The Surgical Oncology Laboratory at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) focuses its activities on translational research projects for patients with malignant tumors of the gastro-intestinal tract. We employ a multi-disciplinary approach with integration of clinicians and basic scientists working together in the development of novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer and gastro-intestinal stromal tumors (GIST). Our translational research efforts have already resulted in new clinical trials that are currently actively recruiting patients.
As a result of our own investigations in tumor cell lines, laboratory animals and analysis of patient tumor specimens, we have developed a comprehensive understanding of epidermal growth factor signaling in pancreatic cancer. The scientific data acquired in our laboratory has resulted in numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals, presentations at national meetings and prestigious awards.
More importantly, we have translated our own laboratory findings in a unique clinical trial, actively accruing patients at UAB. This trial is entitled "UAB-0808: a PHASE ll study of short-course preoperative erlotinib followed by post-operative erlotinib-gemcitabine in patients with resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma" and offers a promising approach to the treatment of pancreatic cancer patients. We also have ongoing projects for colorectal cancer patients and patients with GIST. A new clinical trial for GIST patients is about to open at UAB.