New Leader of Phase I Clinical Trials Program Named at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Dr. Antoinette R. Tan Selected for Post
July 26, 2010

New Brunswick, N.J.– A Bridgewater resident has been named to serve as Director of Phase I/Developmental Therapeutics at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ).  Antoinette R. Tan, MD, MHSc, a medical oncologist at CINJ and associate professor of medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, was recently appointed to lead this component of CINJ’s clinical trial program by CINJ Director Robert S. DiPaola, MD.  CINJ is a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. 

Clinical trials, often called clinical research studies, test new treatments and new ways of using existing treatments for cancer.  At CINJ, researchers use these studies to answer questions about how a treatment affects the human body and to make sure it is safe and effective.  Phase I clinical trials in particular test metabolic and pharmacologic reaction of drugs in small groups of humans and help scientists measure safe dosing levels.  Phase I studies are typically conducted at major cancer centers, including those designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).  CINJ is the only center in the state to hold this designation and is only one of 40 in the nation.  As part of achieving this designation, CINJ has shown that it is able to uphold stringent patient safety standards pertaining to clinical trials as mandated by the NCI.

Dr. Tan joined CINJ in 2003 following completion of a medical oncology and clinical research fellowship at the NCI. She is active in the Phase I/Developmental Therapeutics group at CINJ and has a clinical research focus on breast cancer.  She is the principal investigator of several NCI Cancer Therapy and Evaluation Program (CTEP)-sponsored clinical trials as well as many industry-sponsored clinical trials. 

In her new role as director of the Phase I program at CINJ, Tan will be responsible for identifying and developing new clinical trial opportunities and bringing those ideas to the clinic in a rapid fashion. Tan states, “My goal is to lead our Phase I team in performing innovative early-phase clinical trials with new drugs that may improve treatment across different cancer sites.  I would like to strengthen collaborations with the pharmaceutical industry to optimize access to investigational anticancer agents for testing in the clinic.  Our growing program is an excellent resource for patients and physicians who are looking for novel therapies that may represent advances in cancer research and treatment.”

"Drug development for oncology requires the collaboration of academia and industry to rapidly move discoveries from the laboratory to effective therapies for patients," said Dr. DiPaola, who also is an associate dean for oncology programs and a professor of medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.  “Dr. Tan’s expertise in early drug clinical trials allows her the ability to keep a finger on the pulse of developing therapeutics.  She has consistently delivered fresh and innovative trials to CINJ, many of which have advanced to elevated trial stages.  This in turn has lead to CINJ’s continued ability to offer patients access to unique treatment options not available at other institutions within the state.” 

Tan also holds professional memberships in the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Association for Cancer Research.

About The Cancer Institute of New Jersey

The Cancer Institute of New Jersey ( is the state’s first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center dedicated to improving the detection, treatment and care of patients with cancer, and serving as an education resource for cancer prevention. CINJ’s physician-scientists engage in translational research, transforming their laboratory discoveries into clinical practice, quite literally bringing research to life.  To make a tax-deductible gift to support CINJ, call 732-235-8614 or visit CINJ is a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. 

The CINJ Network is comprised of hospitals throughout the state and provides a mechanism to rapidly disseminate important discoveries into the community. Flagship Hospital: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Major Clinical Research Affiliate Hospitals: Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Memorial Hospital, Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Overlook Hospital, Cooper University Hospital and Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Affiliate Hospitals: Bayshore Community Hospital, CentraState Healthcare System, JFK Medical Center, Mountainside Hospital, Raritan Bay Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton (CINJ at Hamilton), Saint Peter’s University Hospital, Somerset Medical Center, Southern Ocean County Hospital, The University Hospital/UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School*, and University Medical Center at Princeton. *Academic Affiliate



Michele Fisher


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