PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA [December 3, 2020] — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) Oncology Research Program (ORP) today announced five projects selected to receive funding for clinical and preclinical evaluation of abemaciclib. Abemaciclib is a cyclin dependent kinase (CDK) 4 & 6 inhibitor used in the treatment of hormone receptor-positive (HR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2-) breast cancer. The proposals were reviewed and awarded by a scientific steering committee made up of experts from NCCN Member Institutions, and the NCCN ORP is handling project oversight. Research funding is being provided by a grant from Eli Lilly and Company.

The selected projects are:

“Congratulations to all of these accomplished grantees,” said Wui-Jin Koh, MD, Chief Medical Officer, NCCN. “We are eager to learn more about which patients develop resistance to CDK 4 & 6 inhibitors, the potential underlying mechanisms, and ways in which such resistance can be overcome, in order to improve the application of this potentially life-prolonging therapy. This research is one of the many ways we work to improve longevity and quality-of-life for people with metastatic breast cancer.” 

“I have had a frontline view of how metastatic breast cancer can be unpredictable and complex,” said Maura Dickler, MD, Vice President, Late Phase Development, Lilly Oncology. “Every day the lives of an estimated 115 women and men in the United States are lost as a result of this disease. Lilly is honored to support this research because it is critical in furthering our efforts to improve treatment options for people living with metastatic breast cancer.”

The NCCN ORP fosters innovation and knowledge discovery that improves the lives of people with cancer and supports preclinical, translational, clinical research and quality improvement projects in oncology at NCCN Member Institutions. In an effort to improve collaboration in cancer research, the NCCN ORP also maintains a shared resources website and an informed consent database. For more information, visit

* The preclinical studies by Drs. Olmez and Zeng have already begun. The remainder are expected to commence in mid-2021.

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About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is a not-for-profit alliance of leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education. NCCN is dedicated to improving and facilitating quality, effective, efficient, and accessible cancer care so patients can live better lives. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) provide transparent, evidence-based, expert consensus recommendations for cancer treatment, prevention, and supportive services; they are the recognized standard for clinical direction and policy in cancer management and the most thorough and frequently-updated clinical practice guidelines available in any area of medicine. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients® provide expert cancer treatment information to inform and empower patients and caregivers, through support from the NCCN Foundation®. NCCN also advances continuing education, global initiatives, policy, and research collaboration and publication in oncology. Visit for more information and follow NCCN on Facebook @NCCNorg, Instagram @NCCNorg, and Twitter @NCCN.