Purpose of This Site: Information About Cancer Clinical Investigations

My name is Barry Mirtsching, MD.  I am a medical oncologist in Dallas, TX. The purpose of my blog is to provide news and information about cancer research and treatment to patients and caregivers.  I founded the Center for Oncology Research & Treatment in 1993.  CORT, PA is a private practice that focuses on providing patients access to the latest cancer drug therapy studies sponsored by the National Cancer Insititute and private pharmaceutical companies.  Our listing of current clinical treatment studies can be found on our website (www.cortpa.com). 

It is my belief that improvements in cancer treatment (and chances for disease control or cure) can only be made by courageous patients who seek out participation in cutting-edge reputable clinical trial programs that are testing new therapies for cancer.  I believe our patients have clearly benefited from their participation in cancer treatment studies by having access to the latest innovations in drug development, often years in advance of wider drug availability (after drug approval by US drug regulatory agencies).  Examples of drugs that we tested, which later became FDA-approved include: Avastin (a drug that blocks blood vessel growth in tumors), Herceptin (a drug that blocks a growth-promoting protein on breast cancer cells), Eloxatin (a platinum drug with high activity in colon cancer), Erbitux (a drug that blocks a growth promoting receptor on colon cancer cells), Zometa (a drug that reduces bone tumor complications), Abraxane (a taxane drug in a novel form that improves ease of administration and tolerance for breast cancer therapy), Gemzar (a drug that has become the mainstay of pancreatic cancer treatment), and…well, you get the picture. 

Our current portfolio of new research drugs includes:

  • Denosumab – a RANK-ligand blocking drug for treatment of bone tumors of solid tumors and myeloma
  • Lapatinib (Tykerb) – an oral anti-her1/2 inhibitor for treatment of metastatic breast cancer, including patients who have had brain metastases
  • Sunitinib (Sutent) – an oral drug for treatment of metastatic renal (kidney) cancer, treatment of metastatic breast cancer
  • E7389 – a drug for treatment of metastatic breast cancer that has failed prior therapy
  • Abraxane + Sorafenib (Nexavar) – a new combination for first-line treatment of metastatic breast cancer
  • DN101 – a vitamin D compound in testing with standard therapy for hormone-resistant metastatic prostate cancer
  • GVAX – a vaccine immunotherapy for hormone-resistant metastatic prostate cancer
  • PDX-101 – a drug for relapsed large B-cell lymphoma, and other aggressive lymphoma types
  • Galliximab – an antibody treatment in tested in combination with standard Rituxan for low-grade B-cell lymphoma
  • XL880 – a drug for metastatic gastric cancer
  • MDX-010 – an immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma
  • CYC-202 – an oral drug for treatment of resistant metastatic non-small cell lung cancer
  • XL999 – a drug for metastatic non-small cell lung cancer
  • Panitumumab – an antibody being testing in combination with standard chemotherapy regimens for colon cancer and head & neck cancer
  • Satraplatin – an oral platinum drug for hormone-resistant metastatic prostate cancer
  • XRP6258 – a novel fourth-generation taxane drug for hormone-resistant metastatic prostate cancer
  • Stimuvax – a vaccine therapy for prevention of recurrence in patients with non-small cell lung cancer who have completed chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • Sorafenib – an oral drug in testing with chemotherapy for metastatic melanoma

Not all research involves testing new drugs.  We are currently involved in a high-priority study of using a genetic microarray test (OncoType DX) for stratifying early-stage breast cancer patients into low-, intermediate-, and high-risk groups, so that treatment can be better selected based on the results.

For homone-sensitive early breast cancer in pre-menopausal patients, we are participating in a study of various hormone treatment options, to determine which will be the best long-term option for prevention of disease recurrence.

I can’t detail every treatment study here, for the sake of brevity.  Because this is my first attempt at “blogging”, I will apologize in advance if I cannot become involved in dialogues about study treatments or answer questions as frequently as I would like to, because of the time constaints of ongoing daily patient care.  However, should you find any of these treatment of interest, and should you wish to learn more, then feel free to contact my office at 972-566-5588, or email me at bmirtsching@cortpa.com.  I can only answer personal emails from patients or caregivers who may be seeking consultation in person.  The blog is a nice place just to send out information that may better educate patients and caregivers about available treatments and studies that they might be able to seek out in their own regions.

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