Tanya Malak, Clinical Trials Team Manager, Leukemia Research
Tanya Malak, Clinical Trials Team Manager for Leukemia Research in the Clinical Trials Office, often gets asked the question, "What are clinical trials exactly?" Clinical trials are often a misunderstood area of cancer, especially in regards to the work that is done behind the scenes. Tanya is responsible for overseeing the leukemia clinical research team, which coordinates phase I, II, and III trials from start up to activation, throughout the phase of the trial. They work to recruit patients and collect data points during the trial, but also work directly with patients to monitor for any side effects and see how they are tolerating the treatment regimen.
The team is responsible for overseeing about 25 trials that are currently enrolling patients, and a total of 40-50 trials that are in some phase of development. Tanya has been involved in clinical research for six years; the last year and a half spent exploring cancer therapies. "Leukemia is an area that is constantly changing and there is always something new to learn," commented Tanya. "Our team is committed to the mission of providing patients with access to cutting-edge therapies for hematologic malignancies. Working on early phase oncology clinical trials is incredibly exciting as many of the therapies we study may become standard of care later down the line. In my role, I have the benefit of not only conducting research, but also working with patients and seeing first-hand how these therapies may help improve quality of life."
The majority of the trials that Tanya works on are phase I trials, where getting information to the sponsor in a timely fashion is critical. Any serious adverse events need to be reported within 24 hours.
Rebecca Lilian, Assistant Director for Clinical Trial Operations, Clinical Research, commented, "Over the past year, the Leukemia team has grown significantly and Tanya has been pivotal in this growth. Tanya's expertise in clinical trials, combined with her compassionate and caring personality, has created an environment that allows her staff to thrive."