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Dr. Brian Rini is an internationally recognized leader in kidney cancer and clinical drug development and a member of the Kidney Cancer Association’s Medical Steering Committee. He recently began a new role as the inaugural Chief of Clinical Trials at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) in Nashville, Tennessee and will continue to see patients and conduct kidney cancer research.

We spoke with Dr. Rini about his plans to expand VICC’s clinical trial program.

Briefly describe your new role at Vanderbilt.

I am the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Chief of Clinical Trials. In this newly conceived role I will oversee the clinical trials of the Cancer Center from operations and trial management to execution and strategy. In short, my goal is to increase participation in high impact clinical trials for patients with all types of cancer.

As VICC’s first Chief of Clinical Trials, what do you plan to do?

I will both oversee other investigator’s trials and conduct my own clinical research. My personal focus will continue to be genitourinary (GU) cancers especially renal cell carcinoma (RCC). My goal is to expand the GU clinical trial portfolio at Vanderbilt.

Will you still see patients in clinic?

Yes, I will see patients two full days each week, including all types of GU cancers, again with a focus on RCC patients. My personal clinical and translational research has focused on RCC for almost 20 years and will continue to do so here at Vanderbilt.

What would you want kidney cancer patients to know about clinical trials?

Clinical trials are an option for all patients at all stages of their disease, not just as a last resort. Clinical trials rarely include a placebo, and trials are the main way we make advances for cancer patients. I think clinical trial patients get extra attention due to the investigational nature of the drugs being tested, and I find patients and their caregivers appreciate that. All patients should ask their doctors about clinical trial options. If there are not trial options, I think at the very least they should seek a second opinion at a center that specializes in RCC to make sure they understand the landscape of treatment options.

What do you enjoy doing in Nashville?

I’m new to Nashville but love music and food, both of which are spectacular in Nashville. I’m looking forward to exploring this great city. The medical community here is vibrant and the city is growing fast. The possibilities for clinical research are amazing.

Patients can make an appointment with Dr. Rini by calling the new patient intake number: (615) 936-8422 and learn more by visiting VICC at https://www.vanderbilthealth.com/cancer.

Physicians can refer new patients by calling (615) 343-3700.

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2 thoughts on “Q & A: Dr. Brian Rini on expanding clinical trials at Vanderbilt”

  1. Thank you Dr. Rini for sharing your experience and insights. I start taking Axitinib tomorrow morning and Pembrolizumab on Thursday at Emory after watching small nodules grow to 11mm following a radical nephrectomy in Nov 2017. I’ll continue to follow your work and will definitely look you up should/when I need a 2nd line. I’m very interested in the relationship between biomarkers and treatments, and will seek a Trial to help with the issue when the time comes. Thanks again.

  2. Dr. Rini, I’m so thankful for your dedication and work for kidney cancer patients. I’m currently seeing Dr. Basu at UAB in Birmingham and he discussed the great work you have done and how it is helping me. Thank you for giving hope to patients like me!

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