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Asia CML Study Alliance (ACSA)

imagesSince the first meeting in Hangzhou, China in 2005, Asian hematologists have reached consensus on establishment of Asia CML Study Alliance (ACSA) through the meetings in Hong Kong in 2006, and in Seoul in 2007. The main purpose of ACSA is to improve the quality and standardization of CML therapy and research in Asian countries on the basis of understanding the current situation. And also ACSA seeks collaboration in CML studies and sharing information for new medical discoveries in CML.

As the first task for research exchange, ACSA has developed a protocol for collaborative study. In order to practice the clinical study, ACSA will organize exchange of research specimens for standardization of molecular assays, and training program. Mostly ACSA has compiled all the efforts into ¡°Asia CML Registry (ACR)¡±, the data management system for collecting and sharing research outcomes.

The ACR provides comprehensive data summary of CML patients in clinical practice, as well as DB software to record the treatment outcome of patients in real time. ACSA will provide a chance for all participating Asian researchers to access and use the ACR by providing complimentary ID and password if any investigator wishes to participate. It should be emphasized that the registered data on ACR belong to its researcher, and the data will be managed not to be used or shared without the researcher¡?s agreement. ACSA will present the status of total registered data to participating Asian researchers twice every year in the place where EHA (European Hematology Association) and ASH (American Society of Hematology) congresses are held.

Once researchers have registered their data on ACR, they will have an equal opportunity to propose any CML correlative studies, and utilize registered data of other researchers. The required data will be available for the researchers on the basis of mutual agreement between participating researchers when the proposed studies meet criteria of ACSA Scientific Study Committee. If the proposed study uses data of any researchers who consent to open their data, their name will be included in author list when the study results are published in SCI journals.

In addition, as the first step for ACSA collaborative studies, we have sent the questionnaire to collect information on current situation of the core molecular assays in CML therapy (RQ-PCR and mutation assay) in hospitals and research institutes in Asian countries. The survey results will be released in 2008 Novartis Asia Pacific Oncology Summit Meeting.

After the 2008 AP Oncology Summit meeting, ACSA office will organize standardization/validation process for RQ-PCR and mutation assay with National Reference Lab. in each Asian country. In addition, ACSA proudly announces the training program of molecular assays for participating countries where the National Reference Lab has not been established yet. The program will be supported by Novartis and held in The Catholic University of Korea in Seoul, Korea.

After completion of the standardization/validation process and the training program, researchers will participate in the first Asia collaborative study ¡°Randomized study of high dose imatinib vs. nilotinib for suboptimal molecular responders to standard dose of imatinib in CML.¡±

We ask for your interest and active participation so that collaboration in studies for CML therapy will be enhanced, and eventually the benefit from our efforts will return to CML patients in Asia through the activation of ACSA.

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