". . . More clinical trials are available to Arizonans battling cancer. . . . Your efforts to spear-head the anticancer drug discovery legislation and the clinical trials legislation that followed were greatly appreciated by the Commission, researchers, and patients. Thank you."

Dawn C. Schroeder, DDS, MA
Executive Director
Arizona Disease Control Research Commission


News Room


In FY1999, Rep. Leff was successful in securing $10 million to speed the introduction of promising anticancer drugs into clinical trials in Arizona. 

This program has been very successful in helping Arizona research efforts to compete for additional funding. In the first three years, researchers report receiving $36.2 million from federal and other outside sources as a result of the legislative appropriation. 

Twenty projects were funded during the four year period. Several new classes of compounds were tested as were two new delivery systems designed to concentrate drugs known to be effective at the site of the tumor. Three new compounds have been tested by pharmaceutical companies for possible commercialization and further refinements are being made to two of them. Two new compounds received patent protection.

The funding from the Legislature enabled the University of Arizona to outfit an entire laboratory complex devoted to natural compounds with anticancer activity found in desert micro-ecosystems. In all, nine new promising leads have come from this single laboratory.

One of the most important developments to emerge from this program has been the cooperation between public and private institutions, resulting in quarterly meetings held by the cancer researchers who are working on anticancer drug development. Presentation about their on-going research have resulted in collaboration between universities and other institutions within Arizona to strengthen the clinical trials network and to make experimental therapies available to patients throughout the state. 

Cancer is not a single disease, but many, and Arizona's effort has made a significant contribution to the cancer therapeutics knowledge base. The four-year Anticancer Drug Discovery Program ended on June 30, 2002.