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U.S. National Institutes of Health
Last Updated: 09/05/08

About the Associate Director

Jeffrey Abrams

In June 2007, Jeffrey S. Abrams, M.D., a long-time DCTD staff member, was selected to lead the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) as associate director, following the retirement of Dr. Michaele Christian who had directed the program for 10 years. Dr. Abrams has been a member of CTEP since 1993, when he joined as a clinical research scientist to oversee the breast cancer treatment trials portfolio and participate in clinical trials at the Clinical Center and the National Naval Medical Center. More…


The death rate from all cancers combined has been decreasing in the United States since 1991, and since 2003 the decrease has been large enough to outpace the growth and aging of the population, reducing the actual number of cancer deaths— a remarkable turn in the decades-long fight against cancer.

This milestone has been achieved, in part, because therapeutic and preventive interventions to fight cancer are working. One key to the success of these interventions is that they were tested rigorously in the clinic. Clinical trials are the mechanism for testing new approaches for cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. More than 1500 NCI-sponsored clinical trials are conducted annually, and some 900 treatment trials are sponsored by the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) within the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (DCTD).

CTEP is organized into nine offices and branches:

  • Office of the Associate Director
  • Clinical Grants and Contracts Branch
  • Clinical Investigations Branch
  • Clinical Trials Monitoring Branch
  • Investigational Drug Branch
  • Pharmaceutical Management Branch
  • Protocol and Information Office
  • Regulatory Affairs Branch
  • Office of AIDS Malignancy Program

Not only does CTEP identify promising agents for evaluation, but also it identifies biomolecular characteristics of malignant tumors that investigators may be able to exploit clinically. CTEP accomplishes its goals by administering, coordinating, and funding clinical trials, as well as sponsoring other clinical research. The program fosters collaborations within the cancer research community and works extensively with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. CTEP also reaches out to patients and advocates to help establish research priorities. The program administered 399 grants in 2005 and played a role in 942 open clinical trials.