Today’s Brain Cancer Trials are Not Working
Brain cancer is a vicious disease. It has cut down larger-than-life figures, including English football star Emlyn Hughes, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, presenter and “face of Sky News” Bob Friend, and others who had access to the best medical care on the planet.
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common form of brain cancer in adults, and the most deadly. An extremely aggressive cancer, GBM invades throughout the brain and damages critical neural functions. Only 5% of GBM patients will survive 5 years after diagnosis and half of patients will only survive 15 or fewer months. New treatments for GBM are desperately needed
WHO estimates that the incidence of GBM worldwide is 2-3 people per 100,000 people, which means that the burden in China could exceed 40,000 cases per year.
Why? Because despite the hundreds of conventional clinical trials conducted for GBM, virtually none has been successful.
Clinical trials are the key to finding treatments, but today’s system cannot meet the unique challenges posed by
GBM. According to the current standard practice:
- Trials typically take 3-7 years to produce results. This means by the time a trial is completed, its treatment protocol is already many years old.
- Trials cannot be modified after they begin. This means that each patient gets only one chance, with only one treatment, and we learn little.
- The relatively low incidence of GBM (less than 2% of cancer cases worldwide) poses a great challenge to patient recruitment, as no single institution has enough patients to conduct a comprehensive trial. In the era of precision medicine, where variations in tumor genetics lead to variations in optimal treatment, the challenge is magnified.
We cannot afford to wait several years for many small and scattered trials to complete; one thing these patients do not have is time.
AGILE: Adaptive Global Innovative Learning Environment
AFCR has joined a group of world-class leaders to meet this challenge. The scale of this effort to defeat GBM is unprecedented, with over 150 participants from more than 40 leading cancer institutions, including 301 Hospital; Beijing Shijitan Hospital; Beijing Tian Tan Hospital; Huashan Hospital, Fudan University; Peking Union Medical College Hospital; West China Hospital, Sichuan University; and top institutions in the U.S. and Australia. Under the leadership of the Executive Committee, chaired by Dr. Anna Barker, Director of National Biomarker Development Alliance and including AFCR Founder & CEO Dr. Ba Sujuan, a revolutionary new framework for GBM clinical trials has emerged: AGILE: the Adaptive, Global, Innovative Learning Environment.
Trials conducted within the AGILE framework are designed to do exactly what their traditional counterparts cannot:
- Adaptive trials are designed to investigate multiple treatments and combinations of treatments in parallel, at the same time. Their design is also continuously updated, to incorporate the latest information.
- This provides an Innovative Learning Environment, in which ineffective treatments can be shut down early, and new treatments can be initiated quickly, so that trials are allowed to “Fail Fast,” and then to “Correct even Faster.”
- To overcome the tremendous challenge of patient recruitment, top hospitals and research institutions from around the world are committed to combining their resources and expertise to this adaptive trial – making this a truly Global effort.
The GBM AGILE learning system will enable faster and more efficacious testing of new agents and combinations; better identification of predictive/prognostic GBM biomarkers; and delivery of more effective treatments to all GBM patients.
In sum, this is a more AGILE approach to defeating GBM. The goal is to allow GBM patients to quickly share in the benefits of more effective therapies, providing new hope where little currently exists.
Make An Impact
You Can Bring the Hope to GBM Patients
Your support of AFCR will enable the GBM AGILE initiative to turn the tide against the world’s deadliest brain tumor. Furthermore, the AGILE system we built could ultimately improve clinical trials and improve outcomes for all patients in the future.
AFCR has been entrusted to secure the future of this important work. Today, we have set an initial fundraising goal of HK$500,000.
Can we count on your support today? When you make a generous gift to AFCR, you give HOPE to every person in Asia and around the world who is fighting this cruel disease.
In short, your support will lead directly to a revolutionary new approach to defeating GBM and creating more survivors! Please take a moment to renew your support today.
Make a donation here.