The Cancer Therapeutics Program (CTP) comprises a multidisciplinary group of scientists who are committed to making basic laboratory observations about therapeutic targets and potential strategies, exploring their feasibility in preclinical models, and translating the most promising approaches and molecules into the clinical setting.
The scientific objective of the CTP is to enhance cancer treatment by fostering a highly interactive and vertically integrated drug discovery and development program in which information moves bi-directionally between basic and clinical scientists. To achieve this objective, members of the CTP perform mechanistic and innovative studies on novel agents, new targets, and novel drug delivery systems with the goals of identifying new anticancer agents, understanding the mechanism(s) of action of new and existing anticancer drugs, and optimizing schedules and doses of antineoplastic drugs.
Central to the CTP’s mission is the acquisition of sufficient laboratory derived data to develop more efficacious clinical therapies against human solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. The CTP has focused on establishing both a strong basic science foundation to support the development of small molecule, anti-cancer agents and novel therapeutic approaches against malignancy, and a robust capability to perform clinical trials with the most promising agents and approaches.
Research within the CTP is focused in three main areas:
- Pre-clinical discovery and development of novel agents and/or combination regimens
- Investigation of mechanisms of action of new and existing anticancer agents
- Design, leadership, and conduct of both early phase (1/2) and late phase (3) clinical trials with a focus on translation of Hillman Cancer Center science and/or discoveries of novel agents
Preclinical Discovery / Development of Novel Targets / Pathways and Novel Agents
CTP investigators are focused on the pre-clinical discovery, design, and development of novel agents and/or combination regimens for cancer therapy. New molecules discovered in CTP laboratories that are directed against a range of interesting and novel targets are in various stages of drug development; while some of these agents are in early in vitro testing, others have moved on to in vivo model systems, and several are being tested in early phase clinical trials.
Investigating Mechanisms of Action of New and Exisiting Anticancer Agents
CTP researchers are evaluating a variety of key cancer cell signaling mechanisms, and the way in which anticancer drugs may be working to target specific molecules and pathways within cancer cells. These molecular targets include nuclear and cellular matrix proteins, transcription factors, growth factors, kinase receptors and other transmembrane proteins, and hormone and hormone receptors, among others.
Conduct Early-Phase (I/II) Clinical Trials
Clinical investigators in Cancer Therapeutics design and perform Phase I, Phase I/II, and Phase II studies with a focus on translation of Hillman Cancer Center science and discoveries of novel agents, as well as in partnership with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), NCI cancer centers, other academic centers, cooperative groups, and industry.