Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

A Guide to Time lag and Time lag Shortening Strategies in Oncology-Based Drug Development

Berna Uygur, Josh Duberman, Steven M Ferguson


One of the ongoing challenges for academic, biotech and pharma organizations involved in oncology-related research and development is how to help scientists be more effective in transforming new scientific ideas into products that improve patients’ lives. Decreasing the time required between bench work and translational study would allow potential benefits of innovation to reach patients more quickly. In this study, the time required to translate cancer-related biomedical research into clinical practice is examined for the most common cancer cases including breast, lung and prostate cancer. The calculated “time lag” typically of 10 years for new oncology treatments in these areas can create fatal delays in a patient’s life. Reasons for the long “time lag” in cancer drug development were examined in detail, and key opinion leaders were interviewed, to formulate suggestions for helping new drugs reach from bench to bed side more quickly.


time lag; cancer; translational study; technology transfer

Full Text:




Presidential Fiscal year 2017 budget. 2017.

Rebecca L. Siegel, K.D.M., Ahemdin Jemal, Cancer stattistics. A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 2016. 66: p. 7-30.

Collins, F.S., Reengineering translational science: the time is right. Science translational medicine, 2011. 3(90): p. 90cm17-90cm17.

Stephen R.Hanney, S.C.-C., Jonathan Grant, Susan Guthrie, Chris Henshall, Jorge Mestre-Ferrandiz, Michele Pistollato, Alexandra Pollitt, Jon Sussex, Steven Wooding, How long does biomedical research take? Studying the time taken between biomedical and health research and its translation into product. Health research policy and systems, 2015. 13(1).

Lost in translation-basic science in the era of translational research. Infection and immunity, 2009. 78(2): p. 563-566.

Zoe Slote Morris, S.W., Jonathan Grant, The answer is 17 years, what is the question: understanding time lags in translational study. Journal of royal society of medicine, 2011. 104.

Janssen-Heijnen, S.H., Vepp Lemmens, H Brenner, EW Steyerberg, JWW Coebergh, Prognosis for long-term survivors of cancer. Ann Oncol, 2007. 18(8): p. 1048-1413.

Reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research: improving research practice, 2015. The Academy of Science, Symposium Report, 2015.

Gawrylewski, A., Trouble with mouse models. The scientists, 2007.

Lorsch, J.R., F.S. Collins, and J. Lippincott-Schwartz, Fixing problems with cell lines. Science, 2014. 346(6216): p. 1452-1453.

Friedhoff, L.T., New Drugs: An Insider's Guide to the FDA's New Drug Approval Process, for Scientists, Investors, and Patients. 2009: Pharmaceutical Special Projects Group.

Fulmer, T., Animal instincts. SciBX: Science-Business eXchange, 2012. 5(44).

Cavanaugh, S.E., J.J. Pippin, and N.D. Barnard, Animal models of Alzheimer disease: historical pitfalls and a path forward. Altex, 2014. 31(3): p. 279-302.

H.Manjili, M., Opinion: translational research in crisis., 2013.

Kola, I. and J. Landis, Can the pharmaceutical industry reduce attrition rates? Nature reviews Drug discovery, 2004. 3(8): p. 711-716.

TG, R., Trends in the risks and benefits to patients with cancer participating in phase 1 clinical trials. JAMA, 2004. 292: p. 2130-2140.

Seok, J., et al., Genomic responses in mouse models poorly mimic human inflammatory diseases. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013. 110(9): p. 3507-3512.

Maskus, K.E. and J.H. Reichman, International public goods and transfer of technology under a globalized intellectual property regime. 2005: Cambridge University Press.

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Patenting By Geographic Region (State and Country), 2016.

Ferguson, S.M. and J. Kim, Distribution and licensing of drug discovery tools–NIH perspectives. Drug discovery today, 2002. 7(21): p. 1102-1106.

Natitonal Institutes of Health (NIH), Public-Private Partnerships (For Archival Purposes Only)., 2016.

Reich, M.R., Public–private partnerships for public health. Nature medicine, 2000. 6(6): p. 617-620.

Jack W. Scannell, A.B., Helen Boldon & Brian Warrington, Eroom's Law in pharmaceutical R&D. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 2012. 11: p. 191-200.


  • There are currently no refbacks.