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Solid Tumor Therapeutics Program

Program Co-Leaders: Lee Ratner, MD, PhD, and Joshua Ruber, MD, PhD

The Solid Tumor Therapeutics Program (STTP) of the Siteman Cancer Center consists of 58 members representing 14 departments across the Washington University School of Medicine and Saint Louis University campuses, provides training of investigators at all levels of experience and offers educational opportunities, including seminars, courses, retreats, journal clubs, workshops and work-in-progress meetings.

The overall goals of STTP are to apply discoveries in ‘omics and DNA repair research to novel clinical trials for solid malignancies, especially endometrial, gastrointestinal, non-small cell lung, astroglial and prostate cancers. The approaches in different disease site cancers are linked by common approaches and shared group applications. Developmental Therapeutics provides the expertise and capability for early phase trials for this purpose. Investigators are also integrally involved in research aimed at translating their studies to the clinic in several ways including the identification of small molecule inhibitors of novel DNA damage response pathways that illuminate the causes of cancer or have potential uses in treatment. Inclusion of DNA repair studies in this program is based on 1) the theme that genetic instability and DNA repair defects are key to solid tumor initiation, maintenance and therapy resistance, and 2) discovery of molecules that impair DNA repair that will become available for early phase clinical studies.

Specifically, the program will focus on the following aims:

  • Develop and apply state-of-the-art ‘omics technology for solid tumor clinical trials. 
  •  Utilize genomics and imaging to further expand our vibrant Developmental Therapeutics Group. 
  •  Utilize ‘omics for clinical trials in solid tumors in Neuro, Thoracic, Gastrointestinal, Genitourinary, and Gynecologic Oncology. 
  •  Define molecular mechanisms of DNA repair for use in novel clinical trials.