Investigational drug development for solid tumors is a major research activity at the Division of Oncology/Hematology. In daily medical practice, patients with different types of cancers, including those of the breast and genitourinary tract and malignant lymphoma, are treated with standard chemotherapy and/or in clinical trials. Cancer of unknown primary is another major target, and gynecological malignancies and soft tissue sarcomas are also treated by chemotherapy at the Division. Other types of solid tumors, including gastrointestinal, lung, and head and neck cancers, are treated mainly in early clinical trials of anticancer agents.
Our clinical and research activities are focused on the following fields:
1. Developmental therapeutics involving the development of new anticancer agents in phase I trials sponsored by pharmaceutical companies.
2. Development of combination chemotherapy involving newly developed drugs or new combinations of currently available drugs.
3. Disease-oriented clinical trials, particularly for breast cancer and hematological malignancies.
4. High-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation in experimental or standard treatment regimens.
5. Standard chemotherapeutic treatment in medical practice.
The major and specific target diseases of the Division were breast cancer and malignant lymphomas. Eligible patients with these cancers were invited to participate in large phase II/III studies. The number of patients with cancers of the genitourinary tract and cancer of unknown primary is increasing. Gastrointestinal cancers including esophageal and colorectal cancers, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, soft tissue sarcomas, and gynecological cancers including uterine and ovarian cancers were also treated at the Division. For patients with diseases with established standard chemotherapeutic regimens, standard chemotherapy was administered in routine medical practice. Patients in whom standard chemotherapy had failed and patients with cancers for which standard chemotherapy was not available were invited to participate in clinical studies on experimental drugs and regimens, which formed a major part of our research activities.
Many patients with different types of cancers receive routine chemotherapy that is provided as an outpatient service by the Division. The average number of patients treated in the outpatient service per month was 404 in 2007.