Recent coverage in the media has highlighted the importance of having Clinical Trials as options in Cancer Treatment. ICORG has approximately 50 active Cancer Clinical Trials and has plans to open a further 30 trials in 2012, in many disease areas including Breast, Lung and Melanoma.
Robert Byrne joined ICORG in January in the role of Clinical Project Manager.
The British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP visited Dublin in January. Mr Clegg held meetings with President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton.
On the 9th of February 2012 Dr James Reilly visited the ICORG Central Office, this was the first time a Minister for Health had done so. In the 75 mins of presentations, discussion and Q & A, the Minister indicated that he was impressed with all the Group had achieved, was extremely supportive of the role of research and the many benefits it brings to a health system, and was keen to see ICORG grow and flourish.
On Tuesday 28th February 2012, Dr. Dennis Slamon gave a talk in Herbert Park Hotel, Ballsbridge. This was open to the public. Dr. Slamon took questions from a large and curious audience which included patients, relatives and people interested in cancer.
Ireland leads the way in the crizotinib trial with referral from ICORG hospitals all over the country. This has resulted in St. James’s Hospital being the leading European site. All the more exciting when you look at the early data for this drug. In the early phase studies more than 60 percent of lung cancer patients who received crizotinib were alive after two years, according to data released in June 2011.
Last year ICORG was involved in a strong push to bring the GSK BRAF Melanoma study to this country. It was a highly competitive situation because the early data for BRAF inhibitors hinted strongly that they would be active in melanoma. Only about 20-25% of countries applying to participate worldwide could actually take part.
The ICORG 08-02 Nilotinib study has reached its target accrual of 60 patients in May 2011. The last 8 patients were accrued within 8 weeks, just making the mid-May deadline. As a result of this great study teamwork and effort we are able to report on the primary objective for all 60 patients. Upon study completion an abstract has been recently submitted to a top U.S. meeting (American Society of Hematology (ASH)) and we are hopeful that it will be accepted as an oral presentation at the next ASH meeting in December 2011.