Office of Human Research Marks Six Years of Accomplishments

How did Memorial’s Office of Human Research (OHR) spend the fiscal year? Meeting important benchmarks.

With 627 patients consenting to participate in research, and 554 enrolled in active studies, Memorial continued to make progress on its twin goals: Offer a research study to every Memorial patient, and support any Memorial physician who wants to perform research. Currently, 94 Memorial Physician Group doctors are involved with clinical trials at Memorial across 34 subspecialties.

Enrollment numbers have consistently grown since the office was established in 2011 – statistics that stack up well in the world of research.

With 278 patients enrolled in Adult Oncology studies, 50-plus patients in Children’s Oncology trials and an accrual rate that never fell below 8 percent, Memorial earned a research commendation from the American College of Surgeons.

Leading non-oncology research categories included cardiovascular, pediatric endocrine, stroke, nephrology and cystic fibrosis, with 221 patients enrolled. Next up: studies in multiple sclerosis and neuroscience.

The Office of Human Research made strides in other areas during the year as well, holding a successful Third Annual Research Week, appointing two research scholars to provide support for publications, and launching a series of investigator-initiated (physician-written) studies.

We work every day to provide patients and physicians with exceptional opportunities to access and perform research. And by doing that, we’re also attracting top-quality physicians to Memorial. With us, they can research the treatments they’re passionate about and offer patients opportunities to try new therapies.”
– Candice Sareli, MD, Chief Medical Research Officer

Memorial Cancer Institute Expands Research and International Prominence

Memorial Cancer Institute had an outstanding year establishing its presence as one of the leading cancer centers in Florida and increasing its international presence. Memorial became a main member of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) research group Alliance, and remained on the cutting edge of lung cancer research. Memorial Cancer Institute’s annual oncology meeting, Best of ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology), also became a major event in South Florida.

Alliance of Clinical Trials Promotion to Major Member

There are only four NCI-sponsored cooperative research groups in the United States. Alliance of Clinical Trials (Alliance) is a national clinical trial network sponsored by the NCI that consists of about 10,000 cancer specialists at more than 300 hospitals across the US and Canada. Memorial Cancer Institute participated in the Alliance as a satellite of a major university until 2012 when Dr. Luis E. Raez joined Memorial and requested the promotion of the institute as major member of the Alliance. After a period of probation, Memorial Cancer Institute now holds a permanent seat in the Alliance as a main member with other major cancer institutes including Memorial Sloan Kettering, Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic and others in partnership to develop the best clinical research for our patients.

Cutting Edge of Lung Cancer Research

Memorial Cancer Institute had a very productive year with research presentations at national and international meetings. In June 2016, Memorial presented results of “Disparities in Genomic Profile of Lung Cancer Patients” during the Annual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago. In August, Memorial presented updated data during the Latin American Lung Cancer Congress (LALCA) in Panama. Closing out the year in December, Memorial presented its research in liquid biopsies for lung cancer during the 17th World Lung Cancer Congress in Vienna, where Dr. Raez also delivered other presentations and moderated several sessions on the topics of immunotherapy and targeted therapy for lung cancer.

Annual Oncology Meeting a Major South Florida Event

It has been only four years since Memorial Cancer Institute decided to host a major cancer conference in South Florida. During the third Best of ASCO meeting in July 2016, Memorial had more than 400 attendees and nearly 40 speakers, including participants from states as far away as California and countries like Costa Rica and Panama. The Best of ASCO oncology meeting is quickly becoming the premier cancer meeting in South Florida and soon the southern United States.

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