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