Clinical Trial Updates From Around the World

United States:

After 17 days of a partial federal government shutdown, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is back up and running.  Cancer research was stalled and funding decisions were delayed while the agency was closed. ABC News reports that NIH employees are back in the building.  Electricity was kept on during the shutdown, ensuring temperatures were maintained in cell and tissue storage. The shutdown was widely criticized when reports surfaced of patients being refused access to clinical trials, which are often a last resort for the sickest cancer patients. The NIH was enrolling a limited number of patients during the shutdown, but at a much slower pace than usual. The NIH has 27 centers and is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world.


One hundred and sixty two global clinical trials are on hold after the Indian Supreme Court asked the government to provide more information on their approval process. The trials involve “new chemical entities” (NCE) and had earlier been approved by the drug controller general of India. The Health Right Forum alleges that drug companies are taking advantage of poor people and trials are conducted without protocols or oversight.


A drug derived of human breast milk is entering pre-clincal studies to study its effectiveness on cancer cells. The studies are focused on a protein in the milk that showed promising results in treating lung and and liver cancers in mice.