AdventHealth has announced a partnership with Moffitt Cancer Center to bring Central Florida early-phase clinical trials to benefit cancer patients who have nowhere left to turn—effectively opening up clinical research as a care option to those that, in some cases, are in dangerous life or death situations.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that up until now, early-stage Phase I clinical trials haven’t been widely accessible in Central Florida.
Central Floridians’ Access to Phase I Clinical Trials
Dr. Tom Sellers, center director and executive vice president with Moffitt Cancer Center, noted to the Sentinel: “For many, participation in a clinical trial is the best hope for beating their disease.” A Phase I clinical trial includes an investigational drug that hasn’t been tested on humans before. Dr. Steve Smith, chief scientific officer at AdventHealth told the Orlando Sentinel “Patients understand that by participating, they can help themselves and advance science.”
Prominent Health Organizations Collaborating: Provider & Investigator
Moffitt announced that they would be opening an outpatient campus of AdventHealth Wesley Chapel in Pasco County as part of a 100,000 square-foot building scheduled to open in fall 2020.
These two very different organizations both have a unified mission of improving patient health and saving lives. A mutually beneficial partnership, AdventHealth reports that the partnership will help bolster their cancer program and accelerate their efforts to secure National Cancer Institute designation—available to those institutions offering advanced cancer treatments. Only two centers in Florida have this prestigious designation including 1) Moffitt in Tampa and 2) Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami. AdventHealth now will leverage their existing operation, and with the Moffitt partnership, take their cancer care to the next level.
A clinical trial center is scheduled to be opened in AdventHealth Celebration, and it is hoped would be ready by early 2020. Moreover, both Moffitt and AdventHealth plan on recruiting dozens of scientists to the region over the next few years.
Benefits for Moffitt
Moffitt seeks to double the number of patients enrolled in clinical trials—which can support the acceleration of research and advancement of new treatments, reports Sentinel writer Naseem S. Miller.
Moffitt Center of Excellence
Moffitt is known for offering advanced cancer treatments, such as immunotherapy, including CAR T-cell treatments as well as other investigational, advanced clinical trials. For example, Moffitt most recently launched a first human clinical trial for a cancer vaccine.
New hospitals and clinical research collaborations can contribute to the local and regional economy. The Central Florida alliance is anticipated to bring new economic activity to the area. The Florida Legislature was asked to increase the center’s share of cigarette tax money from 4% to 10%, representing an additional $22 million. These funds would cover the costs for a new inpatient clinical research center as well as other expansions.
AdventHealth is a faith-based, non-profit health care system headquartered in Altamonte Springs, Florida that operates facilities within nine states across America. The Adventist Health System was rebranded AdventHealth at the beginning of 2019. It is the largest not-for-profit Protestant health care provider and one of the largest non-profit health systems in the United States. With 45 hospital campuses and more than 8,200 licensed beds in nine states, the system serves more than 5 million patients per year.
Call to Action: Do you live in Central Florida and have a loved one with a cancer diagnosis? The AdventHealth and Moffitt partnership will bring new advanced clinical trials for cancer patients to Central Florida. Are you a sponsor developing advanced investigational cancer therapies? If so, partnering with both Moffitt and AdventHealth may represent a good opportunity to access more patients.