Our position on the leading edge of research helps patients obtain progressive new therapies in areas such as:

Cardiac Care Cancer Care Rehabilitation

Office of Human Research Transforms Hope into Reality

Memorial Healthcare System’s Office of Human Research:

  • Founded by Stanley Marks, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer
  • Is a team of 34 research professionals led by Candice Sareli, MD, chief medical research officer
  • Provides a centralized office for Memorial physicians and clinical staff to conduct research studies
  • Sponsors Memorial’s Annual Research Week, featuring updates on clinical trials, Lunch n’ Learns, lectures and poster presentations

This year, the Office of Human Research grew to more than 120 open-to-accrual studies in progress across the system, with 647 patients enrolled in these research studies throughout the year, including:

  • 264 oncology patients enrolled in 50 open studies
  • 73 pediatric patients enrolled in Children’s Oncology Group (COG) protocols, and
  • More than 50 patients enrolled in cardiovascular research updates
Our vision is to offer a research study to every patient who walks through our doors, and support and enable any Memorial clinician who wants to perform research. Research allows Memorial to attract the best physicians and gives our patients the opportunity to try new medical interventions that may make a significant contribution to their care.
— Candice Sareli, MD

Research Is Thriving at Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute

One of the areas in which Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute is most active is in cardiac and vascular research. From testing medications to exploring new devices and approaches, researchers are seeking to expand their knowledge base with the ultimate goal of finding safer, less invasive and more effective therapies for patients.

Some studies include:

  • The TWILIGHT trial, sponsored by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, to determine the efficacy of reduced duration of antiplatelet medications in patients receiving drug-eluting stents.
  • The EVOLVE trial using the Synergy Stent, which uses a new, bioabsorbable polymer technology that may safely allow reduced duration of antiplatelet medications with potentially decreased bleeding complications.
  • The Quick Clot Pilot, a Memorial physician-initiated trial, which explored using a kaolin-based hemostatic agent in patients undergoing radial artery cardiac catheterization and intervention. Successful post-procedure hemostasis was predictably obtained in 30 minutes, as compared with the normal two to three hours for the standard-of-care TR Band. The implications of this finding, regarding greater comfort and safety for the patient, a quicker discharge from the hospital for outpatients, and the potential for decreased costs, will be explored in a larger study.
  • A randomized study called ARTEMIS, sponsored by AstraZeneca and the Duke Clinical Research Institute, to determine whether lower co-pays encourage cardiac patients to better comply with their antiplatelet therapy.
Cardiovascular disease is still the leading cause of death, and there are so many questions that we don’t have answers to. At Memorial, we have a multidisciplinary research team that’s working together in creative ways. Our goal is simple: through clinical research, find safe, more effective and less-invasive therapies to help our cardiovascular patients.
— Jonathan Roberts, MD, FACC, FSCAI, Medical Director, Clinical Research and Education, Interventional Cardiology

Memorial Cancer Institute at the Forefront of Cancer Breakthroughs, Studies

Immunotherapy Offers Less Toxicity, Better Quality of Life

At Memorial Cancer Institute, new treatments and studies are deepening knowledge – and giving hope – in the fight against cancer.

Memorial Cancer Institute participated this year in trials for nivolumab, tremelimumab, durvalumab and pembrolizumab, intravenous new therapies for melanoma and lung cancer. These drugs:

  • Stimulate the immune system to fight cancer tumors
  • Helped boost survival rates for several months more than chemotherapy
  • Avoid the debilitating effects of chemotherapy and radiation
Immunology is a very promising intervention. The side effects are minimal, and it can be more effective than traditional chemotherapy.
— Luis Raez, MD, FACP, FCCP, Medical Director, Memorial Cancer Institute

Eye-Opening Research on Lung Cancer Survival Rates

  • A partnership of Memorial Cancer Institute and the Office of Human Research
  • A comparison of genomic profiles and overall lung cancer survival rates among patients of Hispanic descent to non-Hispanic white patients – the so-called “Hispanic paradox”
  • Using gene-expression profiling in 254 Memorial Cancer Institute patients, the team found no significant difference in the rates of survival between the two populations
  • Dr. Raez presented these findings orally at the 16th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Denver in September 2015, and his presentation was selected as one of the highlights of the day during the conference
Our study was compelling, and we hope it will encourage more research on Hispanic and non-Hispanic cancer populations — especially where the kind of innovative therapies that Memorial Cancer Institute offers are hard to access.
— Dr. Raez

Improving Patient Care through Research

Memorial Rehabilitation Institute has had outstanding success this year in the area of research. Lauren Thomas, Psy.D., Director of Rehabilitation Psychology, along with her dedicated team of psychologists and students, have been hard at work implementing quality improvement initiatives, collecting data and conducting research.

Our focus on quality and research is rapidly moving us forward on our journey to becoming a top-tier Rehabilitation Institute. The broad range of topics has contributed to new and innovative ways of improving patient care. Several of these projects have been accepted for poster presentations at national conferences. These include:

Research Projects

“Improving the Multidisciplinary Approach to Agitation Management by Empowering Ancillary Services”
  • American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association (AMRPA)
    October 2015, Nashville, TN
  • North American Brain Injury Association National Conference (NABIS)
    April 2016, Tampa, FL
“Let’s Talk about Sex: Promoting Staff Comfort in Providing Psychosexual Education in a Rehabilitation Setting”
  • American Board of Rehabilitation Psychology Annual Conference (ABRP)
    February 2016, Atlanta, GA

Case Study Presentations

"Going Beyond the Brain Injury Plateau with Adaptive Sports"
  • North American Brain Injury Association National Conference (NABIS)
    April 2016, Tampa, FL
“A Targeted Analysis of Falls in the CVA Population Admitted to an Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility”
  • National Summit on Safety and Quality for Rehabilitation Hospitals
    April 2016, Baltimore, MD
"Understanding Clostridium Difficile trends in an Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility”
  • National Summit on Safety and Quality for Rehabilitation Hospitals
    April 2016, Baltimore, MD

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