|By: Dr. Akira Nakagawara, MD, PhD|
|CEO of the Saga Medical Center KOSEIKAN and President Emeritus, Chiba Cancer Center|
|2 Jul 2014|
Dr. Nakagawara, the lead researcher for Help Fight Childhood Cancer, provides an update on his continued efforts to advance his neuroblastoma drug candidate discovery, his transition to a new role and his hopes for expanding his research on World Community Grid to other pediatric cancers.
I recently accepted a position as CEO of the Saga Medical Center KOSEIKAN, located at Saga City on the island of Kyushu, Japan. The Saga prefecture is my home region, and Saga's governor asked me to come back to manage the region's biggest general hospital. A new research institute is being set up within the hospital, which will be affiliated with Kyushu and Saga universities in the near future.
My association with the Chiba Cancer Center will continue - I am now President Emeritus and will keep my research position at Chiba's research institute as an official councilor. The collaboration between the Chiba Cancer Center Research Institute and Chiba University will also continue. In this capacity, I aim to build on the success of the first phase of Help Fight Childhood Cancer (the discovery of several drug candidates which in lab testing killed cancer cells, with no apparent side effects). While we will be closing out this phase of the project on World Community Grid, we will continue our efforts to seek pharmaceutical collaborations to advance these promising drug candidates through the drug development process.
I also plan to expand our research. We have started planning for a second phase to the project, possibly in collaboration with a newly formed pan-Asian oncology group, of which we are a founding member. While Phase I of Help Fight Childhood Cancer focused on neuroblastoma, we hope to expand the scope of Phase II to cover multiple pediatric cancers. We are in early discussions to define the scope of Phase II and look forward to working with our oncology collaborators and with the World Community Grid team to bring this project to World Community Grid volunteers.
We are so grateful of the support of World Community Grid volunteers and the role you've played in powering our Phase I research. We hope we can count on your continued support and participation as we prepare for Phase II.