Carolinas HealthCare System
Fall 2011

Welcome to Levine Cancer Navigator


Derek Raghavan, MD, PhDOur team is delighted to produce the inaugural issue of Levine Cancer Navigator, a quarterly newsletter that provides physicians with news and information about cancer treatment, recent research and clinical trials, as well as the services and support we offer to our patients.

This is an exciting time in our organization, with the recent announcement of Levine Cancer Institute, which will reduce the need for patients to travel long distances to receive comprehensive, coordinated and highly integrated cancer care. The concept of Levine Cancer Institute is quite simple— we're developing a sophisticated academic and clinical cancer institute without walls, spanning Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS) and providing state-of-the-art treatment and research programs that will be available close to the residential locations of our patients. The Institute is expected to open in Summer 2012.

The academic and research center of the Institute will incorporate an extensive clinical trials center, a Phase I novel therapeutic unit, a patient resource center, multidisciplinary clinics for complex and rare cancers, and space for multisite, electronically linked, multidisciplinary tumor boards. This will allow us to offer patient navigators, wellness programs, nutritional counseling and support groups, because no one fights cancer alone. We'll be training our data managers and research nurses centrally and will have ample resources for oversight, review and quality control of clinical cancer trials as they work throughout the system.

The central component of our efforts for several years has been the Blumenthal Cancer Center, led ably by Jeffrey Kneisl, MD, and his team. The Blumenthal Cancer Center name will be incorporated into new developments. The Institute will encompass several established entities and collaborate closely with highly respected centers, such as Batte Cancer Center at Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast, Edwards Cancer Center at Carolinas Medical Center-Union and Roper St. Francis Cancer Care. We're excited about this concept as we know the sum of the parts will far exceed the individual impact of each outstanding center. Dr. Kneisl has graciously accepted a key leadership role and will continue to lead the fight against cancer in the Carolinas.

This has been an extraordinary time for our team. Asim Amin, MD, Richard White, MD, and oncologists throughout CHS collaborated in the development of Ipilimumab, a monoclonal antibody that manipulates the body’s immune system, helping it to overcome malignant melanoma. Their work contributed to the approval of this compound by the Food and Drug Administration for routine use in patients throughout the United States.

We have an American College of Surgeons Network Accreditation, developed partnerships in clinical trials and biological studies and contributed actively in continuing medical education and resident and fellowship training.

Since my arrival in April 2011, I’ve visited several CHS facilities and am delighted by the welcoming and collegial interactions with the medical teams and their enthusiasm for the Institute. Together, we’ll develop a unique and extraordinary approach to clinical trials, cancer treatment and patient support.

Collaboration with referring physicians is critical in cancer management, and we want this newsletter to be a useful resource. We welcome your feedback via e-mail at

Let us know what types of content and information will be useful to you in your practices and help you with patient and case management.

I hope you enjoy our first issue of Levine Cancer Navigator. We look forward to bringing you more exciting news in the future!

Derek Raghavan, MD, PhD, FACP, FRACP

Dr. Raghavan Signature

President, Levine Cancer Institute

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