Karmanos, Wayne State to Join Cancer Treatment Research Trial


Detroit’s Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, in partnership with Wayne State University’s School of Medicine, will be among the lead academic centers participating in the National Cancer Institute’s trial to determine what therapies are effective for treating cancer patients.

“Karmanos Cancer Institute is known for its extensive clinical trials and research programs,” says Dr. Anthony Shields, the program leader for molecular imaging at Karmanos who will serve as the hospital’s principal investigator of the Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice trial. “Treating patients with targeted therapies looking at the molecular makeup of certain tumors is something we’ve been doing but we will now be able to take it to an even greater level…”

The National Cancer Institute’s test trial is a phase two program that will examine what targeted therapies work for people whose tumors have specific gene mutations, regardless of their cancer type. For example, a breast cancer patient may have a gene mutation that is often found in lung cancer patients, and the study will look to treat the mutation instead of the cancer. Shields says more than 20 different drugs or drug combinations, each targeting a certain gene mutation, will be incorporated into the trial.

More than 2,000 National Cancer Trial Network or Community Oncology Research Program sites will participate in the trial. Karmanos is one of 30 lead academic centers.

“With so many medical centers participating in this trial, it will provide a greater number of potential candidates with specific gene mutations to test novel therapies that could ultimately lead to finding improved treatment options for cancer patients,” Shields says.