Comparative oncology is the term used to describe clinical research that bridges studies of naturally occurring cancers in more than one species. This is often referred to as One Medicine or One Health. Data from the study of cancers in companion animals are particularly valuable for providing solutions to important translational questions about cancer biology and product development in humans that may not be possible to address with traditional rodent (mouse and rat) research systems. Since companion animals also share many environmental and lifestyle factors with their human companions, they provide an additional avenue for exploring the impact of these factors on cancer incidence and progression.
Following a significant rise in interest regarding the potential value of spontaneous cancers in companion animals toward improved development of therapeutic approaches to human and animal cancer, a group of leading academic comparative oncologists and scientists have formed a research consortium designed to fulfill some of the clear mandates required to advance the discipline. The V Foundation for Cancer Research (https://www.jimmyv.org/ ) has generously committed to serve as the fiduciary agent, funding partner and grant coordinator to support fundamental and translational research to more fully characterize these cross-species opportunities.
This document provides an overview of the Comparative Oncology Research Consortium (CORC) governance process. It describes the organizational structure of CORC, including leadership, decision making policy, publication and communication guidelines, conflict of interest management and an expectation of common protocol development and data reporting requirements. The governance plan incorporates or relies upon relevant regulations and policies at the participating institution and federal levels regarding animal and human protections, client/owner/patient ethical considerations for trial conduct, and conflict of interest.
- Enable accelerated, coordinated translational innovation in cancer diagnosis, care and prevention between human and veterinary research enterprises.
- Investigate scientific knowledge gaps in fundamental and applied cancer medicine through the inclusion of companion species with spontaneously arising cancers.
- Ensure the bidirectional application of discoveries to the benefit of both humans and companion animals.
CORC Governance will:
- Ensure fairness and transparency in all CORC decision making.
- Promote relevance, efficiency and sustainability through strategic prioritization.
- Create and foster avenues of meaningful engagement for stakeholders (scientists, government, advocates, industry, patients and companion caregivers).
- Maintain high ethical standards in research and clinical medicine.
- Clearly specify procedures for access to intellectual, technical and financial resources.
- Contribute to an environment of information sharing to the greatest extent possible.
CORC Institutional Partners will:
- Retain autonomy in decision making.
- Collaborate effectively within the CORC.
- Promote use and stewardship of common data resources.
- Ensure compliance with site and federal regulations and policies.
CORC Research Activities will:
- Arise from transparent decision making.
- Develop novel research infrastructure and methods.
- Expand and advocate for financial resources (government, corporate and private sector) to develop research tools and facilitate collaboration between human and veterinary oncology therapeutic development stakeholders.
- Provide infrastructure that facilitates clinical testing of prognostics, diagnostics, and therapeutics.
- Foster Public/Industry/Philanthropic understanding of the comparative approach to facilitate product development.
- Assemble expertise to identify, prioritize, and fund knowledge gap research.
- Raise public awareness of human and companion comparative oncology.
- Create a harmonized data commons platform for cross-species modeling.
- Overcome the siloed nature of cancer research between the disciplines.