As you know, SWOG leadership is knee-deep in preparing our NCTN Operations Center grant application, polishing up the first draft as we speak. The work is kind of exhausting – but exciting. Every page has accomplishment and ambition written on it.

I wanted to share this week what I see in our science. It’s the backbone of our trials, driving new ideas in cancer treatment, prevention, and cancer care (mostly the former in this grant application). Evidence of strong science is all over the application, from the translational medicine we base our clinical studies upon, to the translational medicine we incorporate into our studies. Quality goes well beyond Lung-MAP and DART, our marquee precision medicine trials for, respectively, lung and rare cancers.

Here are some trials worth mentioning for their scientific rigor, originality, or goals:

• S1418: This trial tests the anti-PDL1 immunotherapy pembrolizumab as an adjuvant therapy for triple-negative breast cancer – the first network trial to explore immunotherapy in this setting

• S1602: This innovative bladder cancer trial may help us counteract recent rationing of BCG

• S1314: This is another leading-edge bladder trial which assesses chemotherapy sensitivity using sophisticated modeling, as well as our ability to direct neoadjuvant therapy to a given patient

• S0819: This is the first NCTN lung study to have a biomarker co-primary endpoint

• S1612: This intergroup trial is testing novel therapeutic approaches for older, medically frail patients with acute myeloid leukemia. This trial has an amazingly novel rolling design, which I will highlight in another Front Line. Additionally, it recognizes the need for local treatment options for patients who can’t travel to academic centers.

• S1406: This study involves creation of patient-derived xenografts to study BRAF-mutant colorectal cancer

In addition, our partnerships with The Jackson Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have borne fruit big-time. Through our Integrated Translational Science Center program, we have sponsored 18 collaborative pilot projects. In addition, we’ve offered 33 translational medicine group meeting presentations and six workshops in this current grant cycle alone.

I don’t want to tip my hand too much, but looking ahead, we’ll tackle a lot more FDA registration trials – which we’re already seeing growth in. I don’t have to tell you why that is so exciting.

So, there’s a taste of our science. I’ll be back next week with a post about the art of our trials.

CRAs can apply for travel assistance to the April group meeting from The Hope Foundation Apply by the Jan. 15, 2018 deadline. For questions, contact morgan@thehopefoundation.

Abstracts for ASCO 2018 are being accepted now. The ASCO deadline for submission is Feb. 13, 2018 at 11:59 pm EST. Please submit your abstracts to SWOG for processing and approvals to chof/ng/fjbt/qbg/bet by Jan. 30, 2018.