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Developmental Therapeutics | University of Colorado Cancer Center

Developmental Therapeutics Program

The Developmental Therapeutics Program (DT) fosters cancer-focused inter-disciplinary research among basic scientists and clinical researchers who are focused on the discovery, development and delivery of new anti-cancer therapies. The Program Leaders promote interaction and collaboration among DT members, which stimulates breakthroughs in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer.

Our researchers are from the University of Colorado Denver and Boulder campuses, Colorado State University, Children's Hospital Colorado, National Jewish Health, as well as the Denver VA Medical Center, local biotechnology and community practice.

Scientific Goals:

The goals of the DT Program are to reduce the cancer burden through integration of the processes of discovery, development, and delivery of new anticancer agents.

The goals of the program are carried out through seminars, conferences, journal clubs, retreat, courses, training grant collaborations and mentoring.

Focus Groups:

  1. Discovery - Most drug discovery now occurs within the pharmaceutical industry. Our members, who work in signal transduction, natural products and drug targeting, are discovering novel anticancer agents.
  2. Preclinical Development and Validation - Preclinical validation includes agents discovered at the Cancer Center, or the pharmaceutical industry. The major categories of preclinical investigation in the DT program are stem cell therapeutics, pharmacology, metabolomics, novel combinations, imaging, and veterinary oncology. This focus group develops hypotheses that can be tested in early clinical trials.
  3. Early Clinical Development - Novel anticancer therapy testing begins in phase I clinical trials. Testing efficacy of new agents is becoming increasingly complex. New targets may vary considerably among tumor subsets, and agents may target several pathways. DT Program members interact extensively with the NCI Cancer Therapy and Evaluation Program (CTEP) and the biopharmaceutical industry in our work. The Phase I Program continues to grow considerably with a tripling of enrollment and has formed a "hub and spoke" model that has facilitated the early transition of agents into disease-directed trials, when indicated by efficacy or target validation.
  4. Delivery - Clinical members of the DT Program provide high-quality cancer care by incorporating phase II and phase III trials into disease-specific settings. Delivery also includes Pediatric and Radiation Oncology (non-TRM, HRM), as well as tumor types that are not included in the TRM and HRM Programs (GI, cutaneous oncology, BMT, leukemia/lymphoma, sarcoma, AIDS-related malignancies, and hematology).