School of Medicine Cancer Center

The Cancer Center at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine (TTUHSC SOM) was established in 2008 to provide a center of excellence for cancer research for the School of Medicine and the entire South Plains region.

A major focus of the TTUHSC SOM Cancer Center is conducting laboratory and clinical research that develops new anti-cancer drugs for both adults and children with difficult-to-treat cancers.

The Cancer Center hosts the Operations Center for a clinical consortium, the South Plains Oncology Consortium that conducts early phase clinical trials in adults and children with cancer.

The Cancer Center also hosts the Operations Center and laboratories for the Texas Cancer Cell Repository, a Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)-funded collaboration between a number of institutions to establish, bank, and distribute cancer cells from patients that have been established to grow in the laboratory or in special mice for use in studying the cancer biologies and novel therapies.

The TTUHSC SOM Cancer Center also hosts national resource laboratories that support clinical and translational research for childhood cancer: The Childhood Cancer Repository powered by Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, Neuroblastoma Pharmacology Resource Laboratory for the Children's Oncology Group and the New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy consortium.



The TTUHSC SOM Cancer Center enjoys many collaborations with academic investigators and pharmaceutical companies for development of novel models for studying cancers in the laboratory and using those models to carry out laboratory studies that lead to new therapeutic clinical trials for patients with cancer. One example of these collaborations is our work with the Children's Oncology Group to establish, bank, and distribute patient-derived cell lines and xenografts from children with cancer. The Childhood Cancer Repository ( located at the TTUHSC Cancer Center provides these models to hundreds of laboratories across 21 countries. The repository is supported by Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.



  • August 2021   The TTUHSC Cancer Center received a 5 year, $6 million grant from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas entitled “Texas Regional Excellence in Cancer Developmental Therapeutics Center at TTUHSC”.  CPRIT RP20042, PI:  C Patrick Reynolds, MD PhD. read more 
  • August 2021  TTUHSC Cancer Center investigators published a paper in Science Translational Medicine demonstrating that ATM kinase is activated in neuroblastomas with the alternate lengthening of telomere (ALT) phenotype and that an ATM kinase inhibitor can reverse drug resistance in ALT neuroblastoma cell lines and xenografts. read more 
  • May 2020  TTUHSC Cancer Center investigators published a paper in Cell Death & Disease that demonstrates the transcription factor OCT4 mediates MYC transcriptional activation and causes resistance to 13-cis-retinoic acid in neuroblastoma.  This paper also describes a novel mechanism for the activation of MYC that likely applies to other cancer types. read more 
  • April 2020  TTUHSC Cancer Center investigators published a paper in Cancer Research that demonstrates telomere maintenance mechanisms provide a novel approach to risk-stratification of high-risk neuroblastoma. read more 
  •  Jan 2019 Drs. Min Kang and C Patrick Reynolds were awarded a 5 year $1.9 million RO1 grant (CA232591) from the National Cancer Institute to study MYC activation mechanisms in neuroblastoma.  read more 

  • Aug 2018 Dr. Sanjay Awasthi, Program Director for Clinical Oncology in the Cancer Center, was awarded a 3 year  $1.1 million grant from the Department of Defense to study haploinsufficiency of RALBP1 in breast cancer.   read more

  • Aug 2018 Dr. C Patrick Reynolds was awarded a 5 year RO1 $1.7 million grant (CA21751) from the National Cancer Institute to study alternate telomere lengthening mechanisms in neuroblastoma as a prognostic biomarker and a novel therapeutic target.  read more


In the Spotlight

January 2018:  Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation has awarded a grant providing 5 years of support for the Childhood Cancer Repository, powered by Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, that is housed in the TTUHSC Cancer Center ( This laboratory, in collaboration with the Children's Oncology Group, establishes, banks, and distributes childhood cancer cell lines and patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) to > 600 laboratories in 28 countries. The outstanding commitment of ALSF to this important repository will insure it continues to be an important resource lab for the COG and for many pediatric oncology investigators world-wide.

TTUHSC School of Medicine Cancer Center in the Spotlight