoveries that provide the basis for the development of cancer prevention medicines. Our resources therefore fund scientists and physician-scientists who are interested in moving scientific discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic to make them available to patients. Overall, CPI aims to bridge the gap between basic scientific discoveries and practical therapies by encouraging research that brings cancer prevention discovery and development together.
What support does the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provide for cancer prevention research? How do the CPI resources complement the NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI)’s?
The NCI’s current cancer prevention programs include pre-clinical drug development funding and early clinical trial funding to develop therapeutic agents that can prevent cancer. CPI’s funding can precede the NCI’s as we will fund early-stage research to discover candidate targets in inherited cancers and enable scientists to then apply for funding from the NIH. More information on the NCI’s cancer prevention program can be found here.