Brown University Oncology Research Group (BrUOG)

The Brown University Oncology Research Group (BrUOG) was created in 1994 to coordinate clinical cancer research for Brown’s affiliated hospitals and Alpert Medical School faculty. BrUOG’s main mission is to improve cancer care through the implementation of innovative, multidisciplinary cancer clinical trials. BrUOG provides the infrastructure for the efficient development and implementation of these trials, which are created by Brown University faculty. Before BrUOG was founded, there was no unifying body for such research and no infrastructure through which Brown’s myriad scientists and physicians could share, advance, and garner support for their ideas on the treatment of cancer.

The trials sponsored by BrUOG investigate novel, cutting-edge applications of chemotherapy, biologic agents and other cancer treatments. They study anticancer agents in early development, and as such are Phase I trials (which determine the optimally tolerated dose of an anticancer treatment regimen) or Phase II trials (which assesses the potential therapeutic effectiveness). These trials provide essential preliminary data for definitive Phase III trials, often conducted under the auspices of the National Cancer Institute.

BrUOG’s trials are unique because they are investigator – initiated – conceptualized by practicing physicians, not by pharmaceutical companies. As such, these trials represent an incredibly important sector of cancer research. Because medical, radiation and surgical oncologists are deeply familiar with both the latest research and stark realities of cancer, they are an unrivaled source of ideas for novel approaches to treatments.

BrUOG’s current clinical trials are:

BrUOG 317: Nivolumab and Ablation For Patients With Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Progressing After at Least One Prior Therapy For Metastatic Disease (317)

Nivolumab releases the inhibition of the immune system against human cancers. Dramatic and sustained activity has been observed in advanced lung cancer. Ablation may stimulate the immune system by exposing new tumor antigens. Since tumors that express PD-L1 may be more likely to respond to nivolumab, if ablation increases PD-L1 expression (which has not been studied) this treatment may enhance the activity of nivolumab at both the treated site and in other, non-treated, tumors. Ablation is already an FDA approved treatment for cancer. Nivolumab was recently FDA approved for second line treatment of advanced squamous cell NSCLC. The goal of the study will be to determine if the combination of nivolumab and ablation has higher systemic activity than previously reported with nivolumab alone.

BrUOG L301: Xofigo Following Frontline-Line Chemotherapy For Patients With Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and Bone Metastases

In this study, patients will receive the medicine Xofigo which is a radioactive drug that is FDA approved to treat prostate cancer that has spread to the bones. Xofigo has not previously been tested to treat lung cancer that has spread to the bones. Doctors are studying the effects, good and bad, of Xofigo when used to treat lung cancer that has spread to the bones.