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Alzheimer’s Disease, and Breast and Prostate Cancer Research: Translational Failures and the Importance to Monitor Outputs and Impact of Funded Research

1
European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), 21027 Ispra, Italy
2
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), Washington, DC 20016, USA
3
European Commission, Directorate General for Research and Innovation (RTD), 1000 Brussels, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(7), 1194; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10071194
Received: 26 May 2020 / Revised: 10 July 2020 / Accepted: 10 July 2020 / Published: 14 July 2020
Noncommunicable diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, and breast and prostate cancer, are becoming increasingly prevalent in Western countries. To better elucidate the onset and evolution of these pathologies and ultimately design new preventive and therapeutic strategies, research activities focused on these biomedical areas have been supported by the European Union for more than two decades. While research has globally contributed to increase our understanding of the pathological mechanisms underlying these diseases, the failure rate in drug development still remains very high. Nowadays, it is important to monitor the contribution to innovation and impact of funded research by means of defined indicators.
Dementia and cancer are becoming increasingly prevalent in Western countries. In the last two decades, research focused on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and cancer, in particular, breast cancer (BC) and prostate cancer (PC), has been substantially funded both in Europe and worldwide. While scientific research outcomes have contributed to increase our understanding of the disease etiopathology, still the prevalence of these chronic degenerative conditions remains very high across the globe. By definition, no model is perfect. In particular, animal models of AD, BC, and PC have been and still are traditionally used in basic/fundamental, translational, and preclinical research to study human disease mechanisms, identify new therapeutic targets, and develop new drugs. However, animals do not adequately model some essential features of human disease; therefore, they are often unable to pave the way to the development of drugs effective in human patients. The rise of new technological tools and models in life science, and the increasing need for multidisciplinary approaches have encouraged many interdisciplinary research initiatives. With considerable funds being invested in biomedical research, it is becoming pivotal to define and apply indicators to monitor the contribution to innovation and impact of funded research. Here, we discuss some of the issues underlying translational failure in AD, BC, and PC research, and describe how indicators could be applied to retrospectively measure outputs and impact of funded biomedical research. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomedical research; Alzheimer’s disease; breast cancer; prostate cancer; funding; indicators; translational failure; animal models; cross-disciplinarity biomedical research; Alzheimer’s disease; breast cancer; prostate cancer; funding; indicators; translational failure; animal models; cross-disciplinarity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pistollato, F.; Bernasconi, C.; McCarthy, J.; Campia, I.; Desaintes, C.; Wittwehr, C.; Deceuninck, P.; Whelan, M. Alzheimer’s Disease, and Breast and Prostate Cancer Research: Translational Failures and the Importance to Monitor Outputs and Impact of Funded Research. Animals 2020, 10, 1194. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10071194

AMA Style

Pistollato F, Bernasconi C, McCarthy J, Campia I, Desaintes C, Wittwehr C, Deceuninck P, Whelan M. Alzheimer’s Disease, and Breast and Prostate Cancer Research: Translational Failures and the Importance to Monitor Outputs and Impact of Funded Research. Animals. 2020; 10(7):1194. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10071194

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pistollato, Francesca; Bernasconi, Camilla; McCarthy, Janine; Campia, Ivana; Desaintes, Christian; Wittwehr, Clemens; Deceuninck, Pierre; Whelan, Maurice. 2020. "Alzheimer’s Disease, and Breast and Prostate Cancer Research: Translational Failures and the Importance to Monitor Outputs and Impact of Funded Research" Animals 10, no. 7: 1194. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10071194

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