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Levine Cancer Institute Expands its Hematologic Oncology Services, Bringing First-of-its-Kind Unit to Patients with Aggressive Types of Blood Cancer

Media Contact:
Beth Thompson
Elizabeth.M.Thompson@carolinashealthcare.org
Phone: (704) 446-8435

Cancer patients no longer have to travel outside the greater-Charlotte region to receive the most advanced treatment and top physician expertise

January 28, 2013—Carolinas HealthCare System's Levine Cancer Institute has announced that it will offer a hematologic malignancies unit, the first adult treatment center of its kind, to residents in the greater Charlotte region in January 2014. This new space, where bone marrow transplant patients will be treated, is an expansion of the Institute's hematologic and oncology division that provides local patients with access to cutting-edge technologies, high quality care and the expertise of nationally existing and newly recruited physicians.

Dr. Edward Copelan, chair of the Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders, is overseeing the development of this expansion, which will allow residents diagnosed with leukemia, multiple myeloma, lymphomas or other hematologic malignancies, to receive their treatment closer to home. Nationally recognized for his more than 30 years of research in hematology and oncology, Dr. Copelan was recruited to the Institute in 2012 from Cleveland Clinic and is currently recruiting additional specialists to the Institute for non-cancer related blood disorders.

"Expanding our hematologic oncology program is a prime example of how the Institute is constantly evolving and adapting to meet the growing needs of patients, so that they have access to the best care possible," said Dr. Copelan. "This new space gives us the ability to care for an increased number of patients diagnosed with various, malignant types of cancer, so that they no longer need to travel to other hospitals in North Carolina that offer similar services.

Designed to provide a protected environment for transplant patients, the unit will include 16 specialized beds, a pheresis unit for the collection of donor cells for patients, and a cell processing lab that will be adjacent to the other oncology beds that are located on the fourth floor of Carolinas Medical Center. The Institute's Leukemia, Lymphoma and Multiple Myeloma Programs are led by nationally prominent and experienced physicians.

Since opening in 2010, the Institute is a first-of-its-kind approach to cancer care that distributes expertise and resources evenly throughout the region. More than 30 oncologists have been recruited to the Institute from top-ranked cancer programs across the country, including more than 20 who were named to the 2011 Best Doctor's in America list. The Institute allows a greater number of communities to benefit from the expertise of these oncologists and specialists through its 12 charter member institutions. Additionally, a specialized phase 1 clinical trial unit is offered at Institute to greatly expand existing efforts and bring advances in the study and treatment of novel cancer therapeutics to patients quicker.

"We are bringing top experts like Ed Copelan to the Carolinas to help us break down the barriers that separate patients from the best in cancer care," said Derek Raghavan, MD, PhD, Institute President. "Our elite network provides patients with greater access to specialists, treatment, and support services so that they are able to receive the care they need, closer to home.

About Levine Cancer Institute
Levine Cancer Institute, is changing the course of cancer care by removing the barriers that separate patients from access to world-class research and breakthrough treatments. Through the latest advances in technology and by building upon Carolinas HealthCare System's strong network of affiliated hospitals and providers, the Institute is able to deliver innovative, value-driven protocols when they are needed most – so where a patient lives will not determine how they fight cancer.

About Carolinas HealthCare System
Carolinas HealthCare System, one of the nation's leading and most innovative healthcare organizations, provides a full spectrum of healthcare and wellness programs throughout North and South Carolina. Its diverse network of more than 650 care locations includes academic medical centers, hospitals, healthcare pavilions, physician practices, destination centers, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing homes, behavioral health centers, and hospice and palliative care. CHS works to improve and enhance the overall health and wellbeing of its communities through high quality patient care, education and research programs, and numerous collaborative partnerships and initiatives.

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