MAYWOOD, Ill. — Loyola University Medical Center is participating in an unprecedented nationwide effort to test promising new breast cancer drugs that are individually targeted to the characteristics of each patient’s tumor.
This innovative clinical trial design for early stage breast cancer will enable researchers to quickly drop drugs that don’t work, while designating effective drugs for further study.
Loyola is among 17 centers participating in the project, called I-SPY 2. “Personalized medicine is the new frontier in breast cancer treatment,” said medical oncologist Dr. Kathy Albain, lead breast cancer specialist at the Loyola site. “This study will tell us, as rapidly as possible, which drugs work best on different types of tumors, and the drugs will be quickly selected on the basis of each woman’s tumor characteristics. This could prove to be an enormous benefit to patients, especially women with the most aggressive cancers.”
The five-year, $26 million project is led by the Foundation of the National Institutes of Health and is sponsored by the Biomarkers Consortium, a unique public-private partnership that includes the Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health and major pharmaceutical companies.
Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, Loyola University Health System is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and 25 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus, Loyola University Hospital, is a 561-licensed-bed facility. It houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus in Melrose Park includes the 264-bed community hospital, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness and the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Care Center.