April 30, 2014

UAB receives NCI grant as lead site in National Clinical Trials Network
The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center has been selected as a  lead academic site and received a prestigious NCI grant that will open up clinical trials across a nationwide network and expand treatment options for patients.

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Krontiras patient-HRThe University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center has received a $2.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute as a National Clinical Trial Network Lead Academic Participating Site.

After a competitive peer-review application process, the UAB Cancer Center was selected as one of 30 cancer centers in the nation, and one of only five in the Southeast.  

The five-year grant, which awards $497,800 annually, allows the Cancer Center to be part of NCI’s primary infrastructure to conduct state-of-the-art cancer treatment and advanced imaging clinical trials, especially large, definitive multi-institutional trials evaluating new cancer therapies and related clinical approaches for both adult and pediatric patients.  

“With this grant, we are now able to open up our clinical trials across a nationwide network,” said Edward Partridge, M.D., director of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to provide patients access to treatment options that they might not otherwise have.”

There are currently more than 180 cancer-related clinical trials at UAB exploring a wide array of therapies, diagnostics and preventive options. Clinical trials test new treatments in people with cancer with the goal of finding better ways to treat cancer. If a new treatment proves effective in a study, it may become a new standard treatment. Many of today’s most effective standard treatments are based on previous study results, including treatments for breast, colon, rectal and childhood cancers.

There are currently more than 180 cancer-related clinical trials at UAB exploring a wide array of therapies, diagnostics and preventive options. Clinical trials test new treatments in people with cancer with the goal of finding better ways to treat cancer. If a new treatment proves effective in a study, it may become a new standard treatment.
Previously, clinical trials were sometimes seen as a last resort for people who had no other treatment choices. Today, however, many cancer patients often choose to receive their first treatment in a clinical trial. Because of this type of progress made through clinical trials, many people treated for cancer are now living longer.  

Several UAB faculty from a variety of departments helped bring the NCTN grant to fruition, including principal investigator Ronald Alvarez, M.D., director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology.

“This multifaceted approach maintains the Cancer Center’s connections with the national cancer research community while fostering the development of translational research linked to UAB’s scientific resources,” Alvarez said.  

Co-principal investigators include physicians Jennifer De Los Santos, Warner Huh, Harry Erba, Desiree Morgan, Carla Falkson and Andres Forero.

“This project reflects the collaborative nature of the UAB Cancer Center, involving hematology and oncology, radiation oncology, gynecologic oncology, and radiology, all working together for the greater good, and on an even broader level than previously possible,” Alvarez said.
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