Carolinas HealthCare System
Vol. 2 Issue 4

Carolinas Medical Center-Union Offers Clinical Trials

Partnership with Levine Cancer Institute Results in Positive Outcomes 

Edwards Cancer Center at Carolinas Medical Center-Union and Levine Cancer Institute are working together to offer Union County patients access to national and international clinical trials.

Expert Care

CMC-UnionPatients at Edwards Cancer Center are participating in breast, lung and colon cancer trials, allowing researchers to test new drugs or combinations of drugs and new approaches to surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. (See “Bringing World-Class Cancer Care Closer to Home” to read one patient’s story.)

According to Gregory Brouse, MD, medical director of Edwards Cancer Center at CMC-Union and a senior faculty member of the Institute team, patients respond quite favorably when presented with trial opportunities. “Before our partnership with the Institute, a patient participating in a trial would have to be transferred to Charlotte,” he explains. “With us being able to offer the trial locally, patients can get all of their therapy, testing and laboratory studies right here in Monroe.”

Expanding Options for Patients

Comprehensive Care

For more information about the clinical trials program at Edwards Cancer Center, call 704-225-2418.

Dr. Brouse anticipates Edwards Cancer Center adding new trials as the program develops and as the Institute continues to grow. He believes the advances made and the insights gained from participation in clinical trials will have far-reaching effects. “We’re helping to advance how cancer patients will be treated three to five years down the road. This is good for the patients, the cancer center and the whole cancer community.”

The Institute integrates and builds upon cancer programs within CHS’s network of affiliated hospitals and providers to deliver innovative protocols when they’re needed most—so where a patient lives will not determine how he or she fights cancer.

Bringing World-Class Cancer Care Closer to Home

Jenny Biggers and Sandy Pollock
Cancer survivor Jenny Biggers (right) meets with clinical trials research nurse Sandy Pollock, RN.
Edwards Cancer Center patient Jenny Biggers faced a 24-month survival as a result of being diagnosed with colon cancer that metastasized to her liver—surgery wasn’t an option. Standard therapies would buy her some time, but not nearly enough for the 59-year-old wife, mother and grandmother.

Sandy Pollock, RN, a clinical trials research nurse at Carolinas Medical Center-Union reviewed Biggers’ case and deemed her eligible to participate in a trial that could potentially improve her chances for survival. Pollock, along with Gregory Brouse, MD, medical director of Edwards Cancer Center at CMC-Union, approached Biggers about participating in the clinical trial and she agreed.

Thus far, Biggers’ response to treatment has been very favorable. She underwent radioembolization, a procedure used to deliver radiation directly to the cancerous areas in her liver, followed by chemotherapy. Colon cancer patients typically undergo radioembolization later in treatment, but in this trial, researchers are evaluating whether offering the procedure earlier in the course of treatment will affect outcomes. “Mrs. Biggers has continued regression in all of the measurable spots in her liver—it’s pretty dramatic,” explains Dr. Brouse. “She’s put herself into a category where, unless things go unpredictably wrong, she will pull up the average as far as survival.” Biggers is happy she didn’t need to travel far for advanced treatment. “We’re definitely going to beat this thing,” she says.

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