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VICC debuts new Center for Cancer Targeted Therapies

Oct. 31, 2013, 8:43 AM

Taking part in last week’s ribbon cutting for Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center’s new Center for Cancer Targeted Therapies were, from left, C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., Carlos L. Arteaga, M.D., Orrin Ingram and Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center leaders formally dedicated the space for the new Center for Cancer Targeted Therapies (CCTT), located in the Infusion Center on the second floor of The Vanderbilt Clinic, at a special ribbon-cutting held during last week’s fall meeting of the Cancer Center’s Board of Overseers.

Led by director Carlos L. Arteaga, M.D., professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology and associate for Clinical Research, the CCTT is an extension of the Cancer Center’s expertise in personalized cancer medicine, Phase I trials and non-invasive imaging.

Through the VICC Personalized Cancer Medicine Initiative (PCMI), investigators focus on genomic signatures in a patient’s tumor and use that information to match the patient to a targeted therapy.

Patients with various forms of lung, breast and colorectal cancer, along with melanoma, are already being screened for genomic markers that help physicians decide on the best course of treatment.

The CCTT leverages the strengths of the PCMI, along with the VICC Phase I Program, led by Jordan Berlin, M.D., Ingram Professor of Cancer Research. Phase I clinical trials are designed to test new compounds in humans to determine potential doses and toxicities.

The new CCTT will also harness the capabilities of the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Sciences and the Division of Interventional Oncology in the Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences.

The goal of the new initiative is to streamline drug development efforts at VICC using leading-edge molecular profiling of tumors and novel imaging approaches that predict drug action and efficacy. This integration will help VICC expand the center’s early phase clinical trials program and contribute to faster approval of new targeted drugs and combination therapies for cancer patients.

“The creation of this new center is a testament to the continuous commitment of our institution to the development of new and effective anti-cancer therapies,” said Arteaga, also the Donna S. Hall Professor of Breast Cancer Research.

“As we dedicate this new center, we are also celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Cancer Center,” said Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D., director of VICC. “The CCTT is the next logical step in the growth of the Cancer Center and it marks another defining moment in our efforts to provide the best therapies for our patients.”

The CCTT also will create more research and training opportunities for basic, translational and clinical investigators.

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