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Dr. Brian Till, Clinical Research Division, was among five early career researchers chosen by the Southwest Oncology Group to attend the group’s 2009 Young Investigator Training Course. The three-day workshop, which took place last week in Seattle, provided intensive training in how to design and conduct cancer clinical trials that may involve hundreds of patients at institutions throughout North America.
Till, a research associate in the Press Lab, studies mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), a disease that carries perhaps the worst prognosis among all subtypes of non-Hodgkins lymphoma because most cases present at an advanced stage when they are considered incurable.
Citing studies that show a synergistic effect of the drugs bendamustine and rituximab, Till has proposed a phase 2 clinical trial to test the impact of these two drugs combined with bortezomib on the progression-free survival of patients with relapsed MCL.
“Mantle cell lymphoma, unlike some types of lymphoma that can be cured with chemotherapy alone, is difficult to treat,” Till said. “New therapies are clearly needed, and this is a challenge that appeals to me as an investigator.”
The Young Investigator program is funded by a gift from the Hope Foundation, a philanthropic arm of the SWOG.
One of the nation’s largest cancer clinical trials networks, the SWOG designs and conducts clinical trials to advance the science of cancer prevention and treatment and to improve the quality of life for cancer survivors. Headquartered at the University of Michigan, the SWOG’s group’s statistical center is based at the Hutchinson Center.
[Adapted from a Southwest Oncology Group news release.]