Clinical Services Program (CSP) laboratories that support the Center for Cancer Research (CCR) are highlighted below. Dedicated Support for the CCR Clinical Support Laboratory (CSL). The CSL provides clinical monitoring, flow cytometry, and lymphokine testing for CCR clinical trials. The CSL also provides clinical sample processing and testing support to the CCR Clinical Pharmacology Core in lab space located at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Human Cancer Immunotoxin Therapy Assay Support and Development Laboratory. This laboratory provides dedicated support to the CCR Laboratory of Molecular Biology (Dr. Ira Pastan, Chief) for investigator-initiated studies and clinical trials focusing on genetically engineered immunotoxins. Currently, 3 immunotoxins are being evaluated clinically: 1) LMB2 for certain lymphomas, 2) BL22 for certain lymphomas and hairy cell leukemia in adult and pediatric patients, and 3) HA22, which is a high-affinity immunotoxin under study to replace BL22. Laboratory of Cell-Mediated Immunity (LCMI). The LCMI provides dedicated support to meet the requirements of the NCI Vaccine Working Group Oversight Committee. The primary mission of this laboratory is to provide cutting-edge, clinically validated immunological assays that are broadly applicable to NCI investigators to address both clinical and basic research questions. To date, 7 different immunological assays have been validated for clinical use. A secondary mission of the LCMI is to develop, in coordination with the Vaccine Working Group Oversight Committee, new immunological assays that can provide a more precise and accurate means of analyzing different aspects of cell-mediated immunity in clinical settings. Support for the NCI Experimental Therapeutics Program The NCI Experimental Therapeutics (NExT) Program is a partnership between the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (DCTD) and the Center for Cancer Research (CCR).
Aim ed at streamlining the development and testing of promising new anticancer drugs and expediting their delivery from the bench to the bedside, the program capitalizes on the strengths of both organizations. The DCTD has longstanding expertise in drug development and relationships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, while the CCR is world renowned for its comprehensive approach to translating basic science discoveries into clinical applications. The program is also designed to provide opportunities for NCI researchers to collaborate with external academic and industry scientists. The NExT Program focuses on assessing drug action early in the drug-development process. The fundamental goal of these early-phase trials is to facilitate fast initial evaluation of new anticancer therapeutic and imaging agents in humans before committing time and resources to a large-scale, full developmental plan. National Clinical Target Validation Laboratory (NCTVL). This national laboratory was established in 2006 at the request of the DCTD and is a collaboration between the DCTD and CCR aimed at addressing the mechanistic gap in oncologic drug development that frequently occurs due to the difficulties inherent in determining the effect of a therapeutic intervention on its putative site of action in patients. The laboratory serves as an alpha site for the elucidation of novel target tissue methodologies specifically applicable to human cancer early phase and Phase I/II clinical trials in the CCR Developmental Therapeutics Clinic, confirming the therapeutic effects of small-molecule anticancer agents on specific signal transduction pathways of interest in humans that were observed during preclinical development. The mission of the NCTVL is to conduct validated assay procedures to test tumor or surrogate tissues for effects of molecularly targeted therapies. The laboratory assesses drug effects on molecular targets in patients treated within CCR using validated target assays, many of which will be transferred from the pharmacodynamic assay development and implementation program of the Laboratory of Human Toxicology and Pharmacology (DCTD/SAIC-Frederick, Inc). In addition to providing support for CCR intramural investigators, the NCTVL also provides target validation assays for patient samples from NCI-funded extramural investigators lacking the resources or expertise to conduct such assays on site. Laboratory of Synthetic Chemistry. The Laboratory of Synthetic Chemistry was established in 2007 to provide chemistry support to the drug discovery and development efforts of the DCTD's Developmental Therapeutics Program (DTP) and the projects approved by the Joint Development Committee of DCTD-CCR. Towards this end, the laboratory focuses its activities on lead optimization, an essential and integral part of new drug discovery and development. Novel synthetic methodologies are being developed to create new analogs based on the assigned lead compounds to improve pharmaceutical profiles by addressing the following in an iterative manner: activity, selectivity, lipophilicity, bioavailability, stability, and ADME/PK. The lab is developing new relevant synthesis methodologies for applications by the wider NCI extramural community.