Awards | Cancer

After beginning a clinical trial partnership on Jan. 1, 2021, Vidant Health and East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine have been awarded membership to the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology. The membership recognizes the partnership’s success in providing access to clinical trials for rare cancers.

As members of the Alliance, Vidant and ECU can offer cancer patients access to a larger pool of state-of-the-art clinical trials at Vidant and ECU clinics. These trials include treatment for breast, gastrointestinal and genitourinary cancers, as well as leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, neuro-oncology and respiratory cancers.

Health care providers typically must demonstrate their ability to meet an annual average enrollment of at least 15 patients in specific clinical trials for rare cancers over a three-year period in order to become Alliance members. However, the ECU and Vidant organizations combined for 17 patient accruals last year and already have 17 this year, which prompted the Alliance to grant ECU and Vidant membership earlier than expected.

“This is a good thing, because it means that throughout the network here at ECU and Vidant, we are offering more and more trials to our patients, especially patients with more unusual diseases,” said Dr. Darla Liles, chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine. “Hopefully this encourages more people to consider a clinical trial, because I think there is some hesitancy. I think the more people learn that we have these trials — and they don’t have to go to UNC and Duke for these trials, they can get it done right here — the more they will realize that these are really good things that offer cutting-edge treatments for cancer patients.”

Dr. Emmanuel Zervos, surgical oncologist and director of Vidant Cancer Care, said the partnership between Vidant and ECU along with gaining membership to the Alliance is crucial to providing more high-quality care to patients in the East.

“Whether in Greenville or at any of Vidant’s Commission on Cancer-accredited community hospitals, the Alliance partnership between ECU and Vidant represents the shared vision of providing state-of-the-art cancer care in our region, regardless of where or by whom that care is delivered,” said Dr. Emmanuel Zervos, surgical oncologist and director of Vidant Cancer Care.  “Cancer services has been at the forefront of collaboration because of the profound impact that cancer has on our region — validation of this collaboration through accelerated full and unrestricted membership into the Alliance assures that these patients will continue to be served both now and into the future.

Visit ECU’s Office of Clinical Trials website or Vidant Health’s Cancer Clinical Trials website for more information on available clinical trials.

Read more about the partnership at ECU News Services.