Dr. Donald TrumpDonald L. Trump, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. He is the CEO and executive director of the Inova Dwight and Martha Schar Cancer Institute. Dr. Trump is the former CEO and president of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and has an active clinical and translational research program in vitamin D therapy and prevention of cancer. In addition, he has led numerous investigator-initiated and cooperative group trials evaluating new treatment approaches to genitourinary cancers. Read Dr. Trump’s profile.

The past five months have been among the most exciting and daunting of my career. I am excited to be in Northern Virginia and at Inova, and energized by the enormous amount of work that lies ahead in developing The Inova Dwight and Martha Schar Cancer Institute (ISCI).

The Inova Dwight and Martha Schar Cancer Institute: A Destination Cancer Center

Dwight and Martha Schar donated $50 million toward building a destination cancer center at Inova. How can you not be exhilarated by the commitment of the Schars? Their gift, combined with the previous $10 million donation from Milt and Carolyn Peterson, provides a transformative foundation of philanthropy on which to build a destination center.

These gifts enable us to recruit outstanding clinical leaders and translational scientists (scientists who specialize in extending scientific research into clinical applications). With this team, we can further enhance the excellent cancer care systems throughout Inova, on the new campus of the Inova Center for Personalized Health. We will continue to develop a true destination site for cancer research and care at ISCI. With the new names and acronyms come much excitement and so much to do.

Innovative Cancer Research: Targeted Therapies

This philanthropic commitment allows the Cancer Institute to jumpstart recruitment of clinician-researchers and scientists. Our first initiative is to establish a program in therapeutics/target delineation and drug development. We will bring in leaders with experience in targeted therapies, who will work on developing new targets and anticancer drugs. We will also recruit investigators who will discover and develop medications that specifically target and destroy cancer cells, through:

  • Direct attack on the cancer cells
  • Enhancing the body’s immune system to destroy cancer cells

Cancer Drug Research: How Will the New Drugs Affect You?

Our second area of focus will be related to how these new cancer medications will affect our patients. We will assess:

  • How the body handles these new drugs
  • What genetic markers are associated with a drugs beneficial action or side effects

ISCI: Leader in Cancer Care

This research will form the basis for collaboration with other Virginia universities and cancer centers, enabling us to define and test new approaches to drug therapy. Together, we will create distinguished clinical care and discovery programs that will make ISCI a leader in cancer care and research. This will attract the interest of pharmaceutical companies looking to perform the earliest clinical trials of new drugs at ISCI.

After Cancer: New Research in Cancer Survivorship

Another important opportunity will be in the area of cancer survivorship. The American Cancer Society recently released a report noting that there were greater than 14 million cancer survivors in the U.S. and almost 320,000 in the commonwealth of Virginia.

The ISCI, in partnership with the extraordinary Inova Life with Cancer Program will develop a premier survivorship program. The goal will be to support and better understand the challenges and needs of the increasing number of cancer survivors in our region.

Inova Dwight and Martha Schar Cancer Institute: Check This Space!

I will use this blog to regularly update you on the progress we are making. Extraordinary opportunities and much to do! Stay tuned for regular updates on our progress.

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