Charles S. Kuzma, M.D., a medical oncologist with FirstHealth of the Carolinas, and the research staff of FirstHealth of the Carolinas received the NCI Platinum Certificate of Excellence acknowledging the high number of patients enrolled in cooperative group cancer trials. According to the NCI, the cooperative group program is designed to “promote and support clinical trials of new cancer treatments, explore methods of cancer prevention and early detection, and study quality-of-life and rehabilitation issues.” These cooperative groups place more than 25,000 new patients into cancer treatment clinical trials each year.
The award recognized 97 physicians nationally who accrued 19 or more patients into cooperative group cancer trials. Dr. Kuzma was one of only 35 physicians who accrued 25 or more patients between June 1, 2010, and May 31, 2011.
“The Southeast Cancer Control Consortium is proud of the exceptional care given to the patients of Dr. Charles Kuzma,” says James N. Atkins, M.D., principal investigator with the Southeast Cancer Control Consortium. “This is demonstrated through the recognition by the National Cancer Institute of his participation in placing patients on NCI clinical trials. His role as an advocate for cancer clinical trials assures his patients that FirstHealth provides the latest, most advanced cancer treatments available.”
“A significant amount of recognition also has to be paid to the research staff that supports Dr. Kuzma and the other enrolling physicians,” says Chris Miller, director of FirstHealth Clinical Trials. “We would not be able to achieve this special honor if it weren’t for the hard work of our study coordinators, Lori DeSpain, Pam Mason, Star Mitchell and Anne Dickerson; and our data managers, Alice Romans-Hess and Katie Martin.”
The Southeast Cancer Control Consortium (SCCC) is a group of community oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists and urologists located in the southeastern United States who are committed to bringing cancer clinical trials to their communities. The clinical research department at FirstHealth works closely with SCCC to bring clinical trials to patients at FirstHealth.
For more information about the clinical research program at FirstHealth, call (910) 715-2200 or visit www.firsthealth.org/clinicaltrials.