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Personalized Cancer Therapy: Experimental Therapeutics Program

Our world-renowned cancer specialists not only deliver state-of-the-art therapy, but also play an important role in their research and development. As San Diego's only academic health system, we can offer these cutting-edge therapies before they are widely available.

The Experimental Therapeutics Program is dedicated to making the newest cancer therapies available in clinical trials, with an emphasis on personalizing therapy to each individual. The program is led by researchers with expertise in cancer genetics, immunotherapy, and early phase drug development.

Early Phase (Phase 1) Clinical Trials

These clinical trials are studying novel therapies at the earlier phase of clinical development, with a focus on safety and important response signals. Dr. Sandip Patel focuses on early-phase immunotherapy trials, and Dr. Sada Ikeda and Dr. Razelle Kurzrock focus on early-phase molecularly matched clinical trials.

Genomically-Driven Clinical Trials

This area evaluates how the molecular analysis of individual tumors is used to choose and/or deliver personalized therapy. Projects in this area include:
  • PREDICT (Profile Related Evidence Determining Individualized Cancer Therapy)

    Led by Razelle Kurzrock, MD, the purpose of this project is to determine the outcome of patients who had molecular profiling (genomic testing) performed on their tumors and were treated with a matched targeted anticancer therapy. (See Molecular Tumor Board for additional information.)

  • Liquid Biopsy in Precision Cancer Medicine Program

    Led by Dr. Hatim Husain, and Dr. Razelle Kurzrock, the objective of this aspect of the personalized cancer therapy program is to determine if genomics can be performed on blood samples and assist in predicting patient outcome or their response to treatment. Dr. Lyudmila Bazhenova leads a specialized liquid biopsy program in lung cancer.

Immunotherapy Program

Trials in immunotherapy focus on individualized therapies that stimulate and retrain the immune system to fight cancer. For more details, see Immunotherapy. Dr. Gregory Daniels focuses on immunotherapy in melanoma and thyroid cancers, and Dr. Sandip Patel focuses on thoracic immunotherapy trials as well as early-phase immunotherapy trials with Dr. Razelle Kurzrock.

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