Hematology T32 Grant
Our department has been a recipient of the hematology T32 grant in 2013. The Brown Hematology/Oncology Training Program has as its overall objective the training of physicians and scientists who will become independent investigators in the molecular basis and pathobiology of hematologic diseases and/or the outcomes of prevention and treatment of these diseases. This will be accomplished by a rigorous program to include didactic training, mentored research experience in a collaborative, interdisciplinary setting, and career development training. Two postdoctoral trainees with an MD, PhD, or MD/PhD degree will be accepted per year into a 2-3 year research training program.
We plan to train physicians and scientists for careers in academic medicine and hematology related research. This will be done largely in the context of our present Hematology/Oncology Fellowship program, but may include PhD candidates as well as MDs. Our trainees will be exposed to the art of clinical medicine and the rigorous disciplines of basic laboratory, population science or clinical translation research. Trainees will be expected to interact, formulate hypotheses, critically evaluate both clinical and basic literature and develop new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.
Basic Science Research Program
A highlight of the basic science research program within the Division of Hematology/Oncology is the COBRE Center for Cancer Research Development (CCRD). It aims to promote the expansion of basic cancer research by creating a supportive research environment that facilitates the transition of promising scientists into independent investigators. Originally funded in 2002, the project received new funding in 2009.
The development of new collaborative endeavors focused on stem cells in liver/GI cancer will be overseen by a research development committee. This theme will take full advantage of the strong liver and stem cell research programs already ongoing at Rhode Island Hospital.
Five talented investigators with overlapping research interests will generate opportunities for sharing of ideas and productive interaction. While expanding basic cancer research will continue to be the primary mission of CCRD, it will also increase fundraising efforts and augment outreach activities aimed at increasing public awareness of the value of cancer research.
Fostering interactions between basic scientists and clinical oncologists through innovative programs driven by clinical observation will also be a high priority. During the next five years, CCRD will expand its leadership role in sustaining a dialogue with state and federal legislators and policy makers.
Brown University Oncology Group (BrUOG)
Clinical trials are available for a broad range of disorders in hematology/oncology and these include treatment for cancers of the breast, lung, gastrointestinal tract, skin, and prostate as well as trials in leukemia and lymphoma. Many of these trials utilize novel therapeutic agents or new combinations of treatments in an effort to improve treatment.
The Brown University Oncology Group (BrUOG) is the principal mechanism for oncology clinical trials at the Alpert Medical School. This regional consortium of Brown-affiliated hospitals allows hematologists, oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologists, and others to develop investigator-initiated clinical trials. These studies are conceived and designed by faculty at member institutions. They provide cutting-edge applications of chemotherapeutic agents, biologic agents, and other treatment modalities. Such innovative studies lay the groundwork for larger nationwide studies under the auspices of cooperative clinical trials groups.
In addition to protocols coordinated by BrUOG, patients at our hospitals also have access to a large variety of other clinical trials through national cooperative groups such as Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB), the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) and the Radiation Treatment Oncology Group (RTOG). Only through the resources of such large organizations can such randomized trials of cancer therapy take place. Pharmaceutical industry-sponsored trials of novel agents are also available. Sponsorship for clinical trials is derived from the National Cancer Institute and from numerous pharmaceutical industry sponsors.
Howard Safran, MD, is the Director of the Brown University Oncology Group. William Sikov, MD, is the principal investigator for the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology (formerly CALGB) trials at Rhode Island and the Miriam Hospitals.