The Showalter lab focuses on clinical trials aimed to personalize and improve the treatment of breast cancer.
The NIH funded grant aims to improve the efficacy of intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) for the treatment of early stage breast cancer, to investigate the immune effects of breast radiation therapy, and to evaluate the comparative effectiveness and costs of an advanced form of breast IORT. IORT is an emerging alternative to whole breast irradiation (WBI), but its current embodiment has several deficiencies including the lack of imaging for target delineation and planning, and poor dosimetry due to the use of low-energy photons. This proposal leverages advanced CT-guided, high dose-rate brachytherapy techniques to develop Precision Breast IORT (PB-IORT), a novel method that improves upon conventional breast IORT (CB-IORT) through customized, three-dimensional treatment planning and delivery for higher dose, accurate, individualized IORT that better targets the breast tissue.
The lab is also running an investigator initiated trial: A pilot Study of Neoadjuvant Endocrine Therapy Tolerance to Inform Treatment decisions for adjuvant Radiation in Geriatric Early Stage ER+ Breast Cancer. This project takes a novel treatment approach of the assessment o patient tolerance during three months of neoadjuvant endocrine therapy and examines if this information can be used to guide treatment decisions and predict adherence to adjuvant endocrine therapy.
The Showalter Lab also works in collaboration with members of the School of Public Health Sciences on outcomes data projects. Multiple projects are ongoing and will provide preliminary data for future work.
Dr. Slingluff’s research focuses on melanoma immunology and cancer vaccine development. His primary research focus in melanoma immunology and cancer vaccine research includes the development and optimization of melanoma vaccines, in combination with other immune modulators.
Dr. Slingluff’s research program is intensely translational, with basic laboratory analyses of human tissue on one hand and numerous clinical trials of melanoma treatment on the other. He has had continuous NIH-NCI funding for both laboratory studies and human clinical trials since 1992.
Dr. Slingluff has a breadth of experience in all aspects of translational and clinical trials research, including 11 active IND applications with the FDA, and technology transfer with licensed patents. He has national leadership roles, as co-chair of the Melanoma Committee of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group. He has institutional leadership roles in establishing and directing the Human Immune Therapy Center (HITC) since its inception.
As a clinician-investigator, he has developed young investigators in patient-oriented research or research with human tissues, where laboratory and clinical environments are closely interactive. Areas of interest include 1) melanoma immunology and cancer vaccines, 2) combination targeted therapies for melanoma and 3) novel imaging technology for melanoma.