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Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MSCI, Senior Vice President for Health Equity and Inclusive Excellence for Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and Senior Associate Dean for Health Equity and Inclusive Excellence for Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, always knew she wanted to be a physician. "Health equity was built into everything I did, even if I didn’t know it or recognize it at the time," Wilkins said. "I have always learned and believed that people are the same — everyone deserves to be healthy, and everyone should have the best opportunities to take care of themselves and their families." Click below to learn more about health equity initiatives.
Vanderbilt was the lead site for an NIH-funded, phase 2, multicenter influenza vaccine study in pediatric allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HCT) recipients that may lead to a change in the current flu vaccine recommendations in this vulnerable population. Natasha Halasa, MD, MPH and colleagues recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, that two doses of high-dose trivalent flu vaccine resulted in higher amounts of influenza-specific antibodies than two doses of standard dose quadrivalent vaccine.

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Ifetroban in Treating Patients with Malignant Solid Tumors at High Risk of Metastatic Recurrence

Multiple Cancer Types

This phase II trial studies the side effects of ifetroban in treating patients with malignant solid tumors that are at high risk of coming back after treatment (recurrent) and spreading throughout the body (metastatic). Platelets are a type of blood cells that help with clotting. Cancer cells stick to platelets and ride on them to get to different parts of the body. Drugs, such as ifetroban, may help these platelets become less "sticky," and reduce the chance of cancer cells spreading to other places in the body.
Breast, Esophageal, Gastric/Gastroesophageal, Lung, Non Small Cell, Pancreatic, Small Cell
Reid, Sonya

Gabapentin plus Ketamine for the Prevention of Acute and Chronic Pain in Patients with Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer Undergoing Chemoradiation

Multiple Cancer Types

This phase I/II trial studies the side effects and best dose of a combination of gabapentin and ketamine and to see how well it works to prevent acute and chronic pain in patients receiving chemotherapy and radiation therapy (chemoradiation) for head and neck cancer that has spread to nearby tissue or lymph nodes (locally advanced). Gabapentin is a medication that is commonly used to treat nerve related pain. Specifically, it has been used to treat pain involving the mouth, throat and nasal passages in head and neck cancer patients treated with radiation. Ketamine is a type of general anesthetic that blocks pathways to the brain involved with sensing pain. This trial may help doctors determine how patients tolerate the combination of gabapentin and ketamine and to find the correct dosing for ketamine in those taking gabapentin. This will be the basis for a future, larger study to look at how effective this combination is at reducing and/or preventing pain in head and neck cancer patients.
Head/Neck, Phase I
Lockney, Natalie

Split Course Adaptive Radiation Therapy with Pembrolizumab and with or without Chemotherapy for the Treatment of Stage IV Lung Cancer, SiCARIO Study

Multiple Cancer Types

This phase I/II trial tests the safety and efficacy of split-course adaptive radiation therapy in combination with pembrolizumab and with or without chemotherapy for the treatment of patients with stage IV lung cancer. Radiation therapy is a standard cancer treatment that uses high energy rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Split-course adaptive radiation therapy uses patient disease response to alter the intensity of the radiation therapy. Immunotherapy with monoclonal antibodies such as pembrolizumab may help the body's immune system attack the cancer, and may interfere with the ability of tumor cells to grow and spread. Chemotherapy drugs like carboplatin, pemetrexed, and nab-paclitaxel work in different ways to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells, by stopping them from dividing, or by stopping them from spreading. Giving split-course adaptive radiation therapy with standard treatments like immunotherapy and chemotherapy may be more effective at treating stage IV lung cancer than giving them alone.
Lung, Non Small Cell, Phase I
Osmundson, Evan

Active Myeloid Target Compound Decitabine and Cedazuridine in Combination with Itacitinib for the Treatment of Myelodysplastic/Myeloproliferative Neoplasm (MDS/MPN) Overlap Syndromes, ABNL-MARRO Study

Multiple Cancer Types

This phase I/II trial tests the safety, side effects, and best dose of decitabine and cedazuridine (ASTX727) in combination with itacitinib and how well they work in treating patients with myelodysplastic/ myeloproliferative neoplasm. Cedazuridine is in a class of medications called cytidine deaminase inhibitors. It prevents the breakdown of decitabine, making it more available in the body so that decitabine will have a greater effect. Decitabine is in a class of medications called hypomethylation agents. It works by helping the bone marrow produce normal blood cells and by killing abnormal cells in the bone marrow. Itacitinib may stop the growth of cancer cells by blocking some of the enzymes needed for cell growth. Giving decitabine and cedazuridine in combination with itacitinib may work better in treating patients with myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasm.
Hematologic, Myelodysplastic Syndrome
Savona, Michael

Ketogenic Diet with Letrozole in Treating Patients with Estrogen Receptor Positive Breast Cancer


This early phase I trial studies how well ketogenic diet with letrozole works in treating patients with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. Estrogen receptor positive breast cancer has special proteins on it, called estrogen receptors, that allow it to grow when exposed to estrogen. A ketogenic diet (low calorie, low carbohydrate) may help normalize abnormally high insulin levels that in turn may slow the growth of cancer cells. Letrozole may stop the growth of cancer cells by blocking some of the enzymes needed for cell growth. The purpose of this study is to learn if the combination of a 2 week ketogenic diet in combination with letrozole can help slow the growth of tumors.
Early I
Rexer, Brent

Haploidentical Bone Marrow Transplantation in Sickle Cell Patients (BMTCTN1507)


This is a Phase II, single arm, multi-center trial, designed to estimate the efficacy and
toxicity of haploidentical bone marrow transplantation (BMT) in patients with sickle cell
disease (SCD). Based on their age and entry criteria patients are stratified into two groups:
(1) children with severe SCD; and (2) adults with severe SCD.
Kassim, Adetola

Samotolisib in Treating Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Advanced Solid Tumors, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, or Histiocytic Disorders with TSC or PI3K/MTOR Mutations (A Pediatric MATCH Treatment Trial)

Multiple Cancer Types

This phase II Pediatric MATCH trial studies how well samotolisib works in treating patients with solid tumors, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or histiocytic disorders with TSC or PI3K/MTOR mutations that have spread to other places in the body (metastatic) and have come back (recurrent) or do not respond to treatment (refractory). Samotolisib may stop the growth of cancer cells by blocking some of the enzymes needed for cell growth.
Germ Cell (Pediatrics), Miscellaneous, Neuroblastoma (Pediatrics), Pediatric Lymphoma, Pediatric Solid Tumors, Pediatrics, Wilms / Other Kidney (Pediatrics)
Borinstein, Scott

Educational Telehealth Program for the Delivery of Care to Cancer Patients in Rural Communities, ENCORE Study


This clinical trial evaluates the clinical effectiveness of a multi-level telehealth-based intervention for cancer patients in rural communities. Rural residents face limited accessibility to cancer treatment and supportive care services, transportation barriers, and financial issues. Cancer Thriving and Surviving is an evidence-based self-management intervention with demonstrated efficacy across numerous chronic health conditions with dissemination across the US, inclusive of rural communities. This trial evaluates whether the evidence-based Cancer Thriving and Surviving intervention delivered through telehealth among rural patients may improve patient outcomes.
Friedman, Debra

A Study of the Effects of AB-205 in Patients With Lymphoma Undergoing Autologous Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation


High-dose chemotherapy followed by blood stem cell transplantation is administered to
lymphoma patients with an intention to cure. However, high-dose chemotherapy simultaneously
causes damage to healthy tissues that frequently result in severe complications that lead to
hospitalization and can be life threatening. These severe complications involve the blood,
immune, gastro-intestinal systems, and other vital organs.

The purpose of this study is to determine if experimental therapy AB-205 (study drug) can
prevent or reduce the occurrence and duration of the severe chemotherapy related
complications when compared to placebo in patients with lymphoma undergoing treatment with
high-dose chemotherapy and blood stem cell transplantation. All patients, whether treated
with AB-205 or placebo, will receive standard preventive and supportive care therapies.
Dholaria, Bhagirathbhai

Using Biomarkers and Imaging in Fungal Regions to Improve Lung Cancer Diagnosis


Grogan, Eric