FEB 14, 2019 7:30 AM PST

Keynote Presentation: A Comparative Approach to Oncology Drug Development: Integrating Canine Models

C.E. Credits: RACE
Speaker
  • Director, Comparative Oncology Program, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
    Biography
      Amy LeBlanc is board-certified veterinary oncologist and the Director of the intramural National Cancer Institute's Comparative Oncology Program. In this position she conducts preclinical mouse and translational canine studies that are designed to inform the drug and imaging agent development path for human cancer patients. She also advises leading pharmaceutical companies as well as NCI's Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis on the inclusion of pet dogs with cancer into the development path of novel approaches for a variety of malignancies, including immunotherapeutics, targeted small molecules, oncolytic viruses, and cancer imaging agents. She directly oversees the NCI Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium (COTC), which provides infrastructure necessary to connect participating veterinary academic institutions with stakeholders in drug development to execute fit-for-purpose comparative clinical trials in novel therapeutics and imaging agents.

      Dr. LeBlanc obtained her veterinary degree from Michigan State University, and completed post-graduate training in small animal medicine, surgery and oncology at Texas A&M University and Louisiana State University. Prior to her appointment at NIH, Dr. LeBlanc was an Associate Professor with tenure and Director of Translational Research at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and UT Graduate School of Medicine (GSM). Dr. LeBlanc's group at the University of Tennessee published the first comprehensive studies describing molecular imaging of dogs and cats using PET/CT, focusing on the forward and back-translation of 18F-labelled radiopharmaceuticals.

    Abstract

    Comparative oncology is the study of naturally-occurring cancers in pet animals (mainly dogs) to broaden and deepen our collective understanding of cancers in both companion species and humans. In this presentation, you will learn about the intramural National Cancer Institute’s Comparative Oncology Program (COP) and Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium (COTC), which provide the necessary infrastructure and expertise in comparative oncology trial design and execution to support studies that are designed to advance and inform human cancer drug development. Several specific examples of how the approach has been applied to the development of novel small molecules, biologic agents, immune-oncology approaches will be presented. This presentation will illustrate how integration of comparative oncology studies can inform the process of drug development for human patients, and demonstrate the value of the approach for the drug development community/relevant stakeholders.

    Learning Objectives: 

    1. The audience will gain an appreciation and understanding of the value of spontaneous cancers that develop naturally in companion animals in studies of cancer biology and therapy;
    2. The audience will gain an understanding of how comparative oncology clinical trials are conducted through the NCI’s Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium to address specific drug development questions, which are complementary to the conventional preclinical testing carried out in other animal models and to Phase 1-2 data collected from human patients.


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