Charter of Paris
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World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millenium
Charter of Paris: 4 February 2000

Article 3

The parties undertake a vigorous commitment to create an optimal environment for anti-cancer research innovation.

1. Knowledge of the biology of cancer and the fundamental mechanisms by which cancers emerge and progress is the origin of all advances that have increased and will further increase the rate of cure and the quality of life of millions of people worldwide. The identification of new targets for detection, diagnosis and treatment must accelerate if we are to win the war against cancer.

The parties agree to aggressively build the case for enhanced government and industry funding of basic research, to encourage, protect and incentivize those who innovate, and to increase the means by which scientists may labor in intellectual freedom to constantly advance the frontiers of current knowledge.

2. Clinical research is the sole means by which basic research becomes meaningful to the lives of human beings. Breakthroughs in molecular biology or genetics can have no impact on cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment unless they are carefully evaluated and developed in clinical trials.

Research in the clinic also can immediately inform ongoing basic research efforts. This kind of translational research, commonly conducted by institutions with both a basic and clinical research capability, rapidly tests hypotheses generated in the laboratory. Immediate feedback from the clinic obtained through translational research can meaningfully redirect basic research efforts and stimulate the generation of important new hypotheses.

Despite its importance, clinical research is significantly challenged not only by a lack of funding, but often by a lack of involvement on the part of healthcare professionals and institutions -- and a lack of awareness among patients of the purpose and benefits of participating in clinical studies. Inadequate legal and regulatory harmonization between countries also means that large international clinical trials - the kind that are statistically powerful and can rapidly advance medical practice - can be extremely difficult and costly to conduct.

The parties pledge to elevate awareness and commitment to clinical research among all constituencies they represent and to seize every opportunity to strengthen the international research infrastructure. The parties further pledge to advance universal recognition of informed consent - the process by which patients are fully advised of the purpose, risks, and benefits of any clinical study. In so doing, the parties seek to enable rapid, powerful and inclusive clinical trials that ethically engage and also empower people with cancer.

The Charter of Paris Preamble
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