Hospital enters into partnership with Levine Cancer Institute
Cancer patients in Union County have a chance to take part in clinical trials for new drugs thanks to a new project at Carolinas Medical Center-Union.
The hospital announced plans last month for a partnership with Levine Cancer Institute aimed at bringing a higher quality of care to more patients in the Carolinas over the next decade.
“Our wish is to bring the highest level of care to our cancer patients and bring it closer to their homes,” Byron Pouges, CMC-Union’s director of marketing and communications, said. In order to make that happen, Pouges said Carolina Healthcare System plans on spending around $500 million over the next 10 years.
One of the main benefits of CMC-Union teaming up with the Levine Cancer Institute is that “all patients will have expanded options for their cancer care,” Pouges said.
Because of this new partnership, the Edwards Cancer Center located in Monroe will now be offering many different clinical trials for cancer patients.
“Now patients will no longer need to go outside of their county in order to receive advanced cancer treatments,” Pouges said.
With the availability of clinical trials at the center, patients may receive treatments before they are available to the general public. Many of the trials will be testing new medications, new procedures and new radiation therapy treatments in an effort to help fight and rid these patients of their cancer.
“One of the benefits of these trials is that if a new treatment proves effective, patients in the study are among the first to benefit,” Registered Nurse Sandy Pollock said. Pollock is the research nurse who assists physicians to enroll and manage patients on clinical trials at the cancer center.
Each trial is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, supervised locally by medical oncologists Dr. Gregory Brouse and Dr. Earle Burgess.
“We are pleased to add clinical trials to our menu of cancer services,” Brouse, of Carolinas Cancer Associates, said. “Union County has grown significantly over the years, and we believe this enhancement will enable us to serve the people of this community better and more conveniently.”
Data retrieved from the tests will be shared between all hospitals managed by Carolina Healthcare Systems. Currently, the Levine Institute has more than 300 clinical trials open for patients. As the program expands, officials anticipate bringing even more clinical trials to CMC-Union patients.
“The vision is to have a network of high quality cancer centers all over the Carolinas where patients can receive outstanding care at any facility,” Pouges said.
Anyone wishing to become involved in a clinical trial should contact their physician, or the Edwards Cancer Center at 704-225-2418.