A 2012 Annual Meeting Report from the USCACA
This past June, more than 200 people attended the 4th U.S. Chinese Anti-Cancer Association (USCACA) Annual Meeting, which highlighted the importance of collaboration in addressing cancer challenges. The meeting was held in conjunction with the 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago.
During the meeting, Yi-long Wu, FACS, President-Elect of the Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology (CSCO), introduced the USCACA-CSCO collaborative initiatives in promoting the clinical utilities of biomarkers in anti-cancer drug development in China. Two honorable guests Jin Gu, MD, President of CSCO, and Margaret Foti, MD, PHD, CEO of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), spoke on the importance of a collaborative effort to conquer cancer and congratulated USCACA on its achievements in promoting collaboration in cancer research.
Meeting attendees learned about the state-of-the-art capacity of START Shanghai, the first internationally integrated phase 1 clinical research center in China. The center is a partnership between the South Texas Accelerated Therapeutics, in San Antonio, Texas, and Fuhdan University Shanghai Cancer Hospital, in China.
Other topics including possibilities of partnership for co-development from two prominent Chinese pharmaceutical companies, Hutchison MediPharma and Hengrui Pharmaceutical Co, were discussed. A panel discussion, led by a group of R&D leaders from global pharmaceutical industries, focused on key issues in oncology translational research and early development capabilities in China, novel chemical entity development and partnership with Chinese companies, and Chinese participation in global oncology drug development. The panelists shared their opinions and recommended possible solutions for critical issues in these areas. Panelists also announced that additional clinical phase 1 research centers are being established, and the State Food and Drug Administration of China is working to shorten the Investigational New Drug review period.
USCACA (www.uscaca.org) —a non-profit organization promoting partnerships among Chinese and American professionals in cancer research, treatment, and prevention—“has accomplished a great deal since its inception,” said Wei Zhang, PhD, president of USCACA, during the event. Dr. Zhang also highlighted the organization’s extensive collaborations between academic organizations, pharmaceutical industries, and government agencies.
As a young organization, USCACA has actively sought advice from the lead cancer-research associations with similar missions, such as ASCO, CSCO, and AACR. For example, David Johnson, MD, a former ASCO President, is currently serving on the USCACA Board of Directors to guide the organization’s strategy. Yi-long Wu, FACS, and Lillian Siu, MD, who are members of the ASCO International Affairs Committee, have also played pivotal roles in a variety of USCACA initiatives since its founding.
USCACA has also engaged various stakeholders in developing strategies to facilitate anti-cancer drug development in China. For example, the association has co-organized international conferences and workshops with CSCO to promote Chinese participation in the early phase of clinical trials and to expand the use of biomarkers in clinical trials in China. USCACA has also established the USCACA National Foundation for Cancer Research scholarship to support overseas returnees in further continuing cancer research in China, and the Hengrui-USCACA scholarship to fund the training of Chinese clinical researchers in early oncology clinical trials in the United States.