Lehigh Valley Health Network Announces Partnership with Moffitt Cancer Center

February 08, 2011

Lehigh Valley, Pa. – Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) today announced a partnership with the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fl. This new partnership will bring the most advanced cancer care to the Lehigh Valley and surrounding communities without the need to travel far from home.

As a result of LVHN’s clinical reputation as well as its affiliation with USF Health, the health network was asked to become a member of the Moffitt Clinical Research Network (MCRN). As an MCRN member, LVHN now will be able to provide an avenue for cancer patients to participate in the most advanced clinical research trials.  Additonally, last year LVHN became one of only 30 cancer centers nationwide selected to join the National Cancer Institute’s Community Cancer Centers Program.

 “We’re proud of our reputation in cancer services here at Lehigh Valley Health Network,” said Ronald Swinfard, M.D., LVHN’s president and CEO.  “This distinction brings more hope and more options to people in the Lehigh Valley. We can now offer and provide breakthrough clinical research that can improve cancer patients’ quality of life and extend survival.”

"Our vision is to integrate new technologies into the standard of care and improve outcomes of all cancer patients by partnering with outstanding health care institutions," said William Dalton, M.D., Moffitt’s president and CEO and center director. "We are also looking forward to collaborating with the physicians to increase access to new and improved therapies for cancer."

One of the biggest and newest areas of clinical research in cancer care is genetic testing and finding mutated genes that cause cancerous tumors to grow. Drug companies are now starting to produce medications that target these mutations and turn them off. “Unfortunately these tumors find other gene-based methods to reproduce,” says Suresh Nair, M.D., LVHN’s senior medical director of academic oncology programs and lead clinical research investigator. “But new drug trials at places like the Moffitt Cancer Center are finding ways to shut down all of the mutated genes to stop growth completely. Our patients in the Lehigh Valley will now be able to take full advantage.”

"This partnership and participation by Lehigh Valley Health Network is going to bring a heightened access to clinical research data for the hospital's physicians," said Timothy Yeatman, M.D., M2Gen president and chief scientific officer. "We are changing the face of cancer."

Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center is an NCI Comprehensive Cancer

Center - a designation that recognizes Moffitt's excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 14 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia, one in Pennsylvania and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the NationalComprehensiveCancerNetwork, a prestigious alliance of the country's leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & WorldReport as one of "America's Best Hospitals" for cancer. Moffitt marks a very important anniversary this year - 25 years committed to one mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.

Lehigh Valley Health Network includes three hospital facilities – two in Allentown and one in Bethlehem, Pa.; eight health centers caring for communities in four counties; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices throughout the region; pharmacy, imaging, home health services and lab services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred.  The non-profit health network employs 9,800 people making it the region’s largest employer.  Specialty care includes: trauma care at the region’s busiest, most-experienced trauma center treating adults and children, burn care at the regional Burn Center, kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/neonatal, cardiac, cancer care, and neurology and complex neurosurgical capabilities including national certification as a Primary Stroke Center.  Lehigh Valley Health Network has been recognized US News & World Report for 15 consecutive years as one of America’s Best Hospitals; is a national Magnet hospital for excellence in nursing; and has been honored eight straight years among the top integrated health networks in the US.  Lehigh Valley Hospital is one of 30 health networks selected as a National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program.  Additional information is available at lvhn.organd by following us on facebook.com/LVHealthNetwork and twitter.com/LVHNnews.

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