Gulf South Clinical Trials Network debuts

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Four cancer clinics from across Louisiana are joining forces to form a statewide network to bring experimental cutting edge cancer treatment to the disadvantaged.

The formation is being driven by a $13-million grant from the National Cancer Institute awarded to LSU Health New Orleans.  

Primary partners of the new Gulf South Clinical Trials Network will be LSU Health New Orleans Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, LSU Health Shreveport Feist Weiller Cancer Center, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and Ochsner Cancer Center.

The effort is being headed by Dr. Augusto Ochoa of LSU Health New Orleans.  "This is going to expand clinical trials for cancer patients in Louisiana," Ochoa says.  

When traditional cancer treatments are not successful, Dr. Ochoa says, "Clinical trials that are new, that are in the process of being tested, might bring to these patients a significant advantage in terms of their survival and their response against their cancer."  

42 sites across Louisiana will be offering clinical trials to cancer patients.  Dr. Ochoa says the aim to provide cancer treatment and care for patients close to home.  

"It is a great example of four institutions that a decade ago were not collaborating and right now they have formed a very tight clinical trials network," Dr. Ochoa stated.