By Staff Writer - April 29, 2019
When new patients arrive at Moffitt Cancer Center, one of the first things they see is the mission statement written large on the parking garage wall: “To contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.” What they may not realize is that they will have an opportunity to further that mission simply by agreeing to become part of a Moffitt-initiated research protocol called Total Cancer Care® (TCC).
John Harrell is one those patients. Diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, he not only agreed to become part of TCC, he also explains the protocol to new patients and their families as a volunteer facilitator of the Patient and Family Orientation program.
“It’s not uncommon for many patients or their caregivers to share their desire to become involved and help other patients during their cancer journey,” said Harrell. “Total Cancer Care is one important way to help fuel the research that will move us forward toward prevention and cures.”
Harrell explains to new patients that TCC is a research study that helps Moffitt researchers understand how cancer differs in every different diagnosis, and identify ways to potentially provide patients with individualized cancer treatments. Study participants to date have contributed a wealth of information for researchers to consider (see graphic). By studying data from hundreds of thousands of donated samples and medical histories, TCC researchers are answering questions and gaining a better understanding about treatment options for patients.
Total Cancer Care® at a Glance
Among the TCC facts Harrell shares with new patients are:
- Firstly, there is no upfront cost.
- A TCC Coordinator thoroughly reviews and answers any questions about the program before enrollment.
- Patients who enroll will contribute information about medical history, diet and lifestyle.
- They also provide permission for TCC to use excess tissue from already scheduled surgery or procedures, and possibly blood from a routine blood draw or urine samples.
- At the end of a TCC patient’s treatment, a lifetime of follow-up will occur to collect additional information.
“When approached and informed of TCC, I immediately seized the opportunity to join Moffitt in this fight,” Harrell adds. “Contribute, prevention and cure—those three words became a positive part of my mindset regarding cancer.”