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CMC, Moffitt Partner to Study Cancer
Date:2/26/2008

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Blumenthal Cancer Center at Carolinas Medical Center (CMC) in Charlotte is partnering with the Moffitt Cancer Center in a study that could lead to individualized treatments for specific types of cancer. CMC is the first hospital system outside Moffitt's home state of Florida to participate.

Over the next five years, CMC will enroll more than 2,300 patients in the study, which will involve collecting tissue samples, medical histories and clinical records. Participation in the study will enable Blumenthal Cancer Center patients to benefit from clinical trials and new treatments that may result from the research.

Cancers are often categorized by where they originate; for example, lung, breast, colon and prostate. However, the study, called Total Cancer Care, recognizes that there are more than 200 different types of cancer irrespective of where they first appear.

Each type has a specific molecular "fingerprint" made up of some 30,000 genes that could affect how it responds to different forms of treatment. By developing a data base of tissue samples from many cancer types, it may be possible to design individualized therapies that target the specific cancer, avoiding treatments that have little or no effect.

"The Total Cancer Care project is the kind of clinical research that physicians at Blumenthal Cancer Center are seeking for their patients," said Dr. Jeffrey Kneisl, medical director of Blumenthal Cancer Center and principal investigator for the Total Cancer Care study at CMC. "This is a thoughtfully conceived, methodically planned project that joins comprehensive cancer centers, cutting-edge research and patient-specific care."

Enrollment in the study is completely voluntary. If patients have cancer surgery, they will be asked to donate excess cancer tissues that would otherwise be discarded. If a biopsy is taken, researchers would like to obtain three to six additional samples for study.

Volunteers may be asked questions on a yearly basis about their medical history, diet and how they feel. If a new drug is developed that addresses their specific form of cancer, patients will be notified by researchers to see if they would be willing to participate in a clinical trial of that drug.

"Our vision is to integrate new technologies into the standard of care and improve outcomes of all cancer patients by partnering with outstanding health care institutions," said Dr. William Dalton, Moffitt President/CEO and Center Director. "We are also looking forward to collaborating with the physicians to increase access to new and improved therapies for cancer."

Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center (http://www.moffitt.org) is recognized by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center for its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia, and two in Puerto Rico.

Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country's leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of "America's Best Hospitals" for cancer, as well as for ear, nose and throat. Moffitt's sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.

The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer has designated CMC as an Accredited Network Cancer Program, one of just 26 hospital systems nationwide to achieve that level of accreditation.

Information on participating in the trial at CMC may be obtained by contacting Melanie Bamberg, program manager, at 704-355-6980 or Melanie.Bamberg@carolinashealthcare.org.


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SOURCE Carolinas Medical Center
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