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Report `Controversies in drug resistance' October 23-24, 1985

British Journal of Cancer
Nature Publishing Group
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Br. J. Cancer (1986), 53, 575-578 Meeting Report 'Controversies in drug resistance' October 23-24, 1985 Rapporteurs: R.C.F. Leonard', M. Soukop2 & A.L. Harris3 1Department of Clinical Oncology, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh; 2Department of Medical Oncology, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow; 3Department of Clinical Oncology, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Newcastle, UK. Held at Loch Lomond, Scotland under the sponsorship of the Cancer Research Campaign and organised by the British Association for Cancer Research* The format of the workshop comprised six separate topics including a debate, incorporating an increased element of discussion in addition to presentations by the invited speakers. The meeting was initiated by the topic on clinical cancer therapy with G. McVie (Amsterdam) who contended that clinical pharmacology is essential in drug development for cancer therapy. He pointed out that there is little information on dose response, schedule-dependent response or drug receptor interaction in clinical cancer. Expensive human tumour models such as clonogenic assays and xenografts are not useful screening tools but should be used for defining the optimal conditions of drug action; and examination of the mechanism and site of action, dose and schedule effect, primary resistance and secondary resistance characteristics. Opportunities should be taken in phase I studies to look at pharmacokinetics as well as toxicity and response (if any). The ethics of testing new drugs requires reappraisal, recognising that most so-called chemosensitive tumours are, in fact, from the moment of metastasis incurable by conventional therapy; thus breast cancer, extensive small cell lung cancer and most ovarian cancer as well as follicular lymphomas could be used for evaluating new anticancer drugs. Pharmacodynamic studies should be included demanding tissue as well as blood testing. Dr McVie speculated that more information would come from new techniques, e.g. nuclear magnetic resonance for some compoun

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