INCA is a benchmark in terms of clinical research, both in Brazil and in Latin America, and the Cancer Foundation has played a relevant role in this victory. The entity participated in structuring the area, creating together with INCA mechanisms for formalizing agreements with the pharmaceutical industry and to receive donations. The Foundation makes research protocols feasible, it provides administrative-financial support and manages funds donated to carry out clinical research on new therapeutic modalities and epidemiologic studies, including basic science and genomic analysis of the Brazilian population in order to appraise their profile. At present, it is handling several projects that are underway, both those induced and those that have been contracted with the pharmaceutical industry.
An important initiative that counted on the Cancer Foundation’s support was creation of the National Pharmogenetic Network (Refargen), a consortium of 18 groups of researchers from various Brazilian institutions. Sponsored by Finep through the end of 2011, the network was aimed at identifying genetic variations that explain the different responses of individuals to medicines. The studies will contribute to therapeutic individualization, that is, to the choice of the medicine and the dosage that is just right for each patient, according to their genetic characteristics.
Besides Refargen, the National Network of Cancer Clinical Research features the Cancer Foundation as the link that administers and invests private funds. It was conceived of as a specific oncologic area of this national network, through actions induced and financed by the Health Ministry’s Science & Technology Secretariat in 2005. Its priority is carrying out studies of interest to the Single Health-Care System (SUS) in the area of cancer. This network is organizing groups of excellence in clinical research throughout the nation in order to conduct multi-centric studies, with the initial projects being studies of lung cancer and lymphoma.