The mission of the Molecular Therapeutics (MT) Program is to translate laboratory findings to the clinic and to facilitate collaborations between basic and clinical scientists, to improve the lives of patients with cancer by identifying new molecules, targets, and strategies for treating cancer. This highly interactive Program includes 71 members from 14 WSU departments and $21,451,366 in grants, of which $8,188,471 is peer reviewed. Program membership includes a cross section of laboratory-based scientists and clinical investigators in the Karmanos Cancer Institute (KCI), who meet regularly through programmatic activities, and serve as co- investigators on research grants and investigator-initiated clinical trials. The scientific themes of the MT Program are to: 1) identify and validate novel therapeutics, targets and pathways for selective tumor targeting; 2) identify cellular/molecular determinants and biomarkers of tumor response; and 3) validate clinical effectiveness of new agents in interventional treatment trials. The MT Program focuses on developing new approaches for treating cancer, ranging from drug discovery to mechanism-based efforts emphasizing mechanisms-of-action of novel tumor-targeted and standard agents and critical signaling pathways. Biomarker research is central to the MT Program's mission and includes pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, establishing cellular and molecular biomarkers predictive of therapeutic responses to standard and novel targeted therapies, and identification of genomic biomarkers and driver mutations leading to actionable therapies. Research in the MT Program is aimed at clinical translation, drawing from our nationally/ internationally recognized clinical trials program at KCI. Interventional treatment trials are using tumor profiling to identify patients likely to respond to particular treatments and include investigator-initiated clinical trials derived from basic laboratory research at KCI. MT Program members also lead a number of phase III trials, often working with multi-center teams and cooperative groups. An important focus of research encompassing all three themes is on cancer disparities, particularly in African Americans, including clinical trial enrollment and differences in tumor biology and treatment outcomes between African American patients and white patients. In our interventional treatment trials at KCI, 27.4% of enrolled patients are African American. MT Program members actively collaborate with members of the MI, TBM, and PSDR Programs at KCI. Of the 906 manuscripts published from December 2010 to November 2014, 33% and 34% were intra- and inter- programmatic, respectively, and 28% were multi-institutional collaborations.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Study Section
Subcommittee I - Career Development (NCI)
Program Officer
Ptak, Krzysztof
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Wayne State University
United States
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Watza, Donovan; Purrington, Kristen S; Chen, Kang et al. (2017) Transcriptional programs of tumor infiltrating T-cells provide insight into mechanisms of immune response and new targets for immunotherapy. J Thorac Dis 9:4162-4164
Eggly, Susan; Hamel, Lauren M; Foster, Tanina S et al. (2017) Randomized trial of a question prompt list to increase patient active participation during interactions with black patients and their oncologists. Patient Educ Couns 100:818-826
Bao, Bin; Mitrea, Cristina; Wijesinghe, Priyanga et al. (2017) Treating triple negative breast cancer cells with erlotinib plus a select antioxidant overcomes drug resistance by targeting cancer cell heterogeneity. Sci Rep 7:44125
Bernardo, Margarida M; Dzinic, Sijana H; Matta, Maria J et al. (2017) The Opportunity of Precision Medicine for Breast Cancer With Context-Sensitive Tumor Suppressor Maspin. J Cell Biochem 118:1639-1647
Soave, Claire L; Guerin, Tracey; Liu, Jinbao et al. (2017) Targeting the ubiquitin-proteasome system for cancer treatment: discovering novel inhibitors from nature and drug repurposing. Cancer Metastasis Rev 36:717-736
Jones, Carissa C; Bush, William S; Crawford, Dana C et al. (2017) Germline Genetic Variants and Lung Cancer Survival in African Americans. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 26:1288-1295
Bosnyák, Edit; Michelhaugh, Sharon K; Klinger, Neil V et al. (2017) Prognostic Molecular and Imaging Biomarkers in Primary Glioblastoma. Clin Nucl Med 42:341-347
Ben Khedher, Soumaya; Neri, Monica; Papadopoulos, Alexandra et al. (2017) Menstrual and reproductive factors and lung cancer risk: A pooled analysis from the international lung cancer consortium. Int J Cancer 141:309-323
Tan, Zhijing; Nie, Song; McDermott, Sean P et al. (2017) Single Amino Acid Variant Profiles of Subpopulations in the MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cell Line. J Proteome Res 16:842-851
Embogama, D Maheeka; Pflum, Mary Kay H (2017) K-BILDS: A Kinase Substrate Discovery Tool. Chembiochem 18:136-141

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