Sparrow introduces clinical trial during Cancer Prevention Month

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During National Cancer Prevention Month, Sparrow Hospital revealed that its Herbert-Herman Cancer Center has been selected for a clinical trial for breast cancer research.

Courtesy of Sparrow Hospital

Dr. Brittani Thomas, left, and Dr. Thais Fortes are at the forefront of the breast cancer clinic at the Herbert-Herman clinic.

The center has specialists using the most advanced cancer technology available in Michigan. Herbert-Herman is the only medical center in Michigan that can stand on the same level of national healthcare heavyweights like Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic and has been recognized to partake in the I-SPY 2 clinical trial for treatment of breast cancer.

“With personalized medicine, the doctors go in and evaluate the makeup of the tumor and the size of the tumor and the location,” media relations Director John Foren said, “They create a course of treatment based on that individual’s specific tumor. So it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s personalized.”

Treatment focuses on the needs of the individual patient to make the most precise decisions about their tumor and treatment. By foregoing certain unneeded treatments and prescriptions, individualized care would rather use what the patient actually needs.

According to Sparrow, the first patient has already been enrolled into this trial, which to the hospital is a major step in the advancement of precision medicine.

The trials will be more hands-on for the patient to receive the care they need in forms of additional MRIs and other treatments, which will not add additional costs for the patient.

A breast cancer cell. Courtesy of Sparrow Hospital, 2022

Sparrow breast cancer surgeon Thais Fortes said “The fact that an institution that is a mid-sized hospital was able to enroll in this … is truly a big deal. We are very excited.”

The patient in the focused clinical trial will see a team of people in the clinics that will meet in one visit in the same building instead of making separate appointments over different dates with a myriad of specialists. This is to let the patient grow accustomed to their team of personalized care to plan treatments from their specialists.

On top of planning personalized visits, Herbert-Herman is one of the only cancer centers in Michigan to use the targeted therapy approach that has shown to make hospital stays shorter.

“It’s a way to target their treatment,” Dr. Brittani Thomas, D.O. said in a press release, “It matches the patient with less toxicity, less long-term side effects and really the best outcomes.”

The possibility for others to sign up for the new clinical trial for breast cancer may become available for incoming patients, as Foren said.

“Every patient in our breast cancer clinic is evaluated to participate in this trial,” Foren said. “So the positions in the leadership look for certain criteria, basically everybody who comes to the Sparrow breast clinic – there’s a possibility they can be enrolled in this, if they agree to it.”

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