News & Information | START In The News

June 1st, 2016

START Researchers Will Present Key Clinical Data from a Record Number of Scientific Abstracts at ASCO 2016

SAN ANTONIO, TX., June 1, 2016 - START, the world's largest Phase I oncology clinical trials organization, announced today that it will present results from more than 30 abstracts at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO®) for its 52nd annual meeting, Collective Wisdom, that will be held in Chicago, June 3-7.  ASCO is the world's largest cancer conference bringing together 30,000 oncology professionals from around the world. This marks the global Phase I research organization's greatest number of abstracts to be accepted at an ASCO annual conference.

START abstracts accepted for presentation include:

  • 1 Clinical Science Symposium
  • 2 education sessions
  • 6 oral abstract sessions
  • 6 poster discussions
  • 16 poster sessions


START directs Phase I clinical trials of investigational anticancer agents using a high quality and innovative information technology infrastructure in a setting that emphasizes personalized and compassionate clinical care. START operates six Phase I sites on three continents, with two located in the US; two in China, and two in Spain. The most recent site to be added was START Taipei, which opened in May of 2017. START's head office is located in San Antonio, Texas, in the heart of the South Texas Medical Center.

"START continues to be the world leader in Phase I oncology research and the recognition by ASCO selection committees of the quality of the abstracts as well as the new agents we work on is a further validation of STARTs operation," said Anthony Tolcher, M.D., FRCP(C) and director of Clinical Research at START.

He continued, "The mission of START is to accelerate drug development for the treatment and eventual cure of cancer, so the breadth of research at this ASCO demonstrates we are achieving our mission."

START's accelerated model of global Phase I research helps drugs get to market faster

START's model of locating Phase I centers in strategic locations around the globe allows for a profoundly different approach to cancer research in that it uses all 24 hours of the clock.  When one center closes for the day, another one is just beginning the day.  This nonstop approach results in faster completion of Phase I clinical research and also makes the newest Phase I drugs available to end stage cancer patients who live in places where there is limited access to the newest anticancer drugs. 

A recent example of START's role in helping get critical anticancer medicines to market faster is the drug Keytruda®.

In August, former President Jimmy Carter confirmed that he had been diagnosed with melanoma and that the cancer had spread to his brain. Doctors said that the main drug used to treat the former president is Keytruda, a new class of cancer drugs labeled as "immunotherapy agents" which work by using the body's own immune system to fight the cancer. Keytruda is considered a "game changer" in treating melanoma and was tested first at START. Keytruda has been approved by the FDA for use in treating both melanoma and lung cancer.


START's researchers are among the rare individuals who can claim a direct, hands-on involvement with the clinical development of 25 anticancer drugs that, in the past 21 years, have obtained FDA approval and are now considered a part of standard of care.

These drugs include Navelbine (Vinorelbine®) Mitoxantrone (Novantrone®) Irinotecan (Camptosar®), Gefitinib (Iressa®), Docetaxel (Taxotere®), Gemcitabine  (Gemzar®), Topotecan (Hycamtin®), Panitumumab (Vectibix®), Vorinostat (Zolinza®), Sorafenib (Nexavar®), Temsirolimus (Torisel®), Ixabepilone (Ixempra®), Bortezomib (Velcade®),  Pemetrexed Disodium (ALIMTA®), Erlotinib (Tarceva®), Trastuzamab (Herceptin®), Lapatinib (Tykerb®), Cabazitaxel (Jevtana®), Eribulin (Halaven®), Abiraterone Acetate (Zytiga®), Cetuximab (Erbitux®), Carfilzomib (Kyprolis®), Regorafenib (Stivarga®), Ziv-Aflibercept (Zaltrap®) Pembrolizumab (Keytruda®).