Patient advocates, academic opinion leaders, FDA officials and drug developers will meet in Washington this week to discuss final details of an initiative to create a lung cancer "master protocol" that could become a model for collaborative testing of drug candidates for cancer and other diseases susceptible to targeted therapies.

The biomarker-driven master protocol for squamous cell lung cancer is being developed in a process led by Friends of Cancer Research (FOCR) and prominent academic clinicians. If successful, it will shift competition in lung cancer drug development from clinical testing to the compounds themselves.