Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute on the Forefront of Immunotheraphy Treatment Advancements for Cancer Patients
Hospital partnerships enhancing opportunities in community settings
Fort Myers, Fla., Aug. 26, 2021 — Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) continues to expand the number and scope of clinical trial opportunities available to cancer patients in the community setting, including a growing percentage of clinical studies that involve immunotherapies. Through hospital partnerships developed through FCS’ Drug Development Units, located in Sarasota, Lake Mary and Lake Nona, patients are able to access the most advanced treatment options and spend less time in an inpatient hospital setting.
Immunotherapy treatment uses certain components of a person’s own immune system to fight cancer by changing or improving how the immune system works. The use of bispecific antibodies is an emerging field within immunotherapy. These artificial proteins bind to cancer cells and enhance the immune system’s response to fight cancer. “Although these are very promising and exciting therapies, they do have potential to cause side effects,” said Manish Patel, MD, FCS Director of Drug Development. “Therefore, patients need to be closely monitored in a hospital setting for an expected short period of time. There are not many other cancer centers that can administer these type of therapies well in the community setting, so I and Judy Wang, MD, FCS Associate Director of Drug Development, are proud of what the clinical research teams have been able to accomplish.”
One possible side effect, for example, is cytokine release syndrome (CRS), a collection of symptoms that can develop with the use of bispecific antibodies. Dr. Patel said, “Most recently, working closely with our colleagues at Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH), we have successfully developed a process to dose the bispecific antibody trials in our clinics and then coordinate a smooth transfer to the hospital so that patients have the advantage of sophisticated monitoring and symptom management expertise.”
“Immunotherapy treatments no longer need to be given exclusively in a hospital setting,” said Lucio Gordan, MD, FCS President & Managing Physician. “Patients who participate in bispecific antibody trials with FCS are able to receive treatment close to home in a comfortable, familiar setting, with less time spent in the hospital.”
These community-based partnerships are delivering benefits to patients and contributing to cancer treatment discoveries. “Immunotherapies are one of the fastest moving areas of cancer research, and FCS continues to make great strides in the development of novel treatment therapies,” said FCS Chief Executive Officer Nathan H. Walcker. “Each trial we are part of enhances clinical knowledge and, most importantly, provides greater hope for cancer patients.”
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Recognized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) with a national Clinical Trials Participation Award, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) offers patients access to more clinical trials than any private oncology practice in Florida. In the past four years, the majority of new cancer drugs approved for use in the U.S. were studied in clinical trials with Florida Cancer Specialists participation. * Trained in prestigious medical schools and research institutes, our physicians are consistently ranked nationally as Top Doctors by U.S. News & World Report.
Founded in 1984, Florida Cancer Specialists has built a national reputation for excellence that is reflected in exceptional and compassionate patient care, driven by innovative clinical research, cutting-edge technologies and advanced treatments, including targeted therapies, genomic-based treatment, and immunotherapy. Our highest values are embodied by our outstanding team of highly trained and dedicated physicians, clinicians and staff.
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