Denver, Colorado (PRWEB) June 07, 2012
Dr. David Raben and Dr, Antonio Jimeno, two of the country’s leading oncologists with expertise in head and neck cancer, announce a new clinical trial. The trial tests the combination of a DNA repair inhibitor, a growth factor inhibitor and intensity modulated radiation therapy (or IMRT) taking place at the University of Colorado Hospital’s Comprehensive Cancer Center in conjunction with the University’s Tomotherapy Center. This new oral drug Olaparib, when used in conjunction with IMRT prevents cancer cells from repairing themselves after radiation treatment. This type of innovative exploration attempts to combine customized molecular therapy for poor prognosis head and neck cancer patients with elegant IMRT through Tomotherapy and will be the first time this dual biologic approach will have been performed in the US with radiation. Working closely with these investigators is Dr. John Song, one of the best otolaryngologists in Colorado with specific oncologic expertise and training and Dr. Changhu Chen in Radiation Oncology.
The clinical trial is set to last approximately 12 months and the expectation is that response rates and local-regional control will exceed our current outcomes with toxic chemo-radiation and it will be safe to administer. When asked about the trial’s potential effect on the patient outcome, Dr. Raben said, “We predict that patients will have less acute toxicity using a biologic compound versus conventional chemotherapy, which we know, when combined with radiation in heavy smokers has a poor outcome with progression free survival rates below 50% at 3 years. We also believe that the local control rates and overall survival rates will exceed what we are seeing currently for these poor prognosis patients.”
The quality assurance group at the RTOG (Radiation Therapy Oncology Group) has named the University of Colorado Tomotherapy Center as the only approved site for the delivery of this kind of high quality IMRT for head and neck cancer in Colorado. Previous successful clinical trials performed by Dr. Raben and Dr. Jimeno have led to good patient prognosis’ and have directed them towards this exciting new venture for head and neck cancer care. Dr Raben currently utilizes TOMO planning to spare both parotid and submandibular glands, skin, the hearing apparatus and vocal cords leading to a much improved quality of life for their patients. The combination of IMRT with Olaparib and Cetuximab, an FDA approved anti-growth factor antibody that already improves radiation therapy effectiveness has never been attempted before in the United States. It’s that type of radiation and molecular expertise from Dr Raben and Jimeno that creates a total package that helps set the stabndard of care rather than just follow it.
About David Raben, M.D.
Dr. David Raben completed his residency at John Hopkins Hospital and is currently a professor, board certified radiation oncologist and scientist at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD). Dr. Raben is nationally recognized regarding his work in targeted therapies and radiation, primarily in GI, head and neck cancer and lung cancer. He serves on the head and neck steering committee of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) sponsored Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) and is a member of the genitourinary section of the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) with extensive experience with both low dose rate (LDR) and high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy. Dr. Raben was the first radiation oncologist in the Rocky Mountain region to implement accelerated intensity modulated radiation to the prostate and pelvis and his focus is on blocking critical growth, invasion and angiogenic factors that drive cancer cells. A reviewer for Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, Head and Neck, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, Dr. Raben is known and respected for his excellence in the industry and has contributed to more than 90 publications.