OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

SMMART Cancer Clinical Trials

A researcher is peering into a microscope in a busy lab. The mood is light and optimistic.

We’re not just fighting cancer. We’re fighting your cancer.

SMMART stands for Serial Measurements of Molecular and Architectural Responses to Therapy. It is the flagship project of the Knight Cancer Institute’s precision oncology program.

Our goal is to identify new treatments that last longer and improve the quality of life for patients with advanced cancer.

We accomplish this by doing a top-to-bottom analysis of your cancer over the course of your disease.

What is SMMART?

SMMART is an innovative way of doing clinical trials for patients with advanced cancer who aren’t responding to regular treatment.

Cancer is hard to treat because tumors develop ways to resist therapy over time. The drugs stop working. Exactly why a treatment stops working is different for every patient, because each person is unique.

Our strategy is to adapt your treatment before resistance develops. We try to stay one step ahead of your cancer.

SMMART is the first of its kind and was developed here at the Knight Cancer Institute.

How does it work?

We track your cancer over time, through biopsies and tests. We use that information to adjust drug combinations.

We do a deep analysis of your cancer using methods developed specifically for SMMART.

Our program includes a SMMART “tumor board” that gathers to discuss your case. It’s made up of cancer doctors, pharmacists, pathologists, researchers and other experts from across OHSU. We look at all this data. We may recommend new combinations based on how your cancer responds to therapy. If your cancer gets worse, we look for new options. We’re with you for the long haul.

These trials don’t just benefit future patients. They could help you now.

This diagram shows a green circle in the center, representing patients. Nine small blue circles orbit the patient circle. They represent different types of cancer experts: medical oncologists, the operational team, radiologists, pharmacists, genomics experts, cancer biologists, computational biologists, researchers, and research advocates.
The SMMART team includes a wide range of experts who come together to examine your cancer from every angle.

Contact us

Email us at SMMART@ohsu.edu

Learn about our research


OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, South Waterfront

Center for Health & Healing, Building 2
3485 S. Bond Ave.
Portland, OR 97239

Free parking for patients and visitors

Putting patients first

SMMART works best when patients help us shape our research. Learn more about becoming a scientific research advocate.

SMMART is designed for patients with advanced cancer that has spread or returned after conventional treatment. SMMART may be able to help some people who have the following conditions:

Ask your doctor whether SMMART may be a good fit for you. They can contact us directly.

If it turns out you are eligible, your doctor can help you enroll.

You can take part in SMMART as long as the treatment is helping you. You can withdraw at any time.

SMMART clinical trials


  • Goals of the trial:
    • To identify new treatment options for our patients using advanced tests developed for the SMMART clinical trials program.
    • To identify methods and tests to deliver better cancer treatment.
    • To learn the best ways to get cancer samples from patients.
    • To see which tests provide the most useful insight into a patient’s cancer.
    • To figure out the best way to relay this information to the doctor. 
  • This trial may help some people with:
    • Breast cancer
    • Ovarian cancer
    • Prostate cancer
    • Pancreatic cancer
    • Sarcoma
    • Localized cancer (cancer that has not spread)
    • Advanced cancer (cancer is beginning to spread)
    • Metastatic cancer (cancer that has spread to other parts of the body)
  • Read about the doctor leading this trial: Gordon Mills, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Read more about the MMTERT clinical trial


  • Goal of the trial:
    • To see if combining olaparib with durvalumab, selumetinib, capivasertib or ceralasertib provides more benefit to patients than standard therapy.  
  • This trial may help some people with:
    •  A certain type of breast cancer that has spread (metastatic triple-negative breast cancer or TNBC)
  • Read more about the doctor leading this trialAlexandra Zimmer, M.D., M.Sc.
  • Read more about the AMTEC clinical trial


  • Goals of the trial:
    • To understand if targeted inhibitors work better than standard therapy.
    • To learn more about how tumors develop ways to resist drugs.
  • This trial may help some people with:
    • A certain type of pancreatic cancer that has begun to spread (locally advanced or metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas)
  • Read more about the doctor leading this trial: Charles Lopez, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Read more about the WOO clinical trial


  • Goals of the trial:
    • To test side effects and best dose of abemaciclib and niraparib.
    • Giving abemaciclib and niraparib together before surgery may make the tumor smaller. 
  • This trial may help some people with:
    • A certain type of breast cancer (breast cancer that is HR+ and HER2-)
  • Read more about the doctor leading this trialAlexandra Zimmer, M.D., M.Sc.
  • Read more about the PANNTHR clinical trial