Seattle Cancer Care Alliance M.D. Receives National Research Grant

SEATTLE — Jan. 22, 2016 — Seattle Cancer Care Alliance researcher and oncologist, Ajay Gopal, M.D., has received one of five national research grants awarded by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) to evaluate and define the pre-clinical and clinical effectiveness of enzalutamide in mantle cell lymphoma and endometrial, hepatocellular and prostate cancers. Dr. Gopal’s study focuses on “Androgen Receptor Targeting in Mantle Cell Lymphoma: A Pilot Phase II Trial of Enzalutamide.”

“I am deeply honored by this award which supports finding the best treatment for patients who are battling mantle cell lymphoma,” said Dr. Ajay Gopal. Mantle cell lymphoma is a type of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer that begins in lymphocytes, white blood cells that are an important part of the body’s infection-fighting immune system. It is one of the most common cancers in the United States, with an estimated 70,000 new cases diagnosed each year.

Dr. Gopal is the director of clinical research for hematologic malignancies and hematology at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance where he specializes in the treatment of lymphoma. He is also a professor of medical oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine and a member in the clinical research division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Additional proposals that were awarded funding include:

  • Albert Chang, M.D., Ph.D., UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, “Phase II Trial of Dose Escalated Radiotherapy with Leuprolide and Enzalutamide in Patients with Very High Risk or Pelvic Node Positive Prostate Cancer”
  • James Harding, M.D., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, “A Multi-Center Phase I/II Study of Enzalutamide with and without Sorafenib in Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patients”
  • Gustavo Leone, Ph.D., The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, “Evaluating the Efficacy of Enzalutamide Therapy in Preventing Tumor Progression in a Preclinical Mouse Model of Type 1 Endometrial Carcinoma.”
  • Shannon Westin, M.D., MPH, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, “A Phase II Study with a Limited Safety Lead-In of Enzalutamide in Combination with Carboplatin and Paclitaxel in Advanced Stage or Recurrent Endometrial Cancer”

“These five studies selected through peer review represent an excellent mix of both clinical and pre-clinical projects, which will further elucidate the activity and utility of this important therapeutic agent,” said Robert C. Young, M.D., interim vice president of NCCN ORP.

Awardees responded to a Request for Proposals issued by the NCCN Oncology Research Program (ORP) to the 26 NCCN Member Institutions. Submissions were peer reviewed by the NCCN Enzalutamide Scientific Review Committee. The funded concepts were selected based on several criteria, including scientific merit, existing data, and the types of studies necessary to further evaluate the efficacy of enzalutamide.

The NCCN ORP draws on the expertise of the investigators of the NCCN Member Institutions and their affiliates to facilitate all phases of clinical research. This research is made possible by collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in order to advance therapeutic options for patients with cancer.

Learn more about NCCN ORP.

Media Contact:
Fred Hutch Media Team