Dallas-based UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only site in Texas selected for a national cancer clinical trial. The Cancer Moonshot trial will focus on finding personal approaches to treat one type of blood cancer.
UT Southwestern is one of 11 medical centers participating in this trial that will evaluate more than 500 patients nationwide. With the slogan “Beat AML,” the trial aims to “speed up the process of finding better treatments” for the blood cancer acute myeloid leukemia.
According to UT Southwestern, AML prevents bone marrow functioning, including the creation of white blood cells, leaving patients susceptible to infection as a result. The only currently available treatment is standard chemotherapy.
The Beat AML clinical trial hopes to use precision medicine techniques to treat the individual characteristics of patients’ genes. Dr. Robert Collins, director of the hematologic malignancies and blood and marrow transplantation program at UT Southwestern, says typical trials only study one drug or one combination. But this specific trial “begins with four different treatments … each being tested in one of several arms of the trial based on an individual’s specific genetic mutation.”
Collins says this allows researchers to better understand multiple drugs and their effectiveness in treating AML patients. “Using a collaborative approach, we will be more flexible and better able to develop more individualized treatments for patients diagnosed with AML,” he said in a statement.