Dec. 1, 2009
Winship Cancer Institute Opens Phase I Clinical Trials Unit
The Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University has opened a Phase I Clinical Trials Unit dedicated to advancing cancer research through a singular focus on caring for patients enrolled in phase I clinical trials.
“Clinical trials are where science meets applied patient care,” says John Fox, president and CEO of Emory Healthcare. “This facility is one more example of Winship’s commitment to making unprecedented progress in cancer research, treatment and care.”
Earlier this year, Winship became the first medical facility in Georgia to earn the National Cancer Institute Cancer Center Designation. Establishment of a facility focused on the earliest stage of new treatments is an important development for Winship, says executive director Walter Curran, MD.
“This facility, which was developed through collaboration with the Georgia Cancer Coalition and Georgia Center of Oncology Research and Education, is a resource for the entire state,” says Curran. “With this opening, we are strengthening our commitment to patients throughout Georgia by developing options for advanced treatment. This is a high class facility in a world class cancer center.”
Clinical trials are research studies that test how well new medical approaches work in people. Each study answers scientific questions focused on finding better methods to prevent, screen, diagnose or treat cancer. Phase I trials are usually the initial testing of a new treatment. These studies validate the best way to administer a new treatment and the best dose.
“We have been working closely with community oncologists, and they have made it clear that phase I clinical trials are critical to advancing cancer care in Georgia,” says Fadlo Khuri, MD, chair of hematology and medical oncology at Winship. “We have built a facility and dedicated physicians, nurses and administrators to developing this critical step in the development of new cancer treatments.”
The National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs sponsor and conduct clinical trials. In addition, academic medical facilities like Emory, foundations such as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Komen Foundation, as well as pharmaceutical companies, sponsor clinical trials.
The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.