Pan-Cancer Chief Editor
Razelle Kurzrock, MD
Dr. Razelle Kurzrock is known for developing one of the largest and best phase 1 clinical trials programs in the nation while at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. A central theme of that program was the personalized medicine strategy, embodied in a protocol called PREDICT for Profile-related Evidence Determining Individualized Cancer Therapy. This approach utilized advanced molecular technologies to match patients with targeted cancer treatment that optimized chances for response.
At Moores Cancer Center, Dr. Kurzrock’s charge is broad, including not just growing and innovating the Center’s clinical trials program, but also heading its newly established Center for Personalized Therapy. As a physician-scientist, she brings extraordinary expertise and experience in clinical research, business operations, regulatory operations, financial and budget planning, and administrative oversight, in addition to her world-recognized work in translational science. Dr. Kurzrock is also Vice Chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division in the UC San Diego School of Medicine.
Dr. Kurzrock received her MD degree from the University of Toronto and has about 450 peer-reviewed publications and a uniquely strong record of competitive grant funding within the setting of phase I program building. She has been the principal investigator of the National Cancer Institute U01 Phase I Studies of Targeted Anti-Cancer Agents.
Pan-Cancer Editorial Board
Ignacio Garrido-Laguna, MD
Ignacio Garrido-Laguna, MD is an assistant professor of oncology at the University of Utah School of Medicine and a Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) investigator. At HCI, he sees patients with gastrointestinal cancers and patients enrolled in Phase 1 trials. His primary research interest is pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. His work in patient derived xenografts has shown that the stroma is involved in resistance to gemcitabine. At HCI, Ignacio is part of an effort to identify druggable genetic aberrations in patients referred to their phase 1 unit. The hypothesis is that matching patients to drugs targeting genetic aberrations present in their tumors may increase response to targeted therapies. Ignacio’s work has shown that coactivation of MAPK pathway in patients with colorectal cancer harboring PIK3CA mutations may contribute to resistance to PI3K/mTOR inhibitors in this disease. Ignacio received his medical degree from the School of Medicine of Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona (Spain). He finished his internship and residency in medical oncology at Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre in Madrid, Spain. He completed his training with a postdoctoral fellowship in the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins and a clinical fellowship in the Phase I program at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Dr. Filip Janku, MD, PhD
Dr. Filip Janku, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics (Phase I Program) at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Janku is a principal investigator for numerous phase I protocols, most of which involve novel, targeted agents, some of those being first-in-human studies. Dr. Janku received multiple awards for his research efforts, including four Merit Awards from ASCO as well as an American Association for Cancer Research Scholar-in-Training Award. Dr. Janku has published over 40 articles in highly-respected, peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Janku’s academic research interests focus on poof-of-concept clinical trials that possess a pivotal correlative component especially those involving autophagy, the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway and tumor molecular profiling.
Javier Munoz, MD
Dr. Munoz specializes in treating hematological malignancies or blood cancers, particularly lymphomas.
He earned his medical degree at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Peru. Dr. Munoz completed his residency and hematology-oncology fellowship at Henry Ford Health System in Michigan before completing an investigational cancer therapeutics fellowship at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
His interests include molecular heterogeneity of lymphomas, and subclassification of specific lymphoma subtypes amenable to targeted treatment.
He is triple board certified in internal medicine, hematology and medical oncology and has published in the major journals within his field as Blood, the American Journal of Hematology, Nature Reviews and JAMA.
Jordi Rodon, MD
Jordi Rodon is attending physician at the Medical Oncology department of Vall d´Hebron University Hospital and Clinical Coordinator of the Molecular Therapies Research Unit (UITM).
He went to Medical School at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona-Vall d´Hebron University Hospital, and got his specialization in Medical Oncology at the Catalan Institute of Oncology (Institut Català d’Oncologia). He has been Research fellow at the Advanced Drug Development Fellowship program at the Institute For Drug Development in San Antonio, Texas, and Senior Research fellow at the Investigational Cancer Therapeutics Department at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
He joined the Medical Oncology Department in 2008 and has been principal investigator or co-investigator in more than 80 phase I trials. At Vall d´Hebron, he coordinates the phase I program and the traslational research at UITM, as well as projects in Personalized Oncoligy, being member of Stand-up-to-cancer, Eurocan and WIN Consortium.
Richard Schwab, MD
Dr. Schwab is an Associate Professor of Medicine and the Moores Cancer Center Biorepository co-Director at UC San Diego. He is board certified in Hematology and Medical Oncology. His research is focused on biomarkers to diagnose and refine the treatment of cancer. His current projects include identification of clinically significant genetic changes in breast cancer and development of anti-progesterones to treat early stage breast cancer.
Using next generation sequencing and unique tumor specimens collected by the cancer center Biorepository, he is working to find novel DNA and RNA changes with prognostic or treatment predictive utility.
Additionally Dr. Schwab has opened an investigator IND of the anti-progesterone mifepristone. Using a biomarker based approach he hopes to revive and accelerate the development of anti-progesterone therapy for breast cancer.
In support of these and other biomarker studies Dr. Schwab co-directs a biorepository to prospectively collect de-identified blood, urine and tumor specimens. This resource has a series of key features to maximize its future utility; (1) specimens are associated with detailed clinical data that is regularly updated, (2) samples are stored as small volume aliquots at –80 degrees Celsius to prevent freeze/thaw damage and (3) subjects are consented for germ line DNA sequencing.
Vivek Subbiah, MD
Vivek Subbiah, MD is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics (A Phase 1 Program), Division of Cancer Medicine, from July 2012 at The University of MD Anderson Cancer Center. After completing his medical school in India at Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, he completed a combined residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University, MetroHealth, Cleveland Ohio. Dr. Subbiah has a unique training background as he is one of the few physicians in the nation/world to have training in oncology in both adults and children. He is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and has completed fellowships in both adult and pediatric oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. There are few good programs in the country that address the needs of the approximately 72,000 adolescents and young adults (AYA) (15-39 age group) diagnosed with cancer every year in the United States. According to the report of the AYA Oncology Progress Review Group of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) the outcomes of these patients compared with younger and older age groups, has seen little or no improvement in cancer survival rates for decades. Dr. Subbiah has a great interest in improving outcomes in adolescents and young adults with malignancies as well as deciphering mechanisms of treatment response and resistance by studying young patients with unusually dramatic responses. These young people, and their parents and families, are tremendously motivated to find the best treatment options. Dr. Subbiah has been working closely with colleagues in Cancer Medicine and Pediatrics to develop novel treatment methods including molecularly targeted therapies, radiopharmaceutical studies and immunotherapeutic strategies to improve the outcomes of AYA with cancer. In addition, by using cutting-edge molecular profiling and the large portfolio of targeted drugs, he is positioning to lead the way in identifying new treatments for the atypical cancers that these young people develop. He is providing an unmatched opportunity to fulfill an unmet need in treating AYA who suffer from cancer. His research interests include adolescent and young adult oncology, phase 1 trials – drug development (molecularly targeted therapy, radiopharmaceutical studies and immunotherapeutic studies), and clinical trials with molecularly targeted agents in targetable rare diseases (eg, translocation positive sarcomas, NF1, NF2). He also has a passion for N=1 studies in cancer patients that have dramatic responses to therapies by in depth analysis through next generation sequencing, morphoproteomics, and other cutting edge methods for analysis of response/ resistance mechanisms.