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National Recognition for Sioux Falls Researchers

Nov 27, 2017 03:09PM ● Published by Digital Media Director

  By: Alex Strauss


Sanford Health’s Clinical Research Team has been recognized by the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) with the David King Community Clinical Scientist Award. The award, which was presented at the ACCC 34th National Oncology Conference in Nashville, recognizes researchers who are leading the development of new clinical studies or are actively developing new screening, treatment, or support tools for cancer patients.

“We are a bit of an anomaly in the country and that has to do with our integration,” said Lora Black, RN, MPH, Senior DIrector of Clinical Research in an interview with MED. “It really is one big team effort between researchers and the clinical side. We are able to fill gaps because we understand where clinical trials are needed.”

Recognizing the need for trials focused on genomics and personalized medicine, Sanford researchers developed and launched the GEMMA trial in 2014. GEMMA utilized next-generation gene sequencing technology to identify cancer patients with genetic mutations that could impact their treatment.

Sanford is one of only 34 National Cancer Institute community research programs, meaning research programs that are not directly linked to an educational institution. Dr. Black says Sanford’s goal is to not only participate in ongoing national trials, but to develop more studies like GEMMA, that are initiated from within.

“We have developed quite a few physician investigators who are practicing oncologists,” says Black. “We anticipate growing our portfolio and developing trials that can be applied to other community cancer sites around the country.”

“We want every patient within Sanford to have the ability to participate in a clinical trial, if they choose to.”

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