Welcome, from the Director of Accelerate Progress

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Welcome to Accelerate Progress

Accelerate Progress is devoted to bringing about faster access to promising and potentially life-saving new therapies for patients fighting cancer and other diseases (a good page for first-time visitors less familiar with the Whats, Hows, Whos, and Whys is here). We use the tagline, Accelerating Access Through Better Science to describe the core of our approach.  Tremendous work has been done to advance our understanding of the diseases we call cancer, not to mention many other life-threatening diseases.  Progress in understanding the biological causes and genetic pathways that can lead to cancer and other life-threatening diseases has been substantial.  Where we have fallen short is in translating those gains in knowledge into meaningful patient benefits.  Failures and inefficiencies in our approaches to developing and using new medical treatments contribute to the needless suffering and death of hundreds of thousands of patients each year. With that as background, then, Accelerate Progress seeks to identify and then implement improvements to those research & development, regulatory, and treatment systems that show the most promise to accelerate our progress against cancer and other such diseases.

To further our mission, in addition to identifying and implementing systems improvements noted above, Accelerate Progress will also direct specific research efforts, particularly in the areas of adaptive trial design, Bayesian and other modern statistical analyses, biomarker identification and validation, and other related diagnostics research, focusing on areas not currently well served by for-profit organizations or other non-profits.

We measure progress in terms of quality and duration of patients’ lives, reductions in total time from discovery to patient bedside for new therapies, and an increase in the number of meaningful therapeutic options available to patients fighting cancer and other life-threatening diseases.  We expect improvements in these areas to produce other benefits including significant reductions in costs of treatment as well as increases in participation rates for clinical trials, both of which will help support a virtuous circle and further accelerate progress.

We believe strongly that many constituencies must come together in sharing productive ideas, becoming active parts of a coalition to accelerate progress, and that we can help bring those voices together, being beholden to none of them ourselves.  We will provide expertise, direction, communication, and passion for both patients and progress.  As Israel Gaither, national commander of the Salvation Army once said:

“We are apolitical, but all of the issues that face society are impacted by politics. It’s about being a voice for the voiceless.”

We recognize that meaningful and positive change must be brought about in many areas.  These changes will not happen without focused efforts and openness from within industry, from academia, from treating physicians, researchers, advocates, patients, regulators, NCI/NIH, and other key stakeholders.  If we as a society want progress to be accelerated, we must be willing to take a hard look at every contributor to a lack of progress and take ownership of all the areas ripe for improvement, not just a single one or two that might receive the most media attention. 

Accelerate Progress is focused on accelerating access to promising and potentially lifesaving new therapeutics through the broad adoption and use of better science.  Better science to Accelerate Progress means better trial designs, more use of advanced statistical analysis methods, better communication and collaboration between stakeholders, greater transparency in all aspects of the development and regulatory review processes, validation and increased use of biomarkers and related diagnostics within the development process, and other similar improvements. 

We hope our passion for both patients and progress is plain to see.  We also hope you will join us, lend your voice and talents to our cause, and help us accelerate progress.  As Director, I hope that those of you reading this Welcome and visiting our pages or talking with our advisors at external events will take the time to reach out, to offer a contribution of time, energy, idea, finance, or other, in recognition of the need to accelerate progress against these terrible diseases.  I welcome you to reach out to me directly at with your insights and contributions.  As many with whom I speak often remind me, the tasks ahead of us are daunting, often likened to a ‘mountain’ before us.  As I often reply, the mountain is getting higher with each passing day and if we do not begin this work now, it will only be more daunting for those who follow. 

Welcome again to Accelerate Progress.  Work is already underway, so please, lend a hand however you can.  Together, we truly can Accelerate Progress and save lives.

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