UVA Cancer Center Welcomes New Deputy Director

With a new year comes a new face among the leadership at UVA Cancer Center. Robert Dreicer, MD, MS, FACP, FASCO, is the center’s new deputy director, associate director for clinical research and head of the section of medical oncology within the Division of Hematology/Oncology.

Dreicer brings to UVA Cancer Center 25 years of experience in the field of urologic oncology, most recently at Cleveland Clinic, where over the course of 15 years he served as director of the GU Medical Oncology Program, professor of medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, deputy associate director for clinical research for Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, chair of the Department of Solid Tumor Oncology and director of the Urologic Oncology Program. Prior to Cleveland Clinic, Dreicer spent a decade at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, in roles including Associate Director for Clinical Research at University of Iowa Cancer Center.

Dreicer cites three primary drivers behind his interest in joining the leadership of UVA Cancer Center. “The attraction of UVA was the quality of the people at the Cancer Center, the obvious commitment of senior leadership to broadening and strengthening the cancer programs at UVA and the desire for me — given that I started at a traditional university medical center — to return to an environment similar to that,” he says.

As an academic clinical investigator, Dreicer’s research and clinical expertise is in urologic cancers, and in his new role at UVA Cancer Center he aims to expand the clinical trial offerings in urologic malignancies. “We’re likely to open a specific trial of a novel oral antiandrogen in the management of advanced prostate cancer,” Dreicer says.

Moreover, in conjunction with colleagues in the UVA Department of Urology, Dreicer and his team are going to be expanding an interdisciplinary urologic oncology clinic. “The goal is to try to bring all of the physician disciplines that manage these patients to bear in terms of patient decision-making and management,” he says.

This multidisciplinary approach is one Dreicer has pursued for the last 16 years of his career. “Unequivocally, the benefit to patients is they get better information,” he says, noting that beyond the multiple perspectives on patient management allowed by multidisciplinary oncology care, it also increases the potential access to clinical trials. It’s an approach Dreicer has seen proven effective time and again over the course of his career, and this experience he feels will benefit UVA Cancer Center patients. “I bring a fair amount of clinical — as well as clinical research — experience to this role because, in a sense, I’ve lived it for a long time,” he says.