By Staff Writer - December 20, 2022
As the highly contagious omicron variant of COVID-19 spread around the world and inflation continues to surge, 2022 has been another challenging year. See what stories were making headlines at Moffitt Cancer Center this year.
First Lady Visits Moffitt. President Joe Biden pledged to “end cancer as we know it” by revitalizing the Cancer Moonshot Program. And the first stop for first lady Dr. Jill Biden was Moffitt. It was an opportunity for the cancer center to showcase how to improve cancer screenings and bring more bold ideas to the table.
Growing Moffitt’s Footprint. Moffitt is poised to build a new location in south Hillsborough County to serve even more patients. Moffitt projects to serve nearly 9,000 patients by year four and create 150 jobs by year five. Moffitt also introduced Speros FL, the new name of its 775-acre Pasco County global innovation center.
Another CAR T Milestone. Moffitt continues to exert itself as the cellular therapy capital of the universe with a new milestone in multiple myeloma: treating the 100th patient with CAR T. The therapy reengineers a patient’s own immune cells to fight cancer. Moffitt was also involved in the FDA approval of this CAR T to treat multiple myeloma.
Advancing Next-Generation TIL Therapies for Solid Tumors. Turnstone Biologics and Moffitt have formed a strategic alliance to create novel tumor infiltrating lymphocyte therapies designed to improve outcomes in solid tumors. The first clinical trial will focus on TIDAL-01, Turnstone’s lead TIL therapy, for cutaneous and noncutaneous melanoma.
Moffitt Experiment Goes to Space. A Moffitt experiment made it to the International Space Station onboard the first private astronaut mission. Researchers Patsy McDonald and Derek Duckett were testing whether space travel caused DNA damage. Genomic instability can have profound consequences on human health, including cancer.
Federal Support for AI in Cancer Research. Moffitt has received a $2 million grant to advance the use of AI and machine learning in cancer research and care. U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor announced that the funds will help purchase high-performance computing equipment that will provide the infrastructure for using AI and machine learning in cancer research at Moffitt.
New Year, New Hospital. The Moffitt McKinley Hospital is set to open with its first surgery July 31, 2023. The new hospital will open with 96 beds fully staffed and will have the capacity to expand to 400 inpatient rooms. An intraoperative MRI suite will enable surgeons to capture scans in real time during surgery.
Supporting Ukraine. Ukrainians at Moffitt rallied to form the group Medical Help Ukraine to help save lives. Through donations, the group has sent more than $1.5 million worth of medical equipment and supplies to hospitals around Ukraine.
Moffitt Takes Screening Message to D.C. Moffitt advocates converged at our nation’s capital to spread the message that lung cancer screening saves lives. Lung cancer causes more deaths than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined. But only 6% of those eligible are getting screened.
Miles for Moffitt Has Banner Year. The 2022 Miles for Moffitt presented by AutoNation raised $1.4 million and counting for cancer research. This year saw more than 7,600 participate in person or virtually with over 370 teams.