Developmental Cancer Therapeutics Program

Karen Aboody, M.D., Co-leader
Edward Newman, Ph.D., Co-leader
Program Members - If you would like an updated membership list, please contact Kim Lu at
The long-term goal of the Developmental Cancer Therapeutics (DCT) Program is to develop more effective and less toxic treatments for cancer. This multidisciplinary program spans basic, translational and clinical research by fostering close collaborations among basic and clinical researchers. While the program continues its long-standing strength in evaluating cancer therapeutics developed by collaborators at other academic institutions and the pharmaceutical industry, the major emphasis of this program moving forward is on the development of novel, molecularly-targeted cancer therapeutics at City of Hope .
Our mission is not to compete with the pharmaceutical industry, but rather to complement cancer drug development and partner with the industry for the ultimate purpose of bringing innovative cancer therapies into the clinic.
Our major focus is on:

(a) unique molecular targets that may not be high priorities for the pharmaceutical industry,
(b) natural products screening and synthesis of natural product derivatives and
(c) matching targeted therapies with appropriate molecular subtypes of tumors.
Program Goals
  • To identify and validate new molecular targets for innovative cancer therapy approaches
  • To select and develop novel small-molecule inhibitors of promising molecular targets
  • To investigate molecular and pharmacologic mechanisms of drug action and drug delivery
  • To translate basic and preclinical studies into early phase clinical trials for treatment of cancer
DCT Members' Research
Members of the DCT Program have expertise in a wide spectrum of disciplines essential for development of innovative, molecularly-targeted cancer therapeutics. These include molecular target identification by gene expression profiling, target validation by RNAi approaches, lead compound selection by computational and high-throughput screening approaches, total synthesis of natural products and their derivatives, structure-activity relationships, combinatorial chemistry, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, and phase I and II clinical trials. This broad range of highly-specialized areas of expertise is focused on a concerted effort to develop new cancer therapeutics, from target identification through drug development to clinical trials.