Drug discovery and development is a long arduous process. Potential hits determined from high-throughput screens undergo significant chemical refinement for specificity, selectivity, and phramaceutical properties. If all goes well, a lead candidate will be identified and moves through preclinical screening to assess the relationship between the presence of the target and the activity of the lead candidate, as well as a pattern of efficacy at nontoxic doses. At this point, the structure and characterization of the lead candidate are prepared for dissemination to the public in what is frequently termed a “first disclosure.” These first disclosures have been limited for many years to presentations at scientific meetings to a limited audience of attendees. Under the current system, these studies are then published in generalized chemical journals alongside non-oncological drugs and therefore rely on authors and indexing to reach the oncology community. Establishing a central, oncology-specific hub to publish these first disclosures would accelerate collaborations and translational progress.

At Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, we see the scenario above in the broadest terms pertaining to all forms of cancer experimental therapeutics—small molecules, large molecules, vaccines, cellular therapies, gene therapies. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics announces its mission to establish as the journal of choice for First Disclosures of promising new anticancer therapeutics. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics is the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) resource for publishing translational studies of novel drug candidates. These studies include reports that are First Disclosures, but the journal has not had an article type dedicated to these reports. To serve as the central hub for First Disclosures in oncology, AACR and Molecular Cancer Therapeutics proudly announce the “First Disclosures” article type. This new article type will be reserved for the first time the drug structure is presented in peer-reviewed literature, accompanied by pertinent translational investigations. Each “First Disclosure” will include a graphical abstract.

In this initial First Disclosures Focus collection, we provide the first two examples: one for a small-molecule inhibitor, and one for a mAb. By establishing a hub for these first-time disclosures in cancer research, we will ensure our readership is in-the-know on the newest therapeutic candidates entering or currently under clinical study.

Molecular Cancer Therapeutics will continue to provide, as it has for the past 19 years, the “Research Article” category for manuscripts describing novel combinatorial therapies, new indications for previously disclosed drugs, resistance mechanisms, and pharmacogenomics. However, if the manuscript outlines a new drug candidate whose structure has not been previously reported in the literature, we encourage the author to submit the structure and preclinical characterization of the therapeutic as a “First Disclosure” article. Such articles may coincide with the candidate's clinical study and serve as the central reference for that drug's preclinical profile.

We will consider all types of therapeutics for this new article type. Transparent structural reporting depends on the therapeutic but involves variable region sequences for antibodies, and DNA sequences for cellular, nucleotide, and vaccine therapies. Submissions will be assessed on the basis of the efficacy, translatability, and transparency of the proposed therapeutic.

As we understand the importance in timeliness for these novel drug disclosures, the journal will offer expedited consideration of manuscripts in the “First Disclosure” article category. It is our hope that rapid review and centralized publication of these disclosures can facilitate groundbreaking collaborations in translational research that generates new solutions in cancer therapy.

Beverly A. Teicher

Editor-in-Chief, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics

Bethesda, MD