Scientist working on clinical study in lab

Cancer Clinical Trials and Research

The William N. Pennington Cancer Institute is dedicated to find the causes of cancer and develop better treatments. We research a wide variety of areas. We perform traditional research in the laboratory and translational research with patients, and we look at how we provide counseling and support and clinical trials, in which patients have the option to try new therapies. We partner with research institutions, including local researchers at the University of Nevada Reno (UNR) and the Desert Research Institute (DRI), national and international researchers, non-profit organizations, and industry to help drive discoveries forward quickly.

Cancer Clinical Trials & Research

Participating in cancer clinical trials and research allows you to receive the most effective therapy available. These treatments investigate promising new drugs, drug combinations, advances in personalized care, and new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy otherwise unavailable.

To join a clinical trial, talk to a member of your cancer care team. They will know about any current trials for your type of cancer, explain your role in the preparation, and provide information about your protection. Trial participants usually receive the therapy at little or no cost. If you are considering a trial, consult with your primary care doctor.

At Renown Institute for Cancer, we want to provide our patients with the opportunity to access novel treatments through participation in clinical trials.

For adult patients, we offer clinical trials through the National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). Dr. Garrett Green, Renown Health department of Radiation Oncology, serves as the Principal Investigator and Liaison for the adult oncology team. For specific information on which trials are currently available at our institution, please call us at 775-982-5050.

For children, we offer clinical trials including phase 2 and phase 3 studies through the Children's Oncology Group. Dr. J. Martin Johnston, Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Renown Children's Hospital and Senior Investigator, Renown Institute for Cancer, is the Principal Investigator.

The Cancer Research Team

As the most extensive healthcare system in northern Nevada and eastern California, and in partnership with clinical trial sponsors, the National Cancer Institute, and the Nevada Cancer Research Foundation, we can access dozens of open clinical trials. We are here to provide education and guidance in making decisions about your care and treatment. Our specially trained research teams will help you understand the process and explain what to expect with each visit. We are committed to bringing the highest quality of cancer care to you and your loved ones.

To learn more about open clinical trials, please reach out to us with this form.

Laboratory Research

  • Joseph J. Grzymski, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Renown Health; Research Professor Computational Biology and Genetics, Desert Research Institute
    Joseph Grzymski, Ph.D., is responsible for expanding DRI's applied research portfolio and has received funding over $50m from a variety of federal, state, and private sector sources. Dr. Grzymski is the Healthy Nevada Project principal investigator and now leads a diverse team of 40 geneticists, data scientists, programmers, engineers, clinicians, and doctors as a part of the Renown Institute for Health Innovation, which functions between Renown and DRI.

    The Healthy Nevada Project (HNP) is a population genetics study that has enrolled, consented, and collected DNA and other health determinants data from more than 50,000 participants throughout Nevada. There are two society-scale value propositions for the HNP: 1) increase educational attainment and economic output via population health strategies to improve health outcomes; 2) a prevention strategy using genetics to detect inherited disease risks for conditions, if detected early, lower mortality and morbidity. This risk assessment is poorly ascertained in the current clinical setting.

    In Genomic Medicine, the HNP is currently returning results of CDC Tier 1 conditions to the consented participants of the HNP while focusing research efforts on lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, liver disease, and addiction. Dr. Grzymski is also the PI of a significant genetics study on NASH risk sponsored by Gilead Sciences and the PI of an NIH R01 grant focusing on gene x environment interactions related to cancer risk.

    Dr. Grzymski maintains an active research lab in basic and applied research related to DNA damage and the transcriptional regulation of metabolism related to stress. He works with a variety of federal agencies on population genomics best practices. Dr. Grzymski received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University, was a postdoc at Rockefeller University, was a Fulbright Scholar, and is a graduate of Bowdoin College.