Stephenson Cancer Center Awarded $10.8 Million Grant to Expand Clinical Trials

Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 By: Staff Reports Source: Stephenson Cancer Center
the Stephenson Cancer Center is able to provide Oklahomans in Tulsa and eastern Oklahoma with access to NCI-sponsored clinical trials.”

Since it was initially designated a Lead Academic Participating Site in 2014, the Stephenson Cancer Center has made several groundbreaking clinical trials available to Oklahoma patients. Among them was NCI-MATCH, a precision medicine treatment trial in which eligible patients were “matched” with state-of-the-art therapies based on the genetic changes found in their specific tumors. NCI-MATCH, which is ongoing, is one of the largest precision medicine trials being conducted in the world.

“This innovative trial offers personalized therapy to patients,” Moore said. “Each patient on the trial had their tumor biopsied and sequenced to see if they had a gene mutation that was known to respond to a specific drug. It didn’t matter what type of cancer they had – they received the drug treatments for which their molecular alteration matched.”

ANOTHER ACHIEVEMENT WAS THE STEPHENSON CANCER CENTER’S PARTICIPATION IN AN NCI-SPONSORED CLINICAL TRIAL THAT EVALUATED IMMUNOTHERAPY COMBINATIONS FOR WOMEN WHOSE OVARIAN CANCER HAD BEEN PREVIOUSLY TREATED BUT RECURRED.

 “That study showed that we doubled response rates with two immunotherapies instead of one, and it has opened the door to further drug development of combination immunotherapies in ovarian cancer,” Moore said. “We had several patients who participated in that trial and responded well to therapy.”

In May 2018, the Stephenson Cancer Center was awarded the prestigious “NCI Designation” status from the National Cancer Institute. This highly competitive distinction places the Stephenson Cancer Center among the top 70 cancer centers in the nation, and it culminates more than 15 years of effort to develop a world-class cancer center in Oklahoma.

During his visit to Oklahoma last spring for the NCI Designation announcement, former NCI Director Ned Sharpless, M.D., praised Stephenson Cancer Center’s commitment to clinical research: “Clinical trials are the way we change the standard of care, and they are absolutely important for progress against cancer. The Stephenson Cancer Center does that about as well as anybody in the country.”

Cancer research, with an emphasis in clinical trials and tobacco-related research, at the Stephenson Cancer Center receives funding from the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET). An endowment created by the voters in 2000 to improve the health of Oklahomans, TSET is dedicated to reducing the state’s leading causes of preventable death – cancer and cardiovascular disease – caused by tobacco use and obesity.

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