TGen News & Press Releases : Businessman-philanthropist assists TGen-VARI study of rare cancer

Researchers plan joint clinical trials of new cancer treatments and personalized therapies

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Nov. 8, 2011 - The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare is expanding its efforts to accelerate advances in cancer care with the addition of Cedars-Sinai's Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute in Los Angeles as a collaborator in clinical trials to develop personalized therapies that could lead to more effective cancer treatments.

The collaboration will focus on Phase I clinical trials of new personalized therapies for a variety of rare and common cancers, focusing on three areas of cancer research:

  • Gastrointestinal malignancies including pancreatic, colorectal and gastric cancer
  • Genitourinary malignancies such as prostate, kidney and bladder cancer
  • Rare cancers including adrenal, neuroendocrine and thyroid cancer

Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials, a partnership between the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Scottsdale Healthcare, will provide local coordination for the program. The partnership offers patients access to promising new cancer treatments through clinical trials, emphasizing collaboration among leading organizations to speed innovation from laboratory bench to patient bedside.

The collaborative endeavor between TGen, Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center and Cedars-Sinai also will study new approaches to improve patients' quality of life during cancer treatment and create innovative models to deliver supportive care and services to cancer survivors.

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare serves the greater Phoenix area with innovative cancer treatment and research facilities that attract patients from across Arizona and the United States.

"In addition to our local patients a significant number travel from the west coast for treatment at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center. The opportunity to expand our collective efforts against these cancers will undoubtedly mean progress in medicine's ability to successfully treat the disease," said Dr. Ramesh Ramanathan, M.D., Medical Director, Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials, and Deputy Director
of TGen's Clinical Translational Research Division.

Cedars-Sinai is the largest academic medical center in the western U.S. Its outpatient cancer center treats more than 9,000 patients each year, making it one of the busiest treatment facilities in California. Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report named the institute's cancer program as one of the top in the country.

"Our two organizations share the same goal: to greatly improve cancer treatment with therapies that attack the disease in new and innovative ways," added Steven Piantadosi, M.D., Ph.D., Phase One Foundation chair and director of the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "Translating new research into effective therapies will improve the lives of cancer patients, and, ultimately, lead to a time when cancer is a manageable condition not a feared disease."

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare opened in December 2001 as the first comprehensive cancer center in greater Phoenix and ranks as one of the country's leading programs for new cancer drug development and Phase I studies.

"We are very excited about this new collaboration intended to accelerate development of new ways to beat cancer," said Tom Sadvary, president & CEO of Scottsdale Healthcare. "Our two organizations share the same commitment to improving the lives of our patients and expanding the ever-increasing number of cancer survivors."

Individuals seeking information about eligibility to participate in clinical trials at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare may contact the cancer care coordinator at 480-323-1339; toll free at 1-877-273-3713; or via email at [email protected]

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