'Tis New Year's Eve and time to wish everyone all the best for 2010 from us at Pharma Strategy Blog. 2009 has been a very long year and it's time to draw it to a close and look forward rather than back. A quick review of 2009 and a forward look at 2010 can be found here.
All the comments, suggestions and email correspondence that we've received has been sincerely appreciated. When this blog restarted in Feb 2008, I never thought it would be half as successful or as fun as it has been, so a big thank you to all our readers, we appreciate it and enjoy learning from you too.
For starters, today I'm going to resist the temptation to post the top 5 blogs of the year or even the five I liked the most, which are not necessarily the same thing, as that would be somewhat self serving.
Instead, I'm going to think about 5 things that I hope to see in 2010 and beyond gain some traction in the cancer field:
- Maintenance therapy
- Better techniques for earlier detection of carcinomas
- Predictive and prognostic biomarkers
- Improvement in overall survival in NSCLC
- New inhibitors making progress such as MET/MEK/ALK
Nanotechnology got hot at AACR this year with several groups using nanocells to deliver more drug inside the tumour, to great effect. Better options for maintenance therapy is very much needed, especially in AML, where there is a big need to improve durability of remission. It seems odd that there are guidelines for such treatment in ALL but not AML. Time to change that, methinks.
Obviously, the earlier you detect a cancer, can treat it with surgery with or without therapy, the better the long term survival. Numerous cancers are not detected until later stages, eg pancreatic cancer, but there is a lot of basic research going on to delineate biochemical changes that suggest a cancer is there. Biomarkers have only begun to scratch the surface in oncology; I have a feeling we will start to see more progress in this area next year, perhaps by AACR in April.
There are a number of exciting compounds in late stage (phase III) development, some of which may well have some interesting data at next year's ASCO. Expect more posts on this throughout 2010.
Last, but by no means least, I've been following various MET/ALK and MEK inhibitors at AACR for a few years now and while they clearly may not be effective as single agent therapy, data may well mature next year in various combination trials. Watch this space on that area!
What are you looking forward to in 2010?