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Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MSCI, Senior Vice President for Health Equity and Inclusive Excellence for Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and Senior Associate Dean for Health Equity and Inclusive Excellence for Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, always knew she wanted to be a physician. "Health equity was built into everything I did, even if I didn’t know it or recognize it at the time," Wilkins said. "I have always learned and believed that people are the same — everyone deserves to be healthy, and everyone should have the best opportunities to take care of themselves and their families." Click below to learn more about health equity initiatives.
Vanderbilt was the lead site for an NIH-funded, phase 2, multicenter influenza vaccine study in pediatric allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HCT) recipients that may lead to a change in the current flu vaccine recommendations in this vulnerable population. Natasha Halasa, MD, MPH and colleagues recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, that two doses of high-dose trivalent flu vaccine resulted in higher amounts of influenza-specific antibodies than two doses of standard dose quadrivalent vaccine.

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Genetic Testing to Select Therapy for the Treatment of Advanced or Metastatic Kidney Cancer, OPTIC RCC Study

Kidney (Renal Cell)

This phase II trial tests whether using genetic testing of tumor tissue to select the optimal treatment regimen works in treating patients with clear cell renal cell (kidney) cancer that has spread to other places in the body (advanced or metastatic). The current Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved regimens for advanced kidney cancer fall into two categories. One treatment combination includes two immunotherapy drugs (nivolumab plus ipilimumab), which are delivered by separate intravenous infusions into a vein. The other combination is one immunotherapy drug (nivolumab infusion) plus an oral pill taken by mouth (cabozantinib). Nivolumab and ipilimumab are immunotherapies which release the brakes of the immune system, thus allowing the patient's own immune system to better kill cancer cells. Cabozantinib is a targeted therapy specifically designed to block certain biological mechanisms needed for growth of cancer cells. In kidney cancer, cabozantinib blocks a tumors blood supply. The genetic (DNA) makeup of the tumor may affect how well it responds to therapy. Testing the makeup (genes) of the tumor, may help match a treatment (from one of the above two treatment options) to the specific cancer and increase the chance that the disease will respond to treatment. The purpose of this study is to learn if genetic testing of tumor tissue may help doctors select the optimal treatment regimen to which advanced kidney cancer is more likely to respond.
Kidney (Renal Cell)
Rini, Brian

Study of CAbozantinib in Combination With AtezolizumaB for Muscle-Invasive BladdEr Cancer


This is an open-label phase II study assessing the activity of cabozantinib combined with
atezolizumab in patients with resectable muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma who are
ineligible for cisplatin-based therapy or decline cisplatin-based therapy. Each cycle equals
21 days. The dose of atezolizumab is 1200 mg IV flat dose every 3 weeks (Day 1) plus
cabozantinib 40 mg orally daily (Day 1 through Day 21). Patients will receive three cycles of
treatment prior to cystectomy unless they discontinue treatment for unacceptable toxicity or
progressive disease by RECIST v1.1 or withdraw consent.
Rini, Brian