Cleveland Clinic’s ROBIN Center may pave the way for more effective radiotherapy and immunotherapy



Cleveland Clinic received a five-year, $7.9 million grant from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health to form one of three national centers as part of the newly established Radiobiology and Oncology Integration Network (ROBIN).

Timothy Chan, MD, PhD, chair of the Center for Immunotherapy and Microimmune Oncology, will serve as the principal investigator at the Cleveland Clinic’s ROBIN Center, which will research the molecular mechanisms and biology of radiotherapy response and therapy. effectiveness Combinations of radiation and immunotherapy for bladder, head and neck cancers.

Radiation therapy is the cornerstone of cancer treatment, with about two out of three cancer patients receiving it. However, despite their widespread use, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms and biology of response to radiation is still poor. ROBIN will enable us to develop more effective combinations of radiotherapy and immunotherapy and to better understand how these approaches work.”


Dr. Timothy Chan, MD, PhD, chief of the Center for Immunotherapy and Immuno Micro-oncology

In collaboration with Emory University, Cleveland Clinic researchers and clinicians will lead studies with the goal of developing new approaches to cancer treatment by improving understanding of the drivers of efficacy. Specifically, the team will study radiotherapy in combination with conjugated drugs, antibodies and immune checkpoint inhibitors.

A multidisciplinary team from the fields of radiation oncology, radiation biology and radiation physics research will allow for ongoing information sharing. Additionally, the creation of a Workforce Development Program via Training will help build a pool of scholars in radiation biology, radiation physics, and clinical radiation oncology.

The Robin Center will rely on Cleveland Clinic’s large patient volumes to generate comprehensive molecular data that provides key information to enable clinicians to choose the best treatment for each patient.

“Precision cancer medicine is the future of cancer care,” said Dr. Chan. “The ROBIN Center harnesses the strengths of the Cleveland Clinic’s localized research strengths and world-class patient care, where we have the ability to continually learn from innovative treatment techniques by returning results to a research lab for further examination, and then share our discoveries with clinicians to expand the frontiers in patient care. “.

Omar Mian, MD, a radiation oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic’s Tassig Cancer Institute and a researcher at the Lerner Research Institute, and Shilpa Gupta, director of urogenital oncology at the Taussig Cancer Institute and co-chair of urogenital oncology will lead one of the molecular characterization trials focused on On the combination of targeted therapy, cituzumab, in addition to radiation, to treat bladder cancer. A set of this study will also be conducted at the Florida Center for Research and Innovation at the Cleveland Clinic, led by Anatoly Nikolaev, MD, PhD.

Shlomo Koefman, MD, a radiation oncologist at the Toussig Cancer Institute, is leading a second clinical trial testing the efficacy of treating recurrent head and neck cancer with radiotherapy and nivolumab.

Samples of unidentified patients from those receiving current standards of care and those in clinical trials will be collected and stored at the Cleveland Clinic BioRepository, a 22,000-square-foot facility on Cleveland Clinic’s main campus that is operated by Azenta Life Sciences and facilitates biobanks. For precision medicine through sample collection, transportation, and integrated tracking.

Dr. Chan’s lab will analyze the samples to generate data using multiple genetic analyses. The breadth and depth of the data generated will reveal comprehensive insights into radiation-based cancer treatment strategies. In another ROBIN-funded project, Jacob Scott, MD, MD, radiation oncologist and chief of theory in the Department of Hematology and Oncology Research at Lerner Research Institute, will use artificial intelligence to decipher the temporal dynamics of all the complex changes that The result of treatment occurs.

“The ROBIN trial will create the data needed to eventually drive precision cancer medicine, which ultimately provides the best outcomes for every patient and helps improve quality of life,” said Dr. Chan.

This study was funded in part by the study’s sponsors, Varian and Gilead Sciences, and Brian and Diana Taussig.



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