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(C) Wolf G Kroner 2014 - Prof. Christof von KalleTransition Cancer Research Translation

September 2014. Companies offering cancer diagnostics or drugs abound. A few successful products are efficient and evidence attractive opportunities for profit-making, which fuel investors’ fantasies in turn. However translation of cancer research into a broader spectrum of tangible clinical results – paediatric or geriatric ones – continues to fall short of high hopes.

In the exclusive conversation with B2Bioworld Christof von Kalle, Head of the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) at Heidelberg provides a sense of how wishful wangling or group think lead up to deadends in personalised medicine. NCT is a dozens of million Euros translational venture by the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), German Cancer Aid, biobanks and university hospitals in the Rhine-Neckar region. It services drug companies like AbbVie/Abbott, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck Serono, Roche, or recently Sanofi. It has stakes in molecular diagnostics and radiological imaging accompanied by SAP-investors and others.

What is at issue in research on checkpoint inhibitors, cancer stem cells, myelodysplastic syndromes, lung cancers or other tumours? How beneficial are the European Medicines Agency’s or the UK pharma’s initiatives to open up access to clinical trials data for R&D centres like NCT? What about French regulatory requirements? When does a hype of research about molecular cancer biomarkers achieve the opposite? An enriching perspective on delicate issues.

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