Friends of Cancer Research

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Friends of Cancer Research
Friends of Cancer Research (logo).jpg
Focus"Advocating for policies and solutions that will get treatments to patients in the safest and quickest way possible."[1]
Key people
Ellen V. Sigal, Marlene Malek

Friends of Cancer Research is a non-profit cancer research think tank and advocacy organization based in Washington, DC.


Friends of Cancer Research was founded in 1996 to mark the 25th Anniversary of the National Cancer Act.[2] Initially founded as a coalition of cancer research and advocacy organizations, Friends of Cancer Research held town hall meetings to educate the public about cancer research.[3]


Friends of Cancer Research develops public-private partnerships and advocates for policies intended to improve and expedite drug research, development, and regulation, and cancer treatment. Friends organizes conferences, forums, and working groups to educate and promote collaboration among federal health organizations, academic research centers, private companies, and patient advocacy groups.[4]

In 2011 and 2012, Friends of Cancer Research led the development of the FDA's Breakthrough Therapy designation, an expedited review pathway for drugs that show clinical evidence of superiority to existing treatments early in their development.[5][6] The pathway was signed into law on July 9, 2012 as part of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act. By January, 2015, 71 drugs and biologics had been designated as Breakthrough Therapies and the program had facilitated 18 drug approvals.[7]

Beginning in 2012, Friends of Cancer Research organized a series of conference panels and workshops to develop a new clinical trial structure for targeted squamous cell lung cancer drugs.[8] The resulting trial, Lung-MAP (Lung Cancer Master Protocol), is an "umbrella trial" that simultaneously tests several different experimental drugs targeting different genetic mutations. The trial is a collaboration among NIH, FDA, SWOG, Foundation Medicine, Friends of Cancer Research, and several pharmaceutical companies.[9] Lung-MAP began enrolling patients on June 15, 2014.[10]


  1. ^ "About Us". Friends of Cancer Research. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  2. ^ Srneltz, Katie Jill (1997). "Major Cancer Groups Form "Friends of Cancer Research"". Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 89 (3): 192–194. doi:10.1093/jnci/89.3.192. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Yale Cancer Center Answers" (PDF). Yale Cancer Center. WNPR Connecticut Public Radio. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Friends of Cancer Research events and conferences archive". Friends of Cancer Research. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  5. ^ Clarke, Toni (Jul 25, 2013). "U.S. drugmakers cheer 'speed lane' for breakthrough therapies". Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Guidance for Industry Expedited Programs for Serious Conditions – Drugs and Biologics" (PDF). US Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  7. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions: Breakthrough Therapies". Food and Drug Administration. FDA. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  8. ^ Mullard, Asher. "Multicompany trials adapt to disciplines beyond cancer". Nature Medicine. Nature Publishing Group. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  9. ^ "About Lung-MAP". Lung-MAP. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  10. ^ Marchione, Marilynn. "New study aims to rapidly test lung cancer drugs". Associated Press. Associated Press. Retrieved 29 April 2015.

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