Phase One Endowed Chair
The Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Grant Amount: $2,000,000 “The history of Cedars is quite long, but for 90 years of that history or more they didn’t have an academically oriented cancer center…This is the first era where the organization has had a conceptually guided…benchmark, if you will, a nationally reviewed…program.” Dr. Steven Piantadosi
Phase ONE’s funding objective emphasizes promising early-stage research, but it also recognizes the importance of fostering systemic change in our nation’s cancer research infrastructure. Our grant to establish the Phase ONE Endowed Chair at the Samual Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute (SOCCI) at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in 2007 has been instrumental in propelling its move toward conducting comprehensive phase one research. Researcher Steven Piantadosi, MD, Ph.D, was recruited from Johns-Hopkins Medical Center in 2008 with the offer of the Phase ONE Endowed Chair. A renowned cancer researcher who spent part of his diverse career at the National Institutes for Health, his immediate goals were to prepare Cedars-Sinai’s to apply for a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation, and to foster a cultural shift within the medical center to emphasize the value and importance of phase one cancer research for patients. Over the long term, Dr. Piantadosi envisions SOCCI as a leading center for phase one cancer research in the nation. Since accepting the Phase ONE chair, Dr. Piantadosi has made significant progress towards these goals. With this new spotlight on SOCCI, Cedars-Sinai has already recruited a number of physicians with an interest or specialty in bench research. “Not only getting them here, but also getting them to interact in a constructive way with each other,” said Dr. Piantadosi. “I think the personality of cancer or care or investigation here has changed as a result of that mission.” He added, “I think it is better. I think it is more scientific. I think it is better connected nationally with both clinical care standards and research activities nationally.” Indeed, the growing influence of research at this medical center is resonating throughout traditional centers of excellence, and Phase ONE’s early investment has been integral to this growing momentum. Through Dr. Piantadosi’s efforts, the number of Cedars-Sinai patients enrolled in cancer trials has doubled in the past seven years, and will double again in the next four years. He expects to apply for an NCI designation as early as 2018, and a successful application will facilitate access to resources that will rapidly escalate phase one research at Cedars-Sinai. Phase ONE’s early investment and partnership with SOCCI is not just expanding access to one promising study, it has helped to create a platform for countless, future studies with wide-ranging and potentially life-saving benefits.