Introduction of PET tracers to the WINTHER trial

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Published: 11 Jul 2012
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Robert Dann - Global Strategy Leader, Oncology/Pathology, GE Healthcare

Robert Dann discusses a collaboration between the WIN consortium and GE Healthcare which will allow the use of PET angiogenesis tracers within the WINTHER study.

It is hoped that the use of this imagine technique will allow clinicians to identify patients who are not responding to the WINTHER therapy at an early stage and if so, to discontinue treatment.

Dr Dann explains how this move will benefit both the patients taking part in the study and will also contribute to the validation of the tracer, speeding its progression into clinical application.

Although GE Healthcare has traditionally concentrated solely on imaging development, this partnership is part of an attempt to broaden the services offered and it is hoped this will pave the way for further collaborations between academia and pharmaceutical companies.

WIN 2012

Introduction of PET tracers to the WINTHER trial

Robert Dann – Global Strategy Leader, Oncology/Pathology, GE Healthcare


Hello, Robert Dann, you’re from GE Healthcare and we’re here at WIN and you are actually quite involved in WIN.

GE has been involved in WIN pretty much from the very beginning as the concept of this has taken shape.

And specifically I’ve heard that you’re actually involved in some of the imaging within the WINTHER study.

That’s the plan. We’re in discussions with the WIN organisation now about doing a companion protocol as part of the WINTHER study in which we would bring one of our PET tracers specific to angiogenesis into the study really to contribute to the validation of what the tracer does and see if that ultimately can bring it into useful clinical application with patients.

You’re not only involved in imaging, you hope to develop your relationship with WIN, I think.

Exactly. As a company, GE Healthcare has, until recently, been fairly focussed on the imaging side of cancer care. In the last couple of years we’ve moved pretty strongly into the in vitro side as well in that we acquired a lab out in California that does pathology work, we’ve also brought in a gene sequencing company in the US as well. We need to look to build on that, the products that those companies are working on, and use organisations like WIN for validation of such products.

What do you think of these types of consortia where we have academia meeting up with pharma?

This is unusual, the classic consortium would be academia only. I think this one opens up some new opportunities to really accelerate the development and validation of new diagnostics and therapeutics. We’re all very impatient, we want to see consortia like WIN go into action almost overnight. I think, against typical development of consortia plans, WIN has moved extremely quickly and that has required a huge force of will on the organisers to get it to that point. Naturally we’d all love to see things starting overnight and move this into action as quickly as possible. I think the potential is really quite large if we can make these combinations work such that everybody benefits. The proof will be in the end but it’s worth giving a try to, certainly.

Absolutely, thank you.