Institution Spotlight: Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami

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Institution Spotlight: Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center exterior

By Chukwuemeka V. Ikpeazu, Sr., MD, PhD, MBA
Voting Member, ECOG-ACRIN Principal Investigator Committee and
Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Miami/Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center (Sylvester), part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System and University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is the only cancer center in South Florida designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). NCI designation signifies that Sylvester meets the most rigorous standards for cancer research, beginning in our laboratories, continuing to patient care, and extending to meet specific needs in our community. Sylvester is South Florida’s leader in patient-focused cancer research and care, and we maintain the region’s only phase I clinical trial program—the first step in evaluating the latest investigational treatments and their potential to help patients.

NCI designation also increases Sylvester’s ability to provide access to novel therapies through additional clinical trial opportunities and collaboration with other NCI-designated cancer centers. Equipped with a highly qualified team of more than 300 cancer-focused physicians and researchers working together, Sylvester discovers, develops, and delivers precision cancer care.

To serve current and future patients, Sylvester encompasses a network of nine conveniently located facilities throughout South Florida. The locations are Aventura, Coral Gables, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Kendall, Hollywood, Miami, and Plantation.

Sylvester joined the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group (ECOG-ACRIN) in 2005 and has since actively participated in many ECOG-ACRIN studies. We are one of the highest-enrolling centers for the NCI-MATCH precision medicine trial, as well as one of the top-accruing sites for the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) TAPUR study. We have also participated in several PrECOG studies focused on thoracic cancer.

Currently, we have open studies spanning the following cancer areas:

  • Breast
  • Colorectal
  • Gynecologic
  • Head and neck
  • Leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma
  • Lung
  • Pancreatic, liver, and related cancers
  • Prostate, bladder, and kidney

We also have studies in the following areas in our pipeline for approval:

  • Cutaneous malignancies
  • Neurological cancers

Additionally, Sylvester recognizes the importance of listening to patients. We established the Patient and Family Advisory Council to provide patients and their families a forum to share feedback, suggestions, and ideas on how we can enhance their experience, satisfaction, and comfort. The council meets monthly and discusses clinical operation and patient care opportunities to make changes that improve the patient experience. The council began in January 2016 with just three patients and family members; membership has since grown to include more than 20 patients and family members in addition to staff.

Sylvester delivers leading-edge patient care by the region’s best doctors, powered by the groundbreaking research and medical education of the University of Miami, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. As one of eleven members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers and South Florida’s only recognized Cancer Center of Excellence, Sylvester is a vital component supporting the local community.

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