Pharmaceutical leaders, biotech companies, major academic cancer centers and community oncologists announced the launch of the National Immunotherapy Coalition (NIC) Cancer MoonShot 2020 program on Jan. 12, in collaboration with Independence Blue Cross and Bank of America.
These companies are collaborating with a singular focus, which is to accelerate the potential of combination immunotherapies as the next-generation standard of care for patients with cancer.
“Cancer is complicated and is rarely the result of one mutation and one bad cell,” Dorit Baxter, marketing director for Cancer MoonShot 2020, recently told Patient Daily. “Most cancers come from multiple mutations, so one therapeutic approach is not enough. Multiple solutions must be applied and must treat each patient individually -- one treatment may work for one, but not another.”
For example, Baxter explained, a single treatment can cure one person’s lung cancer and another’s breast cancer but may not work on others with the same ailments.
“Now that we have mapped the human genome and understand the proteins beneath that -- and we better understand the immune system -- we can use this information to create a vaccine-based immunotherapy with the help of multiple disciplines and industries within the larger health care system, which is called the Quantitative Integrative Lifelong Trial (QUILT),” Baxter said.
According to press conference information, QUILT “aims to explore a new paradigm in cancer care by random trials for Phase II in patients at all stages of disease in 20 tumor types in 20,000 patients within the next 36 months. These findings will inform Phase III trials and the aspirational moonshot to develop an effective vaccine-based immunotherapy to combat cancer by 2020.”
“The successful accrual of 20,000 patients by 2020 will require both community oncologists and major medical centers to collaborate for the common good,” Baxter said. “The partnership also anticipates the participation of the military health system.”
The initiative is groundbreaking because it is the nation’s first insurance coverage of “next-generation whole genome sequencing and proteomic diagnostic platform in cancer patients,” Baxter told Patient Daily. “QUILT and its contributors offer research and development of breakthrough treatments for patients that create novel approaches, bold science and strong vision.”
Health leaders launch Cancer MoonShot 2020 project