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U.S. National Institutes of Health
Cancer Diagnosis Program Cancer Imaging Program Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program Developmental Therapeutics Program Radiation Research Program Translational Research Program Biometric Research Branch Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Last Updated: 04/25/2012

About the Associate Director


Jerry M. Collins, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized pharmacologist. He has been closely associated with NCI’s drug development efforts for more than 25 years, first as an NCI intramural investigator and then as the Chief of the Pharmacokinetics Section. From 1988 until 2005, Dr. Collins served as the Director of the FDA’s Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology, where he headed the development of new methods to facilitate research on human tissue metabolism to create an in vitro model to reduce adverse drug reactions. More…


The Developmental Therapeutics Program (DTP), originally created by Congress in 1955 as the Cancer Chemotherapy National Service Center, serves as a vital resource for preclinical information and research materials, including web-accessible data and tools, NCI-60 Tumor Cell Line Screen, compounds in vials and plates, tumor cells, animals, and bulk drugs for investigational new drug (IND)-directed studies.

Since its establishment, DTP has played an intimate role in the discovery or development of more than 40 U.S.-licensed chemotherapeutic agents, with the rest coming directly from the pharmaceutical industry. On that list is Paclitaxel, one of the most widely prescribed anticancer drugs on the market. Paclitaxel, a natural product, was first discovered by researchers working under a joint U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Cancer Institute grant. It was a DTP contractor who formulated the drug for use in clinical trials. Bortezomib is another DTP success story. In cooperation with its commercial sponsor, bortezomib was screened and formulated by DTP. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2003, it was the first treatment in more than a decade to be approved for patients with multiple myeloma. More recent successes include romidepsin (approved in 2009 for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma), eribulin (approved in 2010 for metastatic breast cancer), and sipuleucel-T (approved in 2010 for prostate cancer).

Many academic and private industry laboratories engaged in drug discovery often face financial and technical burdens that keep promising therapeutic agents from reaching patients. DTP has been involved in the discovery or development of more than 70 percent of the anticancer therapeutics on the market today, and will continue helping the academic and private sectors to overcome various therapeutic development barriers, particularly through supporting high-risk projects and therapeutic development for rare cancers.

DTP’s staff and administered grants are divided among ten components:

Approved Cancer Treatment Drugs Developed with DTP Involvement

Year Drug Name(s) Year Drug Name(s)
2010 Eribulin (NSC 707389)
Sipuleucel-T (NSC 720270)
1979 Daunorubicin (NSC 82151)
2009 Romidepsin (NSC 630176) 1978 Cisplatin (cis-platinum) (NSC 119875)
2004 Erbitux (NSC 632307) 1977 BCNU (NSC 409962)
2003 Velcade (NSC 681239) 1976 CCNU (NSC 9037)
1998 Ontak (NSC 697979) 1975 Dacarbazine (NSC 45388)
1996 Gliadel (NSC 714372)
Topotecan (NSC 609699)
1974 Adriamycin (NSC 123127)
Mitomycin C (NSC 26980)
1995 All-t-retinoic acid (NSC 122758) 1973 Bleomycin (NSC 125066)
1992 Chorodeoxyadenosine (NSC 105014)
Taxol (NSC 125973)
Teniposide (NSC 122819)
1970 FUDR (NSC 27640)
Mithramycin (NSC 24559)
o-p'-DDD (NSC 38721)
1991 Fludarabine Phosphate (NSC 312887)
Pentostatin (NSC 218321)
1969 Ara-C (NSC 63878)
Procarbazine (NSC 77213)
1990 Hexamethylmelamine (NSC 13875)
Levamisole (NSC 177023)
1967 Hydroxyurea (NSC 32065)
1989 Carboplatin (NSC 241240) 1966 Pipobroman (NSC 25154)
Thioguanine (NSC 752)
1988 Ifosfamide (NSC 109724) 1964 Melphalan (NSC 8806)
Actinomycin D (NSC 3053)
1987 Mitoxantrone (NSC 301739) 1963 Vincristine (NSC 67574)
1983 Etoposide (NSC 141540) 1962 Fluorouracil (NSC 19893)
1982 Streptozotocin (NSC 85998) 1961 Vinblastine (NSC 49842)
1959 Cyclophosphamide (NSC 26271)
Thiotepa (NSC 6396)
1957 Chlorambucil (NSC 3088)