Clinical Research

Our clinical research is comprised of our clinical investigative teams led by internationally-recognized physician researchers working in partnership with their colleagues in laboratory research and medical, surgical and radiation oncology to bring discoveries at the lab bench to the patient’s bedside through clinical trials and multidisciplinary cancer therapy.

Cancer Clinical Trials
At Providence Cancer Institute, our scientists and clinicians work together to improve the standard of care through the integration of clinical trials into clinical practice. Our clinical trials include Earle A. Chiles Research Institute investigator-initiated studies, National Cancer Institute sponsored studies and pharmaceutical sponsored studies. The clinical trials team at Providence Cancer Institute works directly with referring providers and their patients to determine patient eligibility for our trials. Read more.

Gastrointestinal Cancer Research
Focuses on developing methods of redirecting the immune system as a cancer therapeutic agent and is exploring ways in which immunotherapy can be integrated effectively into standard treatments for colorectal cancer and other cancers of the gastrointestinal system. 

Genitourinary Cancer Research
Brendan D. Curti, M.D., focuses on developing biotherapies to treat malignancies of the prostate, kidney and bladder. His work in the clinical translation of immunology research began at the NCI’s Biological Response Modifiers Program and continued as associate professor at the Penn State University College of Medicine before joining the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute. He is an active participant in the pre-clinical development and discussion of immunological monitoring results of studies conducted at our institute and serves as principal investigator on numerous studies such as a phase I/II study of cyclophosphamide, radiation and anti-OX40 in men with advanced prostate cancer. Read more.

Hematologic Cancer Research
John E. Godwin, M.D., M.S., leads our hematological clinical research with a focus on the biology, etiology, and treatment of leukemias, lymphomas, and Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS). Dr. Godwin has designed, written and served as national principal study coordinator for several phase III and phase II clinical trials, and currently serves on the Southwest Oncology Group’s leukemia and lymphoma committees. He is an active investigator on several hematological clinical trials including a phase I study of Urelumab with rituxan in B cell lymphomas. 

Lung Cancer Research
Providence Thoracic Oncology Program emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach to cancer management.  Our clinical trials program offers a broad array of innovative clinical research, including studies of new surgical techniques, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy agents, and tissue banking. Rachel E. Sanborn, M.D., specializes in thoracic oncology and clinical research, studying new agents or combinations in the treatment of lung cancer, mesothelioma and other thoracic tumors. Read more.

Melanoma Cancer Research
As co-directors of our Melanoma Research Program, Walter J. Urba, M.D., Ph.D., and Brendan D. Curti, M.D., collaborate with other institute researchers in the translation of basic science research to clinical application. They also are active investigators in melanoma clinical trials including exploration of the PD-1/PD-L1 axis and combination immunotherapy for melanoma. Dr. Urba served the lead principal investigator on the international, multi-site clinical trial of ipilimumab which has been FDA-approved for patients with metastatic melanoma.

Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Research
With his strong background in tissue-based correlative and translational research studies, Rom S. Leidner, M.D., is the medical oncology lead for the institute’s oral, head and neck cancer research.  His clinical practice is focused exclusively on head, neck and esophageal cancers. His research focus is in immunotherapy for head and neck cancers and has included the study of tumor infiltrating lymphocyte isolation and characterization from clinical specimens, lung cancer genetics in African-Americans, and miRNA deregulation and DNA methylation aberrancies associated with esophageal tumorigenesis.  He is routinely involved in clinical trial protocol review and selection both at the institutional level and through the Western Oncology Research Consortium.  At the national level, Dr. Leidner serves on the NCI Head and Neck Steering Committee Rare Tumors Task Force.

Dr. Leidner’s research is strengthened by his collaboration with R. Bryan Bell, M.D., D.D.S., medical director of Providence Oral, Head and Neck Cancer program and clinic at Providence Cancer Center. A fellowship-trained head and neck oncologic surgeon-scientist, Dr. Bell devotes 90 percent of his clinical activity to the comprehensive surgical management of patients with head and neck cancer, and oversees a multidisciplinary team dedicated to the care of patients with head and neck cancer.  Dr. Bell’s collaborations with institute scientists has led to a novel tumor-derived authophagosome vaccine in human clinical trials and a phase IB clinical trial investigating the safety, immunologic effects and efficacy of preoperative anti-OX40 administration in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients.