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UT Austin Professor Kevin Dalby Explains How Cancer Research Clinical Trials Work

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Kevin Dalby, UT Austin professor comments on how cancer research clinical trials work and why they are so crucial for the future of cancer treatments.

AUSTIN, TEXAS , UNITED STATES, April 20, 2021 / -- Kevin Dalby, UT Austin professor at the College of Pharmacy, knows the ins and outs of how cancer research trials work. He studies the mechanisms of cancer cell signaling to develop targeted therapeutics. Dalby’s efforts were recognized by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) and the National Institutes of Health, granting him nearly $5 million to support his research.

Clinical trials are studies with the main focus of research surrounding a specific disease that involves people. These studies use and observe a new treatment approach to diseases such as a type or stage of cancer and compare it to the most effective treatment known at that time. They bring new waves of innovation to the medical world to find better, more effective ways to treat diseases.

UT Austin professor Kevin Dalby works specifically in the field of cancer drug discovery research. Scientists like him can design cancer clinical trials to investigate and assess new ways to treat, prevent, find and diagnose cancer or control cancer symptoms and treatment side effects.Clinical trials do not just happen overnight. The long process starts in a lab as the research begins, and researchers study new drugs for years in the lab and with animals before having the opportunity for the final steps allowing people’s participation. 

Clinical trials can focus on a single new drug, several drugs combined, or even another angle or approach to utilizing established therapies.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States requires any new drug or treatment to be tested in clinical trials before approving it for public use. Clinical trials are constantly taking place, especially for cancer, and more beneficial treatments are still to be found.

“Many researchers, myself included, like to view clinical trials as the engine that powers cancer treatment progression. We cannot move forward to find a cure without clinical trials, which is why they are so crucial in the process of medical research and implementation. Clinical trials are essential to successful cancer treatments of the future,” said Kevin Dalby, UT Austin professor and researcher.