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The NCI held its 64th Meeting of the Director’s Consumer Liaison Group (DCLG) on Friday, February 21, 2014. For those who did not attend, either in person or via the webcast, or want to see it again, you can visit the NIH website and watch the entire 5 hour 45 minute program. This link will bring you directly to the webcast page. Click Here

This was an extremely enlightening program. The panels discussed the Potential Role of the Pediatric Cancer Advocacy Community in Reducing Barriers to Drug Development as well as Advancing Pediatric Cancer Research Through Advocacy.

Considerable emphasis was placed on the need for bio-specimens because childhood cancers are so rare. A call was made for tumor samples, especially at the time of relapse or from an autopsy. It was noted that childhood cancers are ‘pure’ in the respect that they are not affected by environmental factors like adult cancers are, but that most childhood cancer clinical research is based on adult cancer priorities.

The talks that I would suggest you watch are:

  • Dr. John Maris, Director, Center for Childhood Cancer Research, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – at roughly 25 minutes on the timeline.
  • Dr. Malcolm Smith, Associate Branch Chief for Pediatric Oncology, Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (NCI) – starts at roughly 1:00 on the timeline.
  • Dr. Lee Helman, Scientific Director for Clinical Research at the Center for Cancer Research (NCI) – at roughly 1:38 on the timeline
  • Dr. Peter Adamson, Chief, Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – at roughly 2:18 on the timeline.

This is a must watch program for anyone involved with advocating for children’s cancer.

The meeting focused on barriers to drug development in pediatric cancer research and included participants from the pediatric cancer advocacy community, as well as private and public sector presenters.