A new cancer clinic has opened at M Health Fairview’s Clinics and Surgery Center (CSC) on the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota. The clinic, known as the Developmental Therapeutics Clinic (DTC), will offer clinical trials that have just left the laboratory, called Phase 1 cancer clinical trials. It is a collaboration between the University of Minnesota Medical School, M Health Fairview, and the Masonic Cancer Center, the Twin Cities’ only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.
A Phase 1 clinical trial is the first time a discovery is being offered to people. It tests the safety, side effects, dose, and method of a new treatment, as well as how the treatment affects the disease and the rest of the body. A Phase 1 trial typically includes a very small group of participants who have not been helped by other treatments.
Manish Patel, DO, Associate Professor in the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation, and an M Health Fairview Hematologist/Oncologist, will lead the efforts of the new DTC.
“These are cutting edge treatments that have shown outstanding promise in the laboratory,” said Dr. Patel. “This is our chance to determine the safety and toxicity profile of these drugs, while also providing new treatment options for patients that need to try something different to treat their cancer. We are looking to learn how best to apply these drugs in the safest manner and also to get our first look at how effective these treatments are for patients.”
The idea for the DTC was the brainchild of Dr. Patel and Charles Ryan, MD, Director and Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation, and the B.J. Kennedy Chair in Clinical Medical Oncology. The pair wanted to create hope for patients, generate opportunities for faculty, and to construct a forum for researchers to conceptualize cutting edge bench-to-bedside research.
“We are thrilled to launch this developmental therapeutics clinic in order to better serve our patients and their families,” said Dr. Ryan. “It also offers an opportunity for our faculty and trainees to gain early access and experience with the cancer therapies of the future. As a referral clinic, patients with cancer from throughout the upper Midwest can now be seen and evaluated for participation in these very important clinical trial opportunities under the care of U of M faculty physicians.”
Dr. Patel will be joined by renowned physicians and researchers, who have all been involved in Phase 1 clinical trials and who are interested and excited to bring novel therapies to their patients, including:
- Deanna Teoh, MD, MS, FACS, FACOG, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health (OBGYN) and a gynecologic oncologist
- Evidio Domingo-Musibay, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation and a medical oncologist
- Naomi Fujioka, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation and a medical oncologist
“The approach to cancer care is evolving from disease-focused to biomarker-based,” said Dr. Teoh. “That means that often we have patients with different types of cancers who are receiving treatment on the same clinical trial. Creation of the DTC clinic allows for patients to be cared for by a team of dedicated oncologists who are familiar with these new trial drugs, therefore providing cutting-edge treatment safely.”
While the DTC is new in name and official structure, patients will continue to receive world-class care from the best doctors at one of the top medical facilities in the Twin Cities. The clinic will help move new trials from an idea to the ideal patient treatment.
“The improved outcomes for patients with cancer are directly linked to the ability to translate the science of cancer into the therapy of cancer,” noted Douglas Yee, MD, Director of the Masonic Cancer Center. “As more and more cancer vulnerabilities are discovered, new drugs are developed based on specific features of the tumor. To do these studies in the safest and most effective way possible, we have established this new clinic which will allow patients to have access to the newest drug therapies.”
The four oncologists will see patients at the DTC Wednesday mornings with hopes to add additional days in the near future. Referring physicians and patients can get more information by contacting the Masonic Cancer Center Nurse Information line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The people of Minnesota have relied on and can continue to rely on a strong commitment from M Health Fairview to provide world-class cancer services," said Edward Greeno, MD, Chief of the M Health Fairview Cancer Care Service Line. “Clinical trials represent the cutting edge of medicine and we are thrilled that this new clinic provides the opportunity to further integrate our research and the availability of new therapies as part of the ongoing excellent care we provide to every patient, creating hope for patients and their families.”
About the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota
The Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, is the Twin Cities’ only Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated ‘Outstanding’ by the National Cancer Institute. As Minnesota’s Cancer Center, we have served the entire state for more than 25 years. Our researchers, educators, and care providers have worked to discover the causes, prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer and cancer-related diseases. Learn more at cancer.umn.edu.
About the University of Minnesota Medical School
The University of Minnesota Medical School is at the forefront of learning and discovery, transforming medical care, and educating the next generation of physicians. Our graduates and faculty produce high-impact biomedical research and advance the practice of medicine. Learn how the University of Minnesota is innovating all aspects of medicine by visiting www.med.umn.edu.
About M Health Fairview
M Health Fairview is the newly expanded collaboration between the University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Physicians, and Fairview Health Services. The healthcare system combines the best of academic and community medicine – expanding access to world-class, breakthrough care through our 10 hospitals and 60 clinics.