Next Oncology Expands Phase I Program with Virginia Cancer Specialists Partnership

In Clinical Studies News by Barbara Jacoby

Internationally known cancer researcher, Dr. Anthony Tolcher, CEO and founder of NEXT Oncology, has entered into a joint venture with Virginia Cancer Specialists (VCS). Dr. Alex Spira of VCS sought to expand the clinic’s Phase I and developmental therapeutics cancer research program and bring the latest in new agents and anticancer treatments to its Research Institute.

NEXT Oncology has relationships with both Texas Oncology and Virginia Cancer Specialists, both of which are practices in The US Oncology Network, the largest network of its kind in the United States. VCS and NEXT Oncology joined forces to form NEXT Virginia in September 2021, and the clinic will be located at 8613 Lee Highway in Fairfax. The expanded Phase I program will begin work together this fall, while the stand-alone clinic, adjacent to Virginia Cancer Specialists, is built. NEXT Virginia is headed by Dr. Spira who serves as the site’s clinical director and CEO.

NEXT Oncology’s proprietary Phase I centers provide patients with advanced cancer who have exhausted all other treatment options access to the newest cancer treatments available.

“Dr. Spira is an excellent physician and Phase I cancer researcher who wants to grow his existing research institute,” said Dr. Tolcher said. “Together our goal is to grow the Next Oncology infrastructure to create access to potentially life-saving therapies to people, while simultaneously expediting the development of new therapies for the treatment and eventual cure of cancer. We are going to make cancer treatable or curable in my lifetime.

Alex I. Spira, MD, PhD. FACP, is the co-director of the Virginia Cancer Specialists Research Institute. He is the director of the thoracic and Phase I program and a clinical assistant professor at John Hopkins.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to bring the Virginia Cancer Specialists Research Institute together with NEXT Oncology,” Dr. Spira said. “The VCS Research Institute currently has the largest clinical trial program in the MidAtlantic area, and this collaboration in forming NEXT Virginia will allow it to expand its offerings even further in the Phase I and developmental therapeutics area.”

Phase I oncology trials are an important step in the drug development process. Trial participation enables patients to actively engage in their medical care, provides patients with access to novel treatments not yet commercially available, and it helps future patients on the path to new, transformative discoveries. Clinical research trials are conducted according to strict scientific and ethical principles, and groups of experts at the national and local levels approve research studies before they begin.

“The expansion into the state of Virginia is another step in a series of planned collaborations worldwide to bring NEXT Oncology’s proprietary model of Phase I clinical trials to cities all over the U.S. as well as other parts of the world,” added Gina Mangold, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer for NEXT Oncology.

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About NEXT Oncology

NEXT Oncology is dedicated to the development of new anticancer agents for patients whose current cancer therapy is no longer working to benefit them and are looking for their next option. NEXT is partnered with Texas Oncology, the largest private oncology practice in the United States with more than 400 referring medical oncologists. Texas Oncology is a practice within The US Oncology Network, a network of independent, community-based oncologists in the U.S. This formidable size and reach provides NEXT unprecedented opportunities to transform what has come to be expected from clinical trials of new agents.

About Virginia Cancer Specialists

Virginia Cancer Specialists is the largest comprehensive private cancer practice in Northern Virginia.  It features a world-class treatment team fighting cancer and diseases of the blood, offering access to the most current treatment protocols, clinical trials, and comprehensive care. Its fully staffed, comprehensive clinical research program also includes a dedicated research facility for Phase I clinical trials – the Virginia Cancer Specialists Research institute  is largest of its kind in the Northern Virginia area. VCS offers medical oncology, radiation oncology, musculoskeletal tumor surgery, breast surgery, thoracic surgery, genetic counseling, palliative care, oncology nurse navigators, oncology infusion nurses, oncology pharmacists, social workers, dietitians, and laboratory technicians. Virginia Cancer Specialists is part of The US Oncology Network. This collaboration unites the practice with more than 1,400 independent physicians and research and data from thousands of cancer patients in clinical trials across the country. Virginia Cancer Specialists also participates in clinical trials through US Oncology Research, which has played a role in more than 100 FDA-approved cancer therapies. The Network is supported by McKesson Corporation, a global leader in healthcare solutions.