New cancer journal tackles advances in research

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The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) will launch a new journal – Cancer Discovery – in April 2011. The peer-reviewed journal will focus on research spanning cancer science and medicine, including news, commentaries, and “Research Watch” summaries of important journal articles.

“We believe that this journal will be of interest to any professional involved in cancer science and medicine, including physician-scientists,” said Michele Sharp, an AACR spokesperson. The electronic version of the journal, which Sharp describes as the “article of record,” will be published weekly, with a print version following on a monthly basis. The first print issue is slated for July 2011.

The journal will contain advertising, and expects to feature “a mix of clients, including pharma,” according to Sharp. AACR members (of which there are approximately 32,000) will have free access to the online version in 2011. The AACR also publishes seven other titles focused on cancer research.

Speaking in a video about the launch, co-editor-in-chief Lewis Cantley said the field of cancer research has reached a moment where “suddenly we have a plethora of drugs that are hitting the targets we've been studying for 30 years.” Cantley went on to describe the importance of bringing basic scientific knowledge to bear on the design of clinical trials. Co-editor-in-chief Jose Baselga called the journal a “one-stop-shop” for cancer science, and a place for debate over clinical trial design, in the video. Cantley and Baselga are professors at Harvard Medical School, and both work in leadership roles at medical centers; Cantley at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Baselga at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.

The launch announcement for Cancer Discovery coincides with the progression of several new pipeline drugs into phase III of clinical testing. Bristol-Myers Squibb is currently testing ipilimumab for malignant melanoma, and analysts have predicted that an approval could usher in blockbuster sales by 2015. Roche and Plexxikon's PLX 4032 is also being tested for malignant melanoma, and had positive responses from patients in recent tests.

For triple-negative breast cancer, Sanofi Aventis and AstraZeneca are currently testing PARP inhibitors. Sanofi's BSI-201 is in phase III, and AstraZeneca's olaparib (AZD-2281) is in phase II. FDA has given Sanofi and its partner, BiPar Sciences, a fast-track designation for BSI-201, and the companies plan to file regulatory submissions during the first quarter of 2011.

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