LSU Health Shreveport Part of Statewide National Cancer Institute Clinical Trial

By Nikki Henderson |

Published 08/07 2014 12:38PM

Updated 08/07 2014 12:58PM

If you're a cancer patient on a tight budget you will now have local access to National Cancer Institute clinical trials through a new regional network that will serve Louisiana. 

The Gulf South Minority/Underserved NCI Community Oncology Research Program is being established with a $5.6 million grant from the National Cancer Institute.

This comprehensive cancer management program creates a network of physicians, nurses and researchers from major teaching and private medical institutions in Louisiana and Mississippi to deliver the latest promising investigational treatments for cancer. 

While open to all cancer patients, the focus is minority and underserved patients who die at higher rates from cancer than others.

Locally, these include the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center both in Shreveport and Monroe, along with Willis-Knighton Health System and Desoto Regional Medical Center.  More will be added as the program develops.

Director of the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center on the campus of LSU Health Shreveport Dr. Glenn Mills said, "We are excited to be one of the initial sites participating in this research effort. This is the first time we have a public private partnership such as this that will bring cutting edge cancer research treatments to the entire state."

Chancellor of LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans Dr. Larry Hollier said, "The program allows oncologists in many community hospitals to provide treatment to patients closer to home, helping reduce expenses and keeping patients and families closer together."

In addition to the potentially life-saving health benefits, this initiative will boost economic health.

Dean of the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine Dr. Steve Nelson said, "Expanded clinical trials will create jobs for physicians, nurses, health care personnel and researchers in Louisiana. The initiative will enhance the biomedical and clinical workforce in our state and region by increasing the number of professionals experienced in conducting health disparities research, developing cancer care delivery capabilities and implementing advanced clinical trials."

Pharmaceutical companies will have more opportunities to participate in the new biomedical and clinical research programs, and the new health care facilities developing in Louisiana. It has been estimated that this kind of activity could bring in an additional $10 million over the grant period.

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