The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium (Big Ten CRC) recently appointed Oana Danciu, MD, as chair of the consortium’s steering committee. Dr. Danciu is associate director of clinical research at the University of Illinois Cancer Center, a breast oncologist at UI Health, and associate professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Chicago.

The Big Ten CRC Steering Committee is composed of one researcher from each member institution. The committee meets on a regular basis to review activities of the consortium and decide matters of policy. The Steering Committee determines the criteria for approving concepts for development with the Big Ten CRC.

“Working closely with my steering committee colleagues and the Big Ten CRC team, I am looking forward to achieving our mission and goals,” Dr. Danciu said. “Through collaboration, expertise, and enhanced efficiency we continue to advance cancer research and increase participation and access to clinical trials.”

Dr. Danciu’s research is focused on breast cancer, early phase clinical trials development, and experimental therapeutics. Her work has been presented at major national conferences, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Breast Cancer Symposium, San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, and ASCO Cancer Survivorship Symposium. Her extensive work includes developing a Phase I protocol with a new experimental agent, PAC-1 (first procaspase activating compound). PAC-1 is a small molecule that directly activates procaspase-3 and induces apoptosis of cancer cells.

Dr. Danciu represents the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) in the Big Ten CRC’s Breast Cancer Clinical Trial Working Group, and this has led to collaborations with nationally recognized breast oncologists. Her trial, “A Single Arm Phase II Study of Palbociclib in Combination with Tamoxifen as First Line Therapy for Metastatic Hormone Receptor Positive Breast Cancer” (BTCRC-BRE15-016), was awarded by Pfizer as part of the ASPIRE program.


About the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium: The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium was created in 2013 to transform the conduct of cancer research through collaborative clinical trials and observational studies that seek to improve the lives of cancer patients in the diverse communities we serve by leveraging the scientific and clinical expertise of Big Ten universities. The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium creates a unique team research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to treatment and prevention. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow. Since its founding, the Big Ten CRC has activated nearly 40 clinical trials across a wide range of cancer types, more than 1,000 participants have enrolled in Big Ten CRC studies, and more than 500 researchers have joined Big Ten CRC Clinical Trial Working Groups.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to more than 9,800 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit