Shaping the Future of Cancer Treatment
My studies stem from my experience treating patients. I witness their struggles and it motivates me to do more. Dr. Anwaar Saeed
It takes a village
Behind every Investigator-Initiated Trial, there is a robust multidisciplinary team.
“Our IIT infrastructure distinguishes us from other cancer centers, even the centers that are also NCI-designated,” Dr. Saeed said. “There are numerous moving parts to open a single study. Our village of experts allows me and other scientists to focus on the research concept.”
This includes developmental therapeutics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics experts, who study how the drug is metabolized in the body and interacts with other drugs; interventional radiologists, who obtain baseline and on-treatment biopsies from participants; and translational scientists who analyze the tumor samples and surrounding microenvironment enabling state-of-the-art correlative studies. These in-house experts — and so many more — are vital to every study.
Cancer is complex, and IITs don’t always yield such positive results like Dr. Saeed’s CAMILLA trial. Yet each finding builds on our collective understanding of cancer, regardless of study outcome.
“The resilience of my patients is what inspires me to keep trying. Fighting cancer is a long journey. Therefore, we should prepare for it not as a sprint but as a marathon,” Dr. Saeed said. “We know there is a chance of failure, but it might lead to a groundbreaking discovery. That is why I became a physician-scientist.”