Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Awarded $8.9M for Clinical Research

Portrait of Mitchell Machtay

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) successfully re-competed for its status as a Lead Academic Participating Site (LAPS) for the National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN). Through NCTN, cancer patients have access to National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded trials that aim to improve upon current treatments. This new, six-year, $8.9M grant, led by co-PIs Mitchell Machtay, MD and Aaron Gerds, MD, MS, recognizes the Case CCC and its hospital partners, University Hospitals, Cleveland Clinic and the MetroHealth System, as a scientific leader in the conduct and design of clinical trials.

In 2014, the Case CCC was selected as one of 30 inaugural LAPS; it has been among the nation’s top accruing LAPS centers to NCTN trials in each of the past four years. Since then, more than 1,064 patients at University Hospitals, Cleveland Clinic and the MetroHealth System have participated in NCTN trials under the program.

Portrait of Aaron T. Gerds, MD
Aaron T. Gerds, MD, MS

“We are proud to continue as a Lead Academic Performance Site. At the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, we strive to be a leader in clinical research by developing the treatments of the future, collaborating nationally, and making these cutting-edge therapies available to improve the lives of cancer patients we serve in Northeast Ohio,” said Machtay, associate director for clinical research at the Case CCC and Vincent K. Smith Professor and Chairman of Radiation Oncology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Seidman Cancer Center of University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.

The NCTN, funded and directed by the NCI, coordinates federally-funded national, multicenter clinical trials that aim to improve outcomes for cancer patients. The NCTN focuses primarily on late-phase trials that address scientific questions that usually cannot be answered by other means such as a single-institution study or an industry-sponsored study. The results of these trials are published in high-impact journals and often set the standards of care for cancer treatment in the U.S. and the world.

“As a LAPS and key NCTN provider, we are able to directly impact the quality of treatment and care being delivered to our patients. Through a shared information infrastructure, we can speed the pace of research and offer more trials, including those targeting rare cancers. All these lead to improved outcomes for patients,” said Gerds, hematologic oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute and associate professor of medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University.

“This award is just one example of the truly collaborative nature of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and the National Clinical Trials Network. We bring together competing hospitals–University Hospitals, Cleveland Clinic and the MetroHealth System–to share information and work together to design better clinical trials and ultimately improve the lives of the cancer patients that we treat,” said Stan Gerson, MD, Director of the Case CCC, Asa and Patricia Shiverick–Jane Shiverick (Tripp) Professor of Hematological Oncology and Case Western Reserve University Distinguished University Professor.

Key co-Investigators on the LAPS include Case CCC members: Jame Abraham, MD, Bruce Averbook, MD, Paolo Caimi, MD, Peter Rose, MD, John Suh, MD, Steve Waggoner, MD, Mikkael Sekeres, MD, MS, Afshin Dowlati, MD, Marcos de Lima, MD, Min Yao, MD, PhD and David Adelstein, MD.