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NCI Awards Phase II Clinical Trials Contract to Ohio State

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Posted: 1/20/2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The National Cancer Institute has awarded $3 million to the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) to conduct Phase II clinical trials to determine the effectiveness of cancer-fighting drugs still in development.

The contract with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) was granted to just nine institutions in the United States, and it will add to the range of novel cancer therapies available to the people of Ohio and the region, said Dr. Michael A. Caligiuri, director of the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center and deputy director of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

“The OSUCCC – James ranks among an elite group of only nine cancer institutions in the country that have been awarded NCI contracts for both Phase I and II clinical trials. This award will distinguish OSUCCC even further as a national leader in translational and early-phase clinical research, and bolsters cancer research here as more novel treatments become available for patients in our clinical trials,” Caligiuri said.

The contract calls for OSUCCC – James to accrue at least 250 patients annually to Phase II clinical trials to study the efficacy of various compounds in treating solid tumors, along with leukemias and lymphomas. Each trial will enroll 30 to 50 patients to help determine how well a particular compound, or combination of compounds, works to treat a specific cancer. Phase I clinical trials assess the toxicity and safe dosage levels of experimental therapeutics.

As principal investigator, Dr. Miguel Villalona, a member of the OSUCCC’s Experimental Therapeutics Program, will oversee the project. Successful enrollment in the clinical trials will extend the project for an additional two years with another $2 million in funding.

“In the move toward a more rational and decisive treatment for patients with cancer, oncology has evolved into the design of molecules that target gene malfunctions that are key in the development and maintenance of the cancer phenotype,” said Villalona, an associate professor in the department of internal medicine at Ohio State. He also directs the solid tumors experimental therapeutics program in the division of hematology/oncology.

“This program will allow patients and investigators at OSU to have access to a series of new targeted compounds with great promise,” Villalona said.

Other awardees include: University of Chicago; University of Texas/MD Anderson; University of California, Davis; Sloan Kettering Institute; Montefiore Medical Center; Mayo Clinic Rochester; University Health Network/Princess Margaret Hospital; and H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center.

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center is a network of interdisciplinary research programs with more than 200 investigators in 13 colleges across the OSU campus, the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute and Children’s Hospital, in Columbus. OSUCCC members conduct research on the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, generating more than $100 million annually in external funding.

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Eileen Scahill
Medical Center Communications

Bladder Cancer; Bone Cancer; Brain Cancer; Breast Cancer; Cancer; Clinical/Translational Research; Colorectal Cancer; Digestive/Gastrointestinal Cancer; Endocrine Cancers; Gynecologic Cancer; James Cancer Hospital; Kidney Cancer; Leukemia; Lung Cancer; Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma; OSU Medical Center; Prostate Cancer; Testicular Cancer