GBM AGILE – A STORY OF CONVERGENCE, COMMITMENT, COLLABORATION AND COMPASSION
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Given the historical lack of success for GBM clinical trials, we knew that identifying effective therapies for GBM would require a “learning system” – a system that is more efficient, faster, and patient centric than traditional trials. Thus began GBM AGILE’s quest to “crowdsource” knowledge from leaders in GBM research, innovative clinical trials designers, biomarker experts, clinicians, basic researchers, and patient advocates. Fortunately, several members of the group working on GBM AGILE were part of the team that designed and implemented the I-SPY 2 trial in breast cancer, one of the most transformative clinical trials performed to date. Although there are significant differences between a rare cancer like GBM with essentially no successful therapies or biomarkers and breast cancer, lessons learned from this innovative trial have been helpful to the AGILE Global team. It is our hope that other rare cancers can similarly benefit from GBM AGILE.
The concept of combining our knowledge and expertise to create the first global adaptive trial for GBM quickly became something of a “movement,” and in a few months, our original group of 40 visionaries expanded to include over 150 leading neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, neurobiologists, imagers, and patient advocates from the US, China, European Union, and Australia. United by a simple goal of bringing better treatments to GBM patients, everyone stepped out of their silos, left their egos, and paid their own way to work with colleagues from around the globe to undertake the planning and development of this remarkable project we named GBM AGILE. AGILE stands for Adaptive Global Innovative Learning Environment – truly a descriptive acronym. Crowdsourcing the knowledge we need for GBM AGILE will continue throughout the trial, ensuring that learning from both inside and outside of the project is incorporated as it evolves over time.