El Paso's new cancer clinical research center hits the ground running
July 12th, 2012
An article in Monday’s El Paso Times reported on the progress being made by the Cancer Clinical Research Core Facility at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, which focuses on the prevention, treatment and cure of cancer. The article reported that Dr. Zeina Nahleh, chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and director of the breast oncology program, is focusing her research on the treatment of breast cancer and other solid tumors.
Nahleh was quoted as saying, "We are developing cancer trials that will make the patient's quality of life, prognosis and treatment options better than the standard of care. We will open trials on other types of cancer, but we wanted to start with the most common type, which is why we started with breast cancer."
It also reported that eight clinical trials are taking place with Nahleh's oversight.
Cancer Clinical Research Core Facility opens [orginally posted June 14, 2012]
This month, TTUHSC Paul L. Foster School of Medicine and its partner University Medical Center (UMC) plan to open the Cancer Clinical Research Core Facility at the Texas Tech Research and Academic Building (TTRAC) at 440 Raynolds. At the facility, patients will receive cutting-edge cancer treatments and clinical trials. A $1.5 million dollar Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) grant made the facility possible.
“The core facility will be staffed by qualified nurses, investigators, and research coordinators, and will facilitate the conduct of high quality, well-regulated cancer clinical trials aimed at improving the quality of life of cancer patients and to answer questions that will improve cancer care. These patients, even in the early stages of cancer, will be offered more treatment options above and beyond the standard of care,” said Zeina Nahleh, M.D., chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology, TTUHSC Department of Internal Medicine. “Any patient diagnosed with cancer may be a candidate for participation in cancer research and clinical trials,” she added.
This core facility will initially focus on the more common breast, lung and colon malignancies, but will offer options for treating all cancers. It will also be available to pediatric and gynecologic oncologists as well as collaborators from the community and William Beaumont Army Medical Center.
A discussion on what clinical trials are will be presented in English and Spanish during the Open House, June 22, at noon. An exhibition of award-winning art work by individuals touched by cancer will be on display from noon to 4 p.m.
Cancer Clinical Research Core Facility at TTUHSC activates five clinical trails [originally posted Feb 8, 2012]
Dr. Zeina Nahleh, an associate professor of hematology/oncology, recently provided an update on the Cancer Clinical Research Core Facility at TTUHSC-El Paso. The facility, established by a $1.5 million CPRIT award, has been staffed by nurses, investigators and research coordinators.
The goal of the program is to improve quality of life of cancer patients through improved treatment and research. A data analyst will establish a cancer database to help Texas Tech better understand specific cancer-related attributes in the Hispanic patient population in El Paso and the border community, and address the specific needs of these patients.
Any patient diagnosed with cancer in El Paso may be a candidate for participation in cancer research and will have access to Texas Tech's clinical trials and new cancer treatments without having to leave home. Before this core facility at TTUHSC-El Paso, the nearest academic centers that provide access to quality oncology clinical trials are hundreds of miles away in San Antonio, Dallas and Houston.
The short-term goal is to have at least 10 clinical trials activated and enrolling patients targeting the most common cancers: breast, colon, and lung cancer and lymphoma.
Where the project stands:
An oncology research coordinator has been hired and has activated five cancer research clinical trials.
The cancer program is now affiliated with the Southwest Oncology Group, one of the largest NCI National Cooperative Oncology Groups that lead national practice-changing and breakthrough cancer research.
The first three patients with early stage breast cancer have been enrolled in S0221, a randomized trial testing two different schedules of chemotherapy.
The medical school is also now affiliated with South Plains Oncology Consortium, a regional consortium devoted to conducting early phase oncology trials and translational cancer research.
An international trial for advanced breast cancer using a standard chemotherapy drug, sorafenib, sponsored by Bayer, has just been activated. All drugs are provided free.
The division of hematology oncology in the department of internal medicine is finalizing the last stages before activating an investigator-initiated trial introducing a novel biologic drug, AUY922, with hormonal therapy and targeted drug for patients with advanced hard to-treat breast cancer known as ER+ HER2+. Drugs are provided free.
A collaboration was established with the Oncology Division at Beaumont Army Medical Center to ease enrollment of its patients in clinical trials conducted at Texas Tech.
A website, which will be updated regularly, has been established for better community outreach and delivery of information to patients. It is at ttuhsc.edu/fostersom/internal/hematologyoncology.aspx.
Information: Oncology Research Office, 915-545-6510.
Cancer institute presents $7.1M to three institutions in El Paso [originall posted Jan. 27, 2012]
The Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) on Jan. 27 presented a $4.2 million check to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, approximately $1 million to the University of Texas at El Paso, and $1.9 million to Centro San Vicente
Over the next three years, $2.7 million will fund the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine project Against Colorectal Cancer in our Neighborhoods (ACCION). Another $1.5 million will help establish a Cancer Clinical Core Facility at TTUHSC El Paso through the State of the Art Cancer Care at Home project. The funds awarded to UTEP will be used to conduct prostate cancer research.
Paul L. Foster School of Medicine Founding Dean and Vice President for Health Affairs Jose Manuel de la Rosa, M.D., said the medical school is proud to receive this award thanks to scientists, Navkiran Shokar, M.D., M.P.H., and Zeina Nahleh, M.D.
“These projects are so important to providing the most vulnerable members of our society with life-saving treatments and early detection,” de la Rosa said.
Texas Tech University System Chancellor Kent Hance said, “To more than double our amount of state cancer research funding in a year is remarkable.”
TTUHSC-El Paso included in $100M award for Texas cancer research [originally posted Nov. 8, 2011]
On Nov. 2, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) awarded more than $100 million to Texas cancer research and drug development projects. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center-El Paso is included in the award for a program that will provide cancer patients with better access to clinical trials and new cancer treatments. The program will also better serve the cancer care needs of the city’s active duty military and their families. TTUHSC-El Paso is recommended to receive $1.5 million for the program titled “Establishing a Cancer Clinical Research Core facility at Texas Tech University Health Science Center in El Paso.” Primary investigator is Zeina Nahleh, associate professor of hematology/oncology at TTUHSC-El Paso.
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