Ryan Wilcox talks about the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium

Ryan Wilcox talks about the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium

– I’m Ryan Wilcox. I’m an assistant professor
of internal medicine here at the University of Michigan. Well, I study a rare group of lymphomas which collectively account for about 10% of all
non-Hodgkins lymphomas, which here in Michigan translates to approximately 150 cases per year. Unfortunately folks with this
particular group of lymphomas don’t do well and so clinical research, or clinical trials exploring novel agents are critically important in the management of these patients. And so it’s really quite
impossible for any single center to do the necessary clinical
trials as a lone ranger. And so really being a part
of a multi-center group, like the Big Ten Cancer
Research Consortium, allows us to do the necessary
studies that would otherwise be difficult or impossible, and hopefully move the
ball down the field, so to speak, for patients
with these lymphomas. We currently have two trials for which the University of Michigan
is the lead institution. One trial which should be opening
here within the next month and a second trial that should be opening within a few months. So these trials are exploring
novel therapeutic agents that target novel pathways
that we’ve found are important in the T-cell lymphomas. So both of these trials
are investigator-initiated phase two studies. One is studying a currently
approved agent in combination with a novel agent, which
is based on a prior study that we had done here as a single center. And there is a subsequent
trial investigating two novel immune checkpoints if you will, or therapeutic strategies that seek to tweak the immune
system and harness the power of the immune system to
attack these lymphomas. For the study of rare diseases, of course there are multiple challenges, but one of those challenges are too few patients to do
the necessary studies that need to be performed. And so participating in a
group like the Big Ten CRC is critically important if advances are going to be realized
within the next few years. (upbeat music)

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