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U.S. National Institutes of Health
Last Updated: 12/10/13

About the Associate Director

Jeffrey Abrams

Dr. Abrams is currently the NCI Acting Director for Clinical Research and also is Associate Director of the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) in the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (DCTD). After completing his medical oncology fellowship (University of Maryland, 1984), Dr. Abrams joined the University of Maryland faculty from 1985-1992 where he directed their Breast Cancer Evaluation Program and was Associate Professor of Medicine and Oncology. In 1993, he joined NCI and was responsible for managing the breast cancer treatment trials portfolio for the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program. More…

Overview

The death rate from all cancers combined has been decreasing in the United States since 1991, and since 2003 the decrease has been large enough to outpace the growth and aging of the population, reducing the actual number of cancer deaths— a remarkable turn in the decades-long fight against cancer.

This milestone has been achieved, in part, because therapeutic and preventive interventions to fight cancer are working. One key to the success of these interventions is that they were tested rigorously in the clinic. Clinical trials are the mechanism for testing new approaches for cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. More than 1500 NCI-sponsored clinical trials are conducted annually, and some 900 treatment trials are sponsored by the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) within the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (DCTD).

CTEP is organized into nine offices and branches:

  • Office of the Associate Director
  • Clinical Grants and Contracts Branch
  • Clinical Investigations Branch
  • Clinical Trials Monitoring Branch
  • Investigational Drug Branch
  • Pharmaceutical Management Branch
  • Protocol and Information Office
  • Regulatory Affairs Branch
  • Office of AIDS Malignancy Program

Not only does CTEP identify promising agents for evaluation, but also it identifies biomolecular characteristics of malignant tumors that investigators may be able to exploit clinically. CTEP accomplishes its goals by administering, coordinating, and funding clinical trials, as well as sponsoring other clinical research. The program fosters collaborations within the cancer research community and works extensively with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. CTEP also reaches out to patients and advocates to help establish research priorities. The program administered 399 grants in 2005 and played a role in 942 open clinical trials.