publication date: Feb. 24, 2017

In Brief

Cleveland Clinic opens new cancer center

The new Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center will begin welcoming patients March 6.

The 377,000-square-foot facility, estimated at $276 million, will house all outpatient cancer treatment services in one location. The seven-story cancer building is located on the north side of Carnegie Avenue between East 102nd and 105th Streets.

The building, designed by William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc. and Stantec Architecture, is organized by cancer type, allowing patients to now have all of their appointments in one area where clinical caregivers come to the patient.

“As one of the nation’s most progressive cancer centers, the new Taussig Cancer Center will provide a seamless, personalized experience,” said Brian Bolwell, chairman of the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute. “Our design priorities of reduced wait times, improved patient flow, multidisciplinary clinics and a healing environment, combined with a commitment to cancer research, will deliver the best possible care and support for our patients.”

The new building includes an open first level featuring a large laboratory to help avoid long waits for blood testing; an outpatient pharmacy; a retail store stocked with items to meet cancer patients’ needs; and a café that accommodates special diets. Clinical features of the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center include:

  • 126 exams rooms and 98 treatment rooms in close proximity

  • Private chemotherapy infusion suites along the north side of the building with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the tree-lined lawn

  • Genetics and genomics testing

  • A centralized home for existing high-level treatment technology, including six linear accelerators and a Gamma Knife suite

  • On-site diagnostic imaging

  • Dedicated area for phase I, II and III clinical trials, with a special emphasis on supporting phase I trials

 

Jeffrey Patrick new director of Ohio State Drug Development Institute

Jeffrey Patrick was named director of the Drug Development Institute at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center–Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. 

Created by the OSUCCC–James and, with the help of seven Ohio State colleges and the university’s technology commercialization office, the DDI helps accelerate cancer drug development through strategic partnerships within the global pharmaceutical and research/development industries. DDI has cataloged 30 novel anticancer agents developed at Ohio State and is currently working to advance the most promising toward phase I testing by seeking investigational new drug applications by 2020. 

Patrick joins the OSUCCC–James from New Haven Pharmaceuticals in Connecticut, where he served as chief scientific officer. The DDI exists to advance early stage cancer research developed at Ohio State and serve as a bridge between faculty researchers and pharmaceutical industry.

Using an external, peer-reviewed evaluation process, the DDI has identified six core projects that will receive Pelotonia funding as well as drug development technical support, provided by a team of dedicated scientists and advisors with deep experience in creating high-value new drug candidates.

The projects represent a $1 million investment and include:

  • B cells as Personalized Cancer Immunotherapy Investigators: Thomas Cherpes and Rodolfo Vicetti Miguel. This multidisciplinary team is developing a novel B cell-based cancer immunotherapy. The therapy deploys a patient’s own B cells as “warheads” that activate the immune system to aggressively attack tumors. This approach has potential to treat a wide variety of cancer types, and may even be personalized to attack targets that are unique to an individual’s tumor.

  • Tumor-Targeted Payload Delivery Investigators: Michael Tweedle and Joshua Goldberger. One of the hallmarks of cancer is the continuous replication and high metabolic activity of cells in the tumor. This activity leads to the production of an acidic environment in the tumor. A team at Ohio State has designed molecules that can home in on this acidity and accumulate in the tumor. These specialized molecules could be used to deliver chemo- or radio-therapeutic agents to kill tumor cells or imaging agents to enhance visualization of tumors. DDI investment will support the production and testing of these molecules as a cross-functional delivery platform.

  • Reprogramming the Immune System to Fight Cancer Investigators: Mikhail Dikov, Thomas Magliery, Ming Poi, and David Carbone. The immune system is an important defense mechanism for recognizing and destroying abnormal cells in the body. Cancer cells often have the unique ability to escape the watchdog effects of the immune system, allowing the cells to grow and to metastasize to other locations. A team of Ohio State researchers have demonstrated that by modulating a signaling pathway in immune cells, they can reprogram the immune system to once again recognize and fight evasive tumor cells. The DDI is investing in research to develop and test a new class of molecules that impact this pathway.

  • A Vaccine Against a Cancer-causing Virus Investigator: Robert Baiocchi. Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) is a virus that infects 90 to 95 percent of adults and is associated with the development of several cancers, including lymphomas, in patients receiving organ or bone marrow transplants. The DDI is supporting the research team to develop a vaccine against the virus, which could be used to improve the body’s immune response to EBV and prevent cancers.

  • A Novel Target for Cancer Treatment Investigators: Steven Sizemore and Steffen Lindert. The Ral A protein has been shown to be critical for the growth of several types of cancer. Inhibitors of this target have yet to be clinically explored. A team of Ohio State researchers including Steven Sizemore, PhD, of radiation oncology and Steffen Lindert, PhD, of chemistry and biochemistry, are working with the DDI to design and test inhibitors of Ral A for the treatment of cancer.

  • A New Approach to Targeting a Cancer Driver Investigator: Werner Tjarks. Estrogen receptors are established targets implicated in both cancer and metabolic disorders. Werner Tjarks in the College of Pharmacy has teamed up with colleagues in the Czech Republic to develop a novel series of selective estrogen receptor beta agonists. Tjarks and the DDI are now collaborating to advance these promising molecules for treating cancer.

Copyright (c) 2017 The Cancer Letter Inc.