The NOCI call at EGAM 2009 was conceived to advance EORTC scientific strategy and NOCI projects, in particular, and to foster interaction between the EORTC divisions and the EORTC groups. The EORTC Board allocated support for this initiative to promote clinico-genomic trials which cannot be adequately supported by the pharmaceutical industry.
Three proposals were selected to receive grants:
- “Prognostic impact of mutations and correlation with known genetic defects of the novel oncogene/tumor suppressor TET2 in acute myeloid leukemia” presented by Saskia Langemeijer representing the Leukemia Group;
- “Radiation-induced normal tissue toxicities in patients to be included in the randomized phase III trial on postoperative chemoradiation in combination with anti-EGFR antibody versus postoperative chemoradiation in head and neck squamous-cell carcinomas with high risk of locoregional recurrence (Protocol 22071-24071)” presented by Mahmut Ozsahin representing the Radiation Oncology-Head & Neck Groups;
- “Pharmacogenomic and immunohistochemical evaluation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway in ovarian cancer patients treated with erlotinib: a combined prognostic and predictive assessment on the EORTC 55041 study” presented by Evelyn Despierre representing the Gynecological Cancer Group.
Eight proposals representing nine EORTC groups were presented at a session dedicated to this call for NOCI projects at the EGAM 2009 meeting. The session was chaired by EORTC President Martine Piccart and past EORTC President Alexander M.M. Eggermont, and included a panel of external experts, Elizabeth Eisenhauer, Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Mahesh Parmar, Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit in London, Lajos Pusztai, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and Ian Tannock, Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto, to evaluate and foster discussion about the proposals.
The criteria used to evaluate the proposals were the originality, innovation, and adherence to EORTC scientific strategy, the likely impact of the study on clinical practice, the strength of the translational research component, the appropriateness of the methodology with respect to achieving the study objective, feasibility, and statistical robustness. The proposals were ranked was based one the results of three separate votes weighted one third on the vote of the audience present at the NOCI call presentations at EGAM 2009, one third on the vote of the panel of external experts, and one third on the vote of the EORTC Board.