Initially, the ACRG will focus on lung and gastric cancer, two of the most common cancers in Asia. Up to 40 % of patients in Asia have shown that a mutation is relatively rare in Western patients .1 This change resulted in differences in response to certain types of agents, which suggests that the search for a different approach is necessary for the development of treatments for specific patient populations.Three previous facial transplants have been performed before the procedure, performed at the Cleveland Clinic in December 2008, according to background information in the article. Unlike the latter, the current procedure was performed on a patient who had undergone 23 major reconstructive operations following a gunshot wound to the face. The damage from postoperative scarring and depletion of blood vessels added complexity of this surgery.

‘Through his work and the subsequent sharing of information, the researchers hope to enhance ACRG, encourage innovation and improve the prognosis and treatment of cancer patients,’ said Gary Gilliland, MD, Ph.D., Senior vice president and chief franchise, Oncology, Merck Research Laboratories.

Eli Lilly and Company, Merck outside the U.S. and Canada) and Pfizer Inc. announced today the formation of the Asian group Cancer Research, Inc.

Over the next two years, Lilly, Merck and Pfizer are committed to creating one of the largest databases of pharmacogenomic cancer known to date. This database will consist of some 2000 tissue samples from patients with lung cancer and stomach that will be made public to researchers and, over time, with other clinical data from patients in a longitudinal analysis. Comparison of genomic signatures of these mixed tumors could inform new approaches to treatment.

Today’s announcement marks the formation of ACRG. The company is currently focused on building collaborative relationships throughout Asia to collect tissue samples and data. All tissue samples and data will be collected and shared in accordance with good medical practices and local laws.

Training ACRG is a good example of a growing trend towards pre-competitive collaboration, in which large pharmaceutical companies to pool their resources and expertise to quickly increase understanding of diseases and disease processes. The objective of ACRG is to improve knowledge of cancer spread in Asia, and efforts to accelerate the discovery of new drugs by freely sharing data obtained with the scientific community.

‘The environmental and genetic factors are expected to cause dramatic differences in the molecular subtypes and the incidence of cancer in Asia and other parts of the world,’ said Neil Gibson, Ph.D., Scientific Director of Pfizer Oncology Research Unit.

‘While some progress has been made in recent years in understanding and treatment of these tumors, remains a huge unmet need and a disproportionate burden on the health of Asian patients