Thursday, August 21, 2014

And CPRIT Continua

The new CPRIT round of grants have been given and nominated
one thing for sure, they are just as diverse as they can be
and went to the usual suspects (the suspects created CPRIT).  Telling the observers that although the leadership has changed,
much of what constituted the pool of reviewers and supportive staff did not at CPRIT.
When one look at the different topics selected and funded, it is hard to get a theme.  This point to 2 majors conclusions,  one,that in general CPRIT's own scientific board has no major theme to pull or drive research to, leaving itself to the will of individual institutions to come up with the theme and objects .   And second, the clear departure from themes that are currently driving Oncology practice (probably avoiding relevancy in some ways?).  Indeed, most of Oncology has been lately versed into immunology and its various uses in Cancer.  From Ibrutinib, Pembrolizumab and the spileucel-T, to immune system infiltration of Breast cancer tissue as a marker of response to therapy, all these interesting developments seem to have not capture CPRIT scientific panel's attention arguably enough to drive their intent.  There is a lot of opportunities lost in a time of minimal research resources.   Two to 3 years from now we will still have interesting findings that we should have had 10 years ago, meaning they (some of the current researches) will require further investmentsin order to become of meaning to say the least!
Although basic research is still needed in some areas, the thrust should now be to learn more on some of the meanings of latest advances!  Indeed over the last few years, we have discover the modulators of immunity (Revlimid, thalidomide) and major drugs that have been developed against Basal cell cancer, renal and Myeloma, there are many aspects of these new drugs that need to be explored to improve their use and maximize their combination.  These efforts remain to be made, and unless our funding sources think to force research into these aspects, progress will be slow.   Progress in the control of epigenic events (Verinostat) where some of the important progresses have been made, skipped! (CPRIT funding any theses?)
In our blog yesterday, we clearly explained how the quantity of expression of genes may affect the entire cellular metabolism (excitatory at low level and inhibitory at greater level) these important aspects are not fully explored and detailed.  It seems that we discover and run instead of teasing fully the full nuances of scientific phenomena uncovered by some of our researches.  We need how funding sources to push us further into these details because that where the truth of noted events is hiding!  This is true for c-FOS,  FOX3 and many genes that we pretend we know without fully teasing to meaningful ways!
Should we wait for another shoe to drop at CPRIT in order to sharpen the mission...may be not!   Just keep on sharpening the mission by tightening what this organization may want from the Researcher community...!

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