City of Hope
Founded in 1913 as a tuberculosis sanatorium, City of Hope today enjoys a reputation as a leading research, treatment, and education center for those with cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases.
Despite great promise, many new drugs enter the early stages of drug research (before large-scale human trials) never to be seen again–forever lost in the so-called “valley of death.” This phenomenon often has less to do with lack of efficacy than with a lack of resources and infrastructure needed to successfully transition new agents from the lab to phase I and II clinical trials. At City of Hope, however, a unique approach to drug development is enabling researchers to successfully usher novel therapies through the dreaded “valley of death,” into clinical trials and, ultimately, to the bedside.
Joanne Mortimer, MD
One of the products developed by City of Hope scientists and synthesized in the new Chemical GMP Synthesis facility is 64Cu-DOTA-trastuzumab, a radiolabeled positron emission tomography (PET) imaging agent. Head of City of Hope’s Women’s Cancers Program and Phase I Clinical Trials Program Joanne Mortimer, MD, expects the agent to provide new insights into the biology of HER2-positive breast cancer while helping to identify women most likely to benefit from treatment with trastuzumab.