Cleveland Clinic Receives $7.9 Million Grant

Cleveland Clinic Receives $7.9 Million Grant

Photo: Cleveland Clinic has received a five-year, $7.9 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to form one of three national centers as part of the newly established Radiobiology and Oncology Integration Network (ROBIN). Timothy Chan, MD, chair of the Center for Immunotherapy and Microimmune Oncology, will serve as the principal investigator at Cleveland Clinic’s ROBIN Center.
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Credit: Cleveland Clinic

September 22, 2022, Cleveland: Cleveland Clinic Received a five-year, $7.9 million grant from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health to form one of three national centers as part of the newly established Integration of Oncology and Radiobiology Network (RUBIN).

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Timothy Chan, MD, PhD.MD, chair of the Center for Immunotherapy and Microimmune Oncology, will serve as the principal investigator at the Cleveland Clinic’s ROBIN Center, which will investigate the molecular mechanisms, radiotherapy response biology, and efficacy of radiotherapy and immunotherapy combinations for bladder, head and neck cancers.

“Radiation therapy is the cornerstone of cancer treatment, with about two out of three cancer patients receiving it,” said Dr. Chan. However, despite their widespread use, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms and biology of response to radiation remains poor. ROBIN will enable us to develop more effective combinations of radiotherapy and immunotherapy and to better understand how these approaches work.”

In collaboration with Emory University, Cleveland Clinic researchers and clinicians will lead studies with the goal of developing new approaches to cancer treatment by improving understanding of the drivers of efficacy. Specifically, the team will study radiotherapy in combination with conjugated drugs, antibodies and immune checkpoint inhibitors.

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A multidisciplinary team from the fields of radiation oncology, radiation biology and radiation physics research will allow for ongoing information sharing. Additionally, the creation of a Workforce Development Program via Training will help build a pool of scholars in radiation biology, radiation physics, and clinical radiation oncology.

The Robin Center will rely on Cleveland Clinic’s large patient volumes to generate comprehensive molecular data that provides key information to enable clinicians to choose the best treatment for each patient.

“Precision cancer medicine is the future of cancer care,” said Dr. Chan. “The ROBIN Center harnesses the strengths of the Cleveland Clinic’s localized research strengths and world-class patient care, where we have the ability to continually learn from innovative treatment techniques by returning results to a research lab for further examination, and then share our discoveries with clinicians to expand the frontiers in patient care. “.

Omar Mian, MD, PhD.a radiation oncologist at the Taussage Cancer Institute at the Cleveland Clinic and a researcher in lerner research instituteAnd the Shilpa Gupta, MDDirector of the Department of Urogenital Oncology at Taussage Cancer Institute And co-chair of the Genitourinary Oncology Program, they will lead one of the molecular characterization trials focused on a combination of a targeted therapy, sacituzumab, in addition to radiation, to treat bladder cancer. A combination of this study will also be conducted at the Cleveland Clinic Florida Center for Research and InnovationUnder the leadership of Anatoly Nikolaev, MD, PhD.

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A second clinical trial examining the efficacy of treating recurrent head and neck cancer with radiotherapy and nivolumab, led by Shlomo Koefman, MDa radiation oncologist at the Taussage Cancer Institute.

Unidentified patient samples will be collected from those receiving current standards of care and those in clinical trials and stored in Cleveland Clinic Vital Warehousesa 22,000-square-foot facility on the main campus of the Cleveland Clinic operated by Azenta Life Sciences facilitates precision medicine biobanks through sample collection, transportation, and integrated tracking.

Dr. Chan’s lab will analyze the samples to generate data using multiple genetic analyses. The breadth and depth of the data generated will reveal comprehensive insights into radiation-based cancer treatment strategies. On another ROBIN funded project, Jacob Scott, MD, Phil D.a radiation oncologist and chief of theory in the Department of Hematology and Research Oncology at the Lerner Research Institute, will use artificial intelligence to decipher the temporal dynamics of all the complex changes that occur as a result of treatment.

“The ROBIN trial will create the data needed to eventually drive precision cancer medicine, which ultimately provides the best outcomes for every patient and helps improve quality of life,” said Dr. Chan.

This study was funded in part by the study’s sponsors, Varian and Gilead Sciences, and Brian and Diana Taussig.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic It is a non-profit, multidisciplinary academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based on the principles of collaboration, compassion, and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has been a pioneer in many areas medical breakthroughsincluding coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. US News & World Report Cleveland Clinic consistently names it one of the best hospitals in the country in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Of Cleveland Clinic’s 72,500 employees worldwide, there are more than 5,050 paid physicians and researchers, and 17,800 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,500-bed health system that includes a major campus of 173 acres near downtown Cleveland, 22 hospitals, and more than 220 outpatient facilities, including locations in Northeast Ohio; southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto Canada; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates ; and London, England. In 2021, there were 10.2 million outpatient visits, 304,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 259,000 surgical cases throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us on Follow us on News and resources available at

Editor’s note: Cleveland Clinic News Service Available to provide broadcast and B-roll quality interviews upon request.

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