Dr. John Thompson recently took the helm of the new phase I clinical trials program for solid-tumor cancers for the Fred Hutchinson/University of Washington Cancer Consortium. Thompson, part of the Clinical Research Division, has served as medical director of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance's general oncology service since 2001 and co-directs the Melanoma Clinic.
Thompson's new role involves developing new early phase clinical trials, either industry or investigator initiated; helping to coordinate the infrastructure needed for such studies, including research nurses, data coordinators, regulatory affairs, tissue acquisition and biostatistical support; working with medical oncology and other faculty to assure patient accrual to studies; and direct care of a portion of the study patients.
"John has a demonstrated track record in these areas," said Dr. Mac Cheever, director of the Center's Solid Tumor Research program.
Phase I trials determine whether and how a drug works. Traditionally, such studies have been primarily concerned with drug safety. However, with the increased knowledge of the molecular pathways involved in cancer development, an ever-increasing proportion of drugs tested in humans prove to be effective, even in the first patients treated. The phase I program will also support the research programs of local biotech and pharmaceutical companies as well as Consortium translational researchers.