NCCN News

Researchers Receive Grants From NCCN Oncology Research Program Funded Through Onyx Pharmaceuticals

The NCCN Oncology Research Program (ORP) recently awarded 4 research grants to investigators following NCCN ORP Scientific Review Committee analysis of proposals submitted in response to the NCCN Carfilzomib and Oprozomib Request for Proposals (RFP). These grants were made possible through a grant from Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an Amgen subsidiary, to scientifically evaluate and define clinical effectiveness of carfilzomib and oprozomib in non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas.

“The mission of the NCCN ORP is to improve cancer care by facilitating research collaborations to study and evaluate new and promising treatments,” said Diane Paul, MS, RN, Vice President, NCCN ORP. “We are proud to work with Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in this collaboration, which aims to identify treatment advances that could help patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas.”

Carfilzomib is a tetrapeptide epoxyketone that is an irreversible inhibitor specific for the chymotryptic site of the 20S proteasome. It has a sustained target suppression of proteasome-mediated proteolysis with consequent accumulation of polyubiquinated proteins, which may cause cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and inhibition of tumor growth.

Oprozomib is a novel oral proteasome inhibitor that inhibits the chymotryptic site of the 20S proteasome. Like carfilzomib, oprozomib is an epoxyketone; however, it is a structural homologue of carfilzomib that is orally bioavailable. Oral administration also results in prolonged inhibition of proteasome.

The following proposals have been awarded funding:

  • Jeremy Abramson, MD, MMSc; Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center: Phase I Study of Carfilzomib Plus Belinostat in Relapsed/Refractory non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Subtypes
  • Charalambos Andreadis, MD, MSCE; UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center: A Phase Ib Dose Escalation Trial of Carfilzomib in Combination with Bendamustine and Rituximab in Patients with Relapsed or Refractory non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Steven Horwitz, MD; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: A Phase Ib/IIa Study of Combination Therapy with Oprozomib, Romidepsin, Lenalidomide in Patients with Relapsed or Refractory B- and T-cell Lymphomas
  • Stephen Smith, MD; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center: Oprozomib +/- Rituximab: Response-Adapted Therapy in Untreated Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia

The awardees responded to an RFP issued by the NCCN ORP to the 23 NCCN Member Institutions. Submissions were peer reviewed by the NCCN Carfilzomib and Oprozomib Scientific Review Committee. The funded concepts were selected based on several key criteria, including scientific merit, existing data, and the types of studies necessary to further evaluate the activity of carfilzomib and oprozomib.

NCCN Qualifies Northside Hospital Cancer Institute for Affiliate Research Project

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Affiliate Research Project (ARP), developed by the NCCN Oncology Research Program (ORP), has qualified Northside Hospital Cancer Institute for the project. Northside Hospital Cancer Institute is a community-based associate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center—1 of the 23 NCCN Member Institutions.

“The newly established collaboration between NCCN and Northside Hospital Cancer Institute will benefit both patients and investigators involved in NCCN ORP-funded clinical trials,” said Diane Paul, MS, RN, Vice President, NCCN ORP. “NCCN is excited to welcome Northside Hospital Cancer Institute as the newest affiliate in this landmark project.”

Located in Atlanta, Georgia, with 33 satellite facilities across the state of Georgia, Northside Hospital Cancer Institute is operating as an NCCN ARP site under the leadership of Guilherme Cantuaria, MD, PhD, Medical Director and Principal Investigator, NCI Community Cancer Center Program at Northside Hospital Cancer Institute, and is the 10th community-based NCCN Member Institution affiliate to quality for the NCCN ARP, increasing the scope of potential patients for the more than 75 actively accruing ORP clinical trials. Northside Hospital Cancer Institute joins Medical Center of Central Georgia in representing the University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center as a community-based affiliate in the project.

“We are delighted to be joining the NCCN ARP, as we continuously strive to offer our cancer patients access to the very latest in clinical trials, research, and treatments,” said Dr. Cantuaria. “It remains paramount that Northside continues to provide the most comprehensive cancer care to our patients in order to offer them the very best clinical outcomes possible.”

As part of the project, Northside Hospital Cancer Institute will have access to new and innovative cancer drugs for patients in collaboration with NCCN Member Institutions, and Principal Investigators of NCCN-funded studies will have access to Northside Hospital Cancer Institute as an NCCN-qualified community site.

The mission of the NCCN ARP is to improve patient outcomes and advance medical science through clinical research conducted collaboratively among the 23 NCCN Member Institutions and their community-based affiliate members.

In addition to Northside Hospital Cancer Institute and Medical Center of Central Georgia, affiliates within the project include Atlanticare Cancer Institute, South Jersey Healthcare, and Virtua, affiliates of Fox Chase Cancer Center; Bozeman Deaconess Hospital, MultiCare Health System, and Wenatchee Valley Medical Center, affiliates of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance; and Lehigh Valley Health Network and Norton Cancer Institute, affiliates of Moffitt Cancer Center.

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