Northside Hospital’s Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Program is the only program in Georgia, and just one of 10 in the country, selected to participate in the prestigious and groundbreaking Blood Cancer Research Partnership (BCRP), established by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). This BCRP is a network of sites for clinical trial testing of innovative blood cancer therapies in community oncology settings across the country. The Partnership brings clinical trials closer to where patients live and helps address one of the primary bottlenecks in the development of new cancer therapies: the need for more patients to take part in trials.
The Northside Hospital BMT Program serves patients who require bone marrow or stem cell transplants and provides primary leukemia treatment. A group of nationally recognized physicians, along with a team of trained professionals, spearhead the work that takes place at Northside. In 2013, the National Marrow Donor Program reported the hospital as having among the best survival outcomes in the country for related and unrelated bone marrow transplants for the fourth consecutive year.
Involvement in clinical trials with local organizations, academic transplant programs and larger cooperative groups provides Northside with the latest tools and resources in treating leukemia, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Hodgkin’s Disease, Multiple Myeloma, Myelodyslastic Syndrome, Aplastic Anemia, breast and ovarian cancer and other blood and solid tumor disease.
Many patients diagnosed with cancer do not have access to ground-breaking trials due to lack of proximity to large medical centers. The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute believes that the collaboration between community oncologists and Dana-Farber physicians will accelerate the advancement of and expansion of access to well-designed and original clinical trials for blood cancer patients being treated at community sites. LLS has invested $1,050,000 in this three-year project.
“This novel partnership between Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and LLS supports the mission of both organizations – to bring cutting-edge clinical research to a wider spectrum of patients with blood cancers today in order to change the paradigms of clinical care for patients tomorrow,” said Blood Cancer Research Program Co-Director Robert Soiffer, M.D., who is the chief of the Division of Hematologic Malignancies at Dana-Farber. “The BCRP consortium will provide the opportunity for the Division of Hematologic Malignancies to extend clinical research trials to patients who are outside our regional area and do not have the capacity to come to Dana-Farber.”
Asad Bashey, M.D., Ph.D., medical director, BMT research program at Northside Hospital added, “The number of hematopoietic cell transplants performed annually in the United States is growing each year and, as such, it is vital that transplant centers work together to develop and implement new and innovative therapies.”