Author Affiliations: Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Center and Department of Ophthalmology, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (Dr Levin); School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison (Dr Levin); and Department of Ophthalmology, University of Auckland Medical School, Auckland, New Zealand (Dr Danesh-Meyer).
Translational medicine—turning basic science discoveries into innovative therapies—has led to remarkable achievements, including statins for dyslipidemia, novel therapies for diabetes, kinase inhibitors such as imatinib for cancers, and anti-inflammatory biological agents for autoimmune diseases. Difficulties in translational research have been highlighted by recent failures of clinical trials to substantiate preclinical studies, exemplified by antineoplastic drugs that are highly effective in animal models but have limited or no efficacy in patients with cancer.1 In some situations, the therapy worsens the disease; for instance, the MRKAd5 HIV-1 gag/pol/nef vaccine to prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection increased the likelihood of HIV acquisition.2
Levin LA, Danesh-Meyer HV. Lost in TranslationBumps in the Road Between Bench and Bedside. JAMA. 2010;303(15):1533-1534. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.463