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Featured Stakeholders: Patient Advocacy Groups

Featured Stakeholders:
Patient Advocacy Groups

A closer look at specific patient advocacy groups illustrates how stakeholders work collaboratively to help people with cancer. Below are a few examples selected from many choices.

Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)

MMRF has raised more than $120 million over the last ten years as of 2009, which makes it the world's leading funder of myeloma-specific research. MMRF has funded more than 90 research institutions, developed a diverse research "portfolio" of high-impact programs to deliver better treatments to patients faster, and built an incredible collaborative research model called the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) that conducts clinical trials helping with the development of novel treatments.

The work of the MMRF contributed to the FDA approval of four drugs for multiple myeloma in just four years, which is a track record unparalleled in oncology. Introduction of these treatments has helped increase life expectancy in some patients from four years to nearly seven years. Because of their success in myeloma, these same drugs are now being explored as potential treatments for more than 20 other cancers and diseases. MMRF is currently funding research into 30 compounds and combination approaches that may represent the next generation of treatments, as well as supporting the advancement of 19 clinical trials of novel compounds and combination approaches through the MMRC's clinical trials network.


Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2)

ABC2 provides pivotal support to novel translational research aimed at moving as quickly as possible from basic discovery to treatments used in the clinic. They recognize the importance of investing in the early stages of the most novel sectors of the discovery and development pipeline in order to "buy down the risk" for partners and speed progress of innovative new treatments to the clinic. Innovative examples of ABC2-funded projects include the following:

  • ABC2 and the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University formed the Preclinical Screening Program- a groundbreaking collaboration that establishes a critical missing link between the biopharmaceutical industry's efforts to produce potentially life-saving drugs and the theoretical knowledge at the cutting edge of scientific inquiry.
  • Funding allows researchers from any sector-academia, industry, and government- to submit compounds to Duke for screening that hold the potential to benefit brain cancer research free of charge. This program encourages researchers, corporations, and federal agencies to test both approved and experimental therapies that target other types of cancers for their potential benefit to brain cancer patients. To date, more than 150 compounds have been tested or are under consideration by this program. Researchers at Duke have initiated trials for 18 therapies for brain tumor patients on the basis of results obtained through the Duke Preclinical Testing Program.
  • Supported by ABC2, The Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) is developing a GDxBase informatics system, web portal, and accompanying software tools based on a framework for disease-oriented websites developed by ISB and its collaborators. This resource will enable the creation of a comprehensive database and analytical framework to assess relationships between the various ongoing and past brain cancer research initiatives. Following a review of published research studies, ISB will identify gaps in research and test for correlations between previously unrelated research projects.

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