Cancer Research

[ Cancer Treatment ]

Recent advances in deciphering the cancer genome have enabled the development of personalized targeted therapies that have fundamentally changed our approach to cancer treatment. Drugs like imatinib (Gleevec®), erlotinib (Tarceva®), crizotinib (Xalkori®), and vemurafenib (Zelboraf®), to name but a few, inhibit molecular pathways that are critical to tumor growth and survival. The discovery of “genetic drivers” has led to a new molecular classification of tumors, distinct from the traditional histologic classification. This capability allows the selection of potentially the patients who are most susceptible to a specific therapy, i.e. “targeted therapy.”

Norman R. Cohen, MD
Principal Investigator
Adult Cancer Prevention Trials

Clinical Professor (Ret)
Department of Medicine
UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco

Since 1979 the Bay Area Tumor Institute’s clinical research program has enabled East Bay physicians and more than 2,500 adult and pediatric cancer patients to participate in research studies designed to identify treatments that are more effective than the currently accepted standards of practice. Participating physicians follow National Cancer Institute approved “clinical trials,” which prescribe precise treatment regimens utilizing the most advanced forms of molecularly targeted gene therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. The Bay Area Tumor Institute is one of 34 federally supported National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Programs (NCORP) in the United States.

The Bay Area Tumor Institute provides medical leadership, data management, and organizational services to this research program. The Institute also distributes anti-cancer drugs to participating physicians, organizes the East Bay Hospitals’ Institutional Review Board, and conducts seminars on advances in cancer research.

Currently Active Therapeutic Trials

  • The list of currently available Cancer Treatment Trials available to the Bay Area Tumor Institute can be found in Cancer Fast Facts.

Participating Institutions

Research Groups

Eligible cancer patients can participate in the clinical research projects of the following NCI National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) research groups:

For additional information, interested patients should contact their cancer specialist or the Bay Area Tumor Institute.