Experimental Therapeutics

Christopher Klug, Ph.D.
– Co-Leader


The Experimental Therapeutics Program is the major translational/clinical research engine of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, which integrates basic cancer research, drug development, preclinical studies and implementation of innovative clinic trials. The program is primarily made up of clinical investigators operating in Disease-Oriented Working Groups (DWGs) with a strong and active participation of basic cancer research investigators from the ET Program and from the Cancer Center’s basic science programs.

The main objective of the ET Program is to develop novel therapeutic strategies that will provide cancer patients with an enhanced opportunity for cure and, if not cured, with an enhanced survival time, an increased freedom from disease progression including prolonged clinical benefit rate, and an improvement and relief of cancer-associated symptoms (improved quality of life). The pursuit of this overall objective involves three scientific aims:

  • To promote development and implementation of translational clinical trials and research within the UAB CCC involving faculty from different oncology disciplines (basic scientists and clinical faculty) through the 10 different DWGs and the Translational Concepts Meeting. These studies emphasize, but are not limited to, “targeted” treatment strategies and frequently emanate from laboratory and pre-clinical observations of the Cancer Center’s basic science programs and several industry collaborators.
  • To promote discovery and utilization of biomarkers that can be used in the diagnosis of cancer, determination of prognosis of different cancers, prediction of therapeutic response and selection of specific patient populations most likely to benefit from various treatment modalities. This goal requires interaction between basic scientists and clinical researchers through the DWGs and the Translational Concepts Meeting.
  • To develop novel imaging technology that can be integrated into pre-clinical and translational clinical studies to enhance analysis of therapeutic effects. Scientists working in imaging technology participate in meetings of the DWGs and the Translational Concepts Meeting.

The scientific aims of the UAB CCC ET Program do not represent separate or independent research efforts but rather the ET Program promotes initiatives that integrate biomarkers and imaging development into pre-clinical and clinical research. In order to meet the aims, the DWGs meet monthly and the Translational Concepts Meeting happens twice each month.

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