The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Oncology Research Program (ORP), of which the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is a member, recently awarded four research grants to investigators following NCCN ORP Scientific Review Committee analysis of proposals submitted in response to the NCCN Carfilzomib and Oprozomib Request for Proposals (RFP). These grants were made possible through a grant from Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an Amgen subsidiary, to scientifically evaluate and define clinical effectiveness of carfilzomib and oprozomib in non-Hodgkin lymphomas.
“The mission of the NCCN ORP is to improve cancer care by facilitating research collaborations to study and evaluate new and promising treatments,” explained Diane Paul, MS, RN, Vice President, NCCN ORP, in a press release from the Network. “We are proud to work with Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in this collaboration, which aims to identify treatment advances that could help patients with non-Hodgkin lymphomas.”
Carfilzomib is a tetrapeptide epoxyketone that is an irreversible inhibitor specific for the chymotryptic site of the 20S proteasome. It has a sustained target suppression of proteasome-mediated proteolysis with consequent accumulation of polyubiquinated proteins, which may cause cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and inhibition of tumor growth.
Oprozomib is a novel oral proteasome inhibitor that inhibits the chymotryptic site of the 20S proteasome. Like carfilzomib, oprozomib is an epoxyketone; however, it is a structural homologue of carfilzomib that is orally bioavailable. Oral administration also results in prolonged inhibition of proteasome.
- Jeremy Abramson, MD, MMSc; Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center: Phase I Study of Carfilzomib Plus Belinostat in Relapsed/Refractory non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Subtypes
- Charalambos Andreadis, MD, MSCE; UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center: A Phase Ib Dose Escalation Trial of Carfilzomib in Combination with Bendamustine and Rituximab in Patients with Relapsed or Refractory non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Steven Horwitz, MD; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: A Phase Ib/IIa Study of Combination Therapy with Oprozomib, Romidepsin, Lenalidomide in Patients with Relapsed or Refractory B- and T-cell Lymphomas
- Stephen Smith, MD; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center: Oprozomib +/- Rituximab: Response-Adapted Therapy in Untreated Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia
The awardees’ submissions were peer reviewed by the NCCN Carfilzomib and Oprozomib Scientific Review Committee. The funded concepts were selected based on several key criteria, including scientific merit, existing data, and the types of studies necessary to further evaluate the activity of carfilzomib and oprozomib.
The NCCN ORP is organized to obtain funding to support scientifically meritorious research projects at NCCN Member Institutions. Policies and standards for the program are set by the NCCN Investigator Steering Committee, a group comprised of senior research physicians appointed by each NCCN Member Institution. The NCCN ORP has received more than $41 million in research grants from major pharmaceutical companies to support investigator-initiated trials. These trials explore new venues of clinical investigation that answer important scientific questions. Studies evaluate innovative combinations and sequencing regimens of drugs, drug resistance, and mechanisms of action of specific agents, or explore extended uses for specific agents.
About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a not-for-profit alliance of 23 of the world’s leading cancer centers, is dedicated to improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of care provided to patients with cancer. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system.
About Onyx Pharmaceuticals
Based in South San Francisco, California, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an Amgen subsidiary, is a global biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for improving the lives of people with cancer. The company is focused on developing novel medicines that target key molecular pathways.