AHN Opens New Precision Medicine and Developmental Therapeutics Cancer Clinic at AGH

The Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute (AHNCI) announced today that it has established one of the region’s first clinics dedicated to precision cancer medicine and has appointed nationally recognized medical oncologist Ariel Lopez-Chavez, MD, MS, to serve as director of the new clinic. 

The AHNCI’s Precision Medicine and Developmental Therapeutics Clinic focuses on serving adults with metastatic solid tumors, and patients who may need second opinions or are seeking novel treatment options for rare, complex, or advanced-stage cancers. 

The clinic is based at the AHN Cancer Institute at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh’s North Side and offers both in-person and telemedicine appointments to patients. 

Because every cancer patient has unique characteristics and preferences, a unique genetic profile, and because cancer is a dynamic, heterogeneous disease, precision therapies are considered the next frontier of cancer treatment. Precision oncology focuses on matching the most effective and tailored cancer therapies to the individual cancer patient, based on the patient’s unique profile, as well as genetic information from the cancer’s molecular signatures. 

In support of the rapidly growing field of precision oncology, new types of therapies — such as target-based therapies, aimed at specific cancer genes and proteins — must also be developed to supplement more conventional cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. 

“It’s an exciting time to join Allegheny Health Network’s Cancer Institute as we embrace new discoveries and apply innovative therapies to treat the most challenging cancer cases,” said Dr. Lopez-Chavez. “From the latest technologies in targeted therapies, immunotherapies, and cellular therapies, to the use of novel clinical algorithms and empowerment programs to guide and support patient care, the Precision Medicine and Developmental Therapeutics Clinic will provide cancer patients with access to treatments and interventions that are most likely to increase their chances of recovery.”

Dr. Lopez-Chavez is a medical oncologist certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, specializing in precision cancer medicine for patients with metastatic solid tumors whose cancer has progressed despite initial treatment or are seeking novel treatment options. Before joining AHNCI, he was a Medical Director and Global Head of Oncology Development Innovation at Genentech-Roche, one of the largest life sciences companies in the world and the worldwide leader in the development of innovative cancer medicines. 

As director of the Precision Medicine and Developmental Therapeutics Clinic, Dr. Lopez-Chavez will lead an innovative program that offers cancer patients access to clinical research trials and novel technologies aimed at maximizing cancer recovery and improving their overall well-being. 

Over the last two decades, Dr. Lopez-Chavez has collaborated with hundreds of physicians and scientists from all over the world to develop safer, more effective treatments for cancer. Many of his efforts have resulted in new FDA-approved treatments, allowing cancer patients to live significantly longer lives.

“The Precision Medicine and Developmental Therapeutics Clinic at AHN’s Cancer Institute was developed with the goal of providing patients with access to critical treatment options and interventions for their disease, which historically hasn’t always been an option in cancer care,” said David Bartlett, MD, Chair of the Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute. “As a world-renowned expert in oncology, precision medicine, and precision health, Dr. Lopez-Chavez is a tremendous asset to the AHN Cancer Institute as we continue to strive to find the best treatment options for our patients.”

Dr. Lopez-Chavez has held positions at several top cancer centers in the United States, including the National Cancer Center in Bethesda, Maryland; the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health and Sciences University; the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami; and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was named one of the top five oncologists for exceptional customer service. 

Telemedicine and in-office visits are available for cancer patients who are seeking the care of AHN clinicians. Call (412) NURSE 4 U (412-687-7348) and a cancer nurse will answer your questions, schedule an appointment, and provide support. Patients can also submit an AHN Cancer Institute Second Opinion Request Form.

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