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NCCN Announces Funding for Advanced Prostate Cancer Research Projects

The NCCN Oncology Research Program (ORP) announced grants awarded for developing innovative investigator-initiated research involving the medication relugolix. Funding will be provided through support from Pfizer Global Medical Grants and Sumitomo Pharma America, Inc. (previously known as Myovant Sciences, Inc.).

Relugolix is a gonadotropin hormone–releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist indicated for the treatment of adult patients with advanced prostate cancer and is the only approved oral androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for this indication. The benefit of combining additional therapies with ADT has been established in the treatment of various stages of advanced prostate cancer, including metastatic and nonmetastatic as well as in androgen-sensitive and castration-resistant settings.

“The aim of this project is to develop studies that will advance scientific knowledge regarding combination therapies that include relugolix in the treatment of patients with advanced prostate cancer,” explained Crystal S. Denlinger, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN. “Congratulations to these inspiring investigators. Their research will help us learn more about how to care for people with advanced prostate cancer.”

The selected projects are:

  • • Atish Choudhury, MD, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

    • ➤ Comeback From Long Course ADT With Relugolix and Darolutamide in Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer (CLEARED)

  • • Sagar Patel, MD, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

    • ➤ Randomized Controlled Trial of Leuprolide Plus Abiraterone Acetate (AA) Versus Relugolix Plus AA for Advanced Prostate Cancer

  • • Sean Sachdev, MD, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University

    • ➤ Optimizing Treatment and Advanced Multi-Imaging Response Evaluation for Very High-Risk Prostate Cancer (OPTIMAL)

  • • Kelly Stratton, MD, OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences

    • ➤ Phase IB Trial of Relugolix and Enzalutamide as Neoadjuvant/Adjuvant to Local-Regional Treatment in Patients With High-Risk Locally-Advanced Prostate Cancer

Proposals were peer reviewed by a scientific review committee, which consisted of leading expert oncologists from NCCN Member Institutions. The selected projects are set to be completed within 5 years. Approximately $3.5 million in funding will be provided across all grants.

The NCCN ORP fosters innovation and knowledge discovery that improve the lives of people with cancer and supports preclinical, translational, and clinical research and quality improvement projects in oncology at NCCN Member Institutions. In an effort to improve collaboration in cancer research, the NCCN ORP also maintains a shared resources website, an informed consent database, and points to consider on the best practices for biorepositories, registries, and databases. For more information, visit NCCN.org/orp.

NCCN and SLACOM Host International Symposium to Improve Breast Cancer Care in Latin America

On November 30, 2023, the Latin American and Caribbean Society of Medical Oncology (SLACOM) and NCCN hosted the Latin American Regional Breast Cancer Summit: Advocating and Implementing Guideline-Concordant Cancer Care for Patients. Esteemed experts from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Columbia, Peru, and the United States presented challenges, barriers, and potential solutions for improving access to guideline-concordant breast cancer care in the Latin American region. The regional summit provided an opportunity for a diverse group of multidisciplinary experts to identify and fill any knowledge gaps in breast cancer care and health system processes for cancer prevention and control in Latin America.

Visit NCCN.org/global for cancer treatment resources that have been tailored for specific regions or translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and other languages.

“There is a clear and urgent need to improve our current processes and systems, including those that guide patients in navigating health systems in Latin America,” said Eduardo L. Cazap, MD, PhD, founder and first President of SLACOM. “We hope that the findings and recommendations from the SLACOM/NCCN Working Group, as well as the feedback from the Latin American Regional Breast Cancer Summit, will inform the development of Implementation Guidelines for Breast Cancer that can be used by patients, physicians, and systems to take action to address the needs of patients.”

SLACOM and NCCN first launched a project to convene thought leaders, government entities, health care providers, patients, and civil society members to conduct a rigorous analysis of cancer burden, existing guidelines and health care utilization and accessibility, gaps, obstacles, and system disruptions to guideline-concordant care in Argentina in 2022. The SLACOM/NCCN Working Group developed a set of findings and recommendations to address the major impediments to guideline implementation in breast cancer care, which were presented and discussed at the summit.

That summit also included a presentation outlining the WHO Global Breast Cancer Initiative Implementation Framework to provide a practical model to help inform the work of the group moving forward.

“We are honored to continue working alongside SLACOM and others in the Latin America region,” said Wui-Jin Koh, MD, Chief Medical Officer, NCCN. “People with cancer everywhere should have access to treatment based on established evidence-based, expert consensus guidelines. Today’s webinar is part of the SLACOM/NCCN Working Group’s ongoing commitment to develop procedures that improve the implementation of best practices in this region, according to the latest international standards.”

NCCN has previously collaborated with other groups in the Latin American region and translated resources for patients and health care providers into Spanish and other languages. Learn more about how the gold-standard NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) have been adapted for various locations and resource levels worldwide at NCCN.org/global.

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