One Big Cancer Story from 2010, and Four Trends to Watch in 2011

1/14/11

Top innovative news from 2010:

• Amgen’s 147 trial was the first study to ever show a delay in the onset of bone metastases in men with prostate cancer, for the denosumab (Xgeva) investigational clinical program. This result showed that you can prevent or delay skeletal metastases by making the bone microenvironment an inhospitable place for tumor cells to spread.

Trends we’ll be watching in 2011 and beyond:

• Research in cancer treatment will continue into the next decade with novel approaches for targeting tumor growth including treatments that aim to inhibit angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels required by many cancers to survive and grow).

• The study of growth hormones on tumor growth. Growth through regulation of the IGF-1R is an area of interest for many companies right now. IGF-1R plays an important role in the release of growth hormone, which can cause cancer cells to proliferate and grow. By blocking signals from reaching the IGF-1R, it may be possible to rein in the growth and spread of cancer cells.

• The expanded use of biomarker analysis in clinical settings using next-generation gene sequencing technology will help the understanding of clinical research and drug efficacy.

• Developing new treatments lies at the start of the journey to help patients. At the end of the road, regulatory environments in emerging markets will continue to evolve, paving the way for innovative therapies to reach more patients in new markets around the world.

[Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of posts from Xconomists and other technology and life sciences leaders from around the U.S. who are weighing in with the top surprises they’ve seen in their respective fields in the past year, or the major things to watch for in 2011.]

David Lacey, M.D., is the former senior vice president of discovery research at Amgen. Follow @