Thursday, September 17, 2015

Twitter Q&A on drug development next Thursday

By Suzie Siegel

Dr. Laurence Baker
While waiting for "the cure," many of us would settle for more effective drugs that have fewer side effects. Let's talk about this at 9 p.m. (EST) Thursday, Sept. 24, on Twitter.

Sarcoma medical oncologist Laurence H. Baker, DO, will answer your questions during the 45-minute chat. Use the hashtag #scmsm to tweet and find other people’s tweets.

Here are the basics on Twitter:
the-basics. Before the chat, you may want to learn about drug development here:

Dr. Baker, a professor of internal medicine and pharmacology at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, brings a wealth of knowledge to the subject. He has served as director for clinical research and hematology/oncology at UM’s Comprehensive Cancer Center; chairman of the Southwest Oncology Group, the largest clinical trials organization in the United States; executive director of the Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration, a national cooperative group that runs sarcoma clinical trials; and president of the Connective Tissue Oncology Society, an international group of sarcoma physicians and scientists.

Corrie Painter, PhD
He has treated sarcoma patients for more than 40 years, but instead of retiring, he helped establish UM’s sarcoma survivorship clinic last year.  He tweets @laurencebaker2. My Twitter co-hosts will be Bert E. Thomas IV, PhD, MBA, @SFA_Bert and Corrie Painter, PhD, @Corrie_Painter. Bert is CEO of the Sarcoma Foundation of America, the Alliance’s sister organization in Damascus, MD.  Corrie, an angiosarcoma survivor, is vice president of Angiosarcoma Awareness and associate director of operations and scientific outreach at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Boston.  I’m a leiomyosarcoma survivor who served on the Sarcoma Alliance board 2008-2013. I tweet @SuzieSiegel. The Alliance supports this chat.

I'll update this post as more people commit to the chat. 

This year has brought exciting news on trabectedin (Yondelis), eribulin (Halaven), aldoxorubicin and evofosfamide (TH-302). Some of you may be following the news on other experimental drugs, wondering why it takes so long for them to get FDA approval. Other possible questions include:
      -- How long does it take and how much does it cost to develop new drugs?
      -- Why does it take longer for some drugs to be approved in the U.S.? Yondelis, for example, is already approved in many countries. 
      -- What are the challenges of developing drugs for rare cancers like sarcoma?
      -- Are there initiatives to speed up the process without sacrificing safety? 
      -- In addition to raising money for research, how can people help speed up the process?

What would you like to ask?