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Identifying Possible Cancer-Fighting Agents

The goal of the Center for Investigational Therapeutics (CIT) laboratory program is to identify clinical candidate compounds as possible cancer-fighting agents to be considered for Phase I (first-in-man) clinical trials.

Developing & Screening Compounds

Researchers with the CIT work to discover new agents that can be developed into drugs. Chemists in our laboratory discover and develop compounds they believe can be used to target cancer cells. Our team can screen thousands of experimental compounds each year using both cell and tumor-based assays.

Our skilled researchers use cutting-edge techniques, such as lead compound identification and proof-of-mechanism studies, to rapidly advance compounds from discovery to clinical candidates. Our team has years of experience with approved anticancer agents and understands the efficacy and toxicity profiles for approved chemotherapeutics. This allows detailed evaluation of novel agents in combination with standard therapeutic courses of therapy.

Program Features

Features of the preclinical program fall under two general categories:

  1. Computational and medicinal chemistry; including computer-aided drug design
  2. Cancer biology; including assay development, screening, biomarker identification and in vivo models for preclinical efficacy and imaging studies

Our laboratory and clinical teams have been involved in developing some of the most important cancer drugs used today.

News & Blog

Huntsman Cancer Institute Researchers Share Expertise at National Cancer Meeting
Health Care Transformation, Clinical, Research, Education
Apr 11, 2017

Huntsman Cancer Institute Researchers Share Expertise at National Cancer Meeting

Huntsman Cancer Institute,

More than 20 researchers from Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah made their mark on the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting this year. Held in Washington, D.C., the convention drew more than 21,500 cancer researchers from all over the world. Scientists attended sessions on topics from immunotherapy to precision medicine. About 15 researchers from HCI presented posters in the main conference hall, on a wide range of topics. ... Read More

Treatment for skin cancer helps stop thyroid cancer
Research, Clinical, Health Care Transformation, Education
Oct 10, 2016

Treatment for skin cancer helps stop thyroid cancer

Huntsman Cancer Institute,

Doctors at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) are discovering some treatments that work for one type of cancer may also work for another, if it has similar mutations, or genetic changes. Genetic changes, or mutations, change some normal cells in the body into cancer cells which can grow and multiply. There are more than 100 types of cancer, which means many different ways to treat cancer are needed. Most cancers are named for the part of the body where they started.... Read More

The Scope Podcast (2014)
May 09, 2014

The Scope Podcast (2014)

There’s a new treatment for patients with ALK+ (positive) non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which can occur in non-smoking lung cancer patients. Previously in clinical trial at Huntsman Cancer Institute, the new drug, Zykadia™/ ceritinib, is part of a new generation of treatments that targets a specific genetic defect in the tumor. Dr. Sunil Sharma discusses the medication and its uses for treating this cancer.... Read More

Jan 01, 2012

2012 Top Science Report

Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) is known throughout the world for our discovery of cancer-causing genes, innovation related to clinical care and research for families affected by cancer, and the impact on quality of life for those at increased risk of developing the disease.... Read More

Principle Investigator
Sunil Sharma, MBA, MD, FACP
Principal Investigator
Cancer Center Bio

Contact Us

For anything lab related, please contact:

Contact Us: Alexis Weston
Sr. Lab Specialist