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NIH - National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis Center for Cancer Research
Developmental Therapeutics Clinic (DTC)
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Last Updated: 06/22/15

Overview For Providers

Located in Bethesda, Maryland, the DTC focuses on conducting phase 0 to phase II and biomarker-driven clinical trials while providing exceptional clinical care to the patients participating in our studies. Our mission is to perform groundbreaking research studies of new treatments for cancer. The clinic specializes in novel therapeutic approaches that focus on understanding the mechanism of action of new treatments using advanced genomic and pharmacodynamic assays. The ultimate goal is to improve understanding of new cancer therapies early so the information can be used to improve the selection of patients, combinations, and schedules for the development of more efficacious phase II and phase III trials. The clinic evaluates solid tumor patients of all histologies and those with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for study eligibility. Furthermore, the DTC leads trials in rare tumors like alveolar soft part sarcoma, adult soft tissue sarcoma, desmoid tumors, and tumors associated with mutant BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. The DTC works with physicians and patients from all parts of the United States and throughout the world.

The DTC conducts clinical trials to investigate the mechanisms new cancer treatments use to kill cancer cells. These studies may include first-in-human studies, studies for patients with rare tumors, and NCI-prioritized studies utilizing the genomic principles of precision medicine. The clinic conducts a diverse range of early-phase clinical trials involving investigational drugs with different mechanisms of action. DTC investigators work with experts within the NCI to better understand the pharmacodynamics and genomics of new drugs that could lead to the development of subsequent trials with more clinically important outcomes through better patient selection, different scheduling of agents, or improved combinations. Utilizing expertise in genomically driven drug development, the DTC is leading the MPACT (Molecular Profiling-Based Assignment of Cancer Therapy) trial. NCI’s MPACT trial seeks to determine if patients with a mutation in a certain genetic pathway are more likely to benefit from a treatment that targets that pathway compared with another cancer therapy that does not target that pathway. DTC physicians and their clinical and research colleagues continuously search for new ways to deliver cancer treatment by contributing to the knowledge about new and existing oncology agents.

Although DTC’s goal is to facilitate the development of new cancer treatments through clinical investigation, the staff demonstrates extraordinary compassion for patients and their families knowing that the ultimate goal is to offer treatment options, hope, and comfort. DTC clinicians, research nurses, and support staff have extensive experience in working with referring physicians in the care of patients in early clinical trials.