UAB is a lead site in new NCI national clinical trials network

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cancer center ext 2013-9aUAB’s Comprehensive Cancer Center was selected by the National Cancer Institute to be part of the nation’s primary infrastructure to conduct clinical trials for cancer treatment and advanced imaging — especially large, definitive, multi-institutional trials evaluating new therapies and clinical approaches for adult and children.

As one of 30 lead academic sites in the National Clinical Trials Network chosen through competitive peer-review, UAB will receive a five-year, $2.5 million grant that will enable it to expand its research and patient-care options. More than 180 cancer-related clinical trials exploring a wide array of therapies, diagnostics and preventive options are underway at UAB now.

“With this grant, we now are able to open 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 patient access to treatment options that they might not otherwise have.”

NCI reports the new network is part of a changing landscaping that will facilitate the rapid initiation and completion of clinical trials by improving the data-management infrastructure, developing a standardized process for prioritizing new studies, consolidating component research groups to improve efficiency and ensuring a unified system of research subject protection at more than 3,000 clinical trial sites.

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

“This multi-faceted 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.

“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.

Co-principal investigators include Associate Professor Jennifer De Los Santos, M.D.; Professor Warner Huh, M.D.; Professor Harry Erba, M.D.; Professor Desiree Morgan, M.D.; Professor Carla Falkson, M.D.; and Professor Andres Forero, M.D.