August 9, 2022 — Miami Cancer Institute, part of Baptist Health South Florida, has spearheaded the creation of the Global Bladder Cancer Consortium (GBCC), an international collaboration between the world’s top experts in bladder cancer, led by Murugesan Manoharan, M.D., leader of the GBCC and chief of urologic oncologic surgery at Miami Cancer Institute. Among the GBCC’s priorities are creating a large and diverse patient database, launching clinical trials at multiple sites throughout the world and sharing information ― all initiatives that will impact patient outcomes and improve care for those with bladder cancer.
“We are very excited about the Consortium,” said Dr. Manoharan. “Any one of us, doing research at our own cancer centers, is doing so knowing it will benefit care in our own community or region. Together, with a large and diverse group of patients and by sharing information, we hope to speed advances around the globe.”
In addition to Miami Cancer Institute, other members of the GBCC are based at Dalhousie University School of Medicine in Canada; Auckland Hospital/Auckland University, Auckland, New Zealand; North Shore Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand; Okayama University, Okayama, Japan; Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, United Kingdom; Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, India; and Adyar Cancer Institute, Chennai, India. There are plans to expand the Consortium to include other scientist-researchers from around the globe. The organizations are all high-volume bladder cancer centers and leading research institutions that offer the most innovative care.
In recent years, improving diversity in clinical trials has been a priority at Miami Cancer Institute. “A diverse patient database gives us much more accurate and reliable data. Differences in age, gender, race and ethnicity can all contribute to a timely diagnosis and a patient’s response to medications and other treatment,” Dr. Manoharan said. “We also want to advance health equity and one of the ways to do this is to look at under-represented groups and increase their opportunity to participate in clinical trials.”
Data compiled by the GBCC and maintained by Miami Cancer Institute will be de-identified, meaning that a patient’s identity will not be shared. If physician scientists want to look at outcomes based on gender, ethnicity or some other demographic, it will be possible to break down the data accordingly, Dr. Manoharan said.
The establishment of the GBCC is possible thanks to a $5 million donation to Baptist Health Foundation from the Abbhi Family Foundation. A large portion of the gift went to the startup of the Abbhi Family Bladder Cancer Clinic at Miami Cancer Institute. It also led to the creation of the Abbhi Family Endowed Chair in Urologic Oncology, to support Dr. Manoharan’s work.
“If everyone in the GBCC agrees on a trial and applies in our own country, there is a better chance that research will be done in more than one location, increasing our numbers, our diversity and the collection of valuable information,” he said. “There is also the ability to have more collaborative training, where we learn from each other. If a new technology isn’t available yet in one country, it may be being used in another. We can train where the earliest work is being done and bring it to our countries when approved.”
For more information on Miami Cancer Institute’s bladder cancer program, click here.
About Baptist Health Foundation
The mission of Baptist Health Foundation is to inspire philanthropy and build extraordinary donor relationships in support of excellence, innovation, community wellness and global leadership in healthcare at Baptist Health South Florida. Through philanthropy, the Foundation supports and expands Baptist Health’s ability to provide outstanding patient care and bring the latest treatments to patients and families affected by a serious illness. Donor contributions also allow the Foundation to assist Baptist Health facilities in keeping pace with technology and equipment advances, perform cutting-edge research and offer continuing education opportunities to medical staff. Learn more at BaptistHealth.net/Foundation.
About Miami Cancer Institute
Miami Cancer Institute brings to South Florida access to personalized clinical treatments and comprehensive support services delivered with unparalleled compassion. No other cancer program in the region has the combination of cancer-fighting expertise and advanced technology—including the first proton therapy center in South Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean, and one of the only radiation oncology programs in the world with each of the newest radiation therapies in one place—to diagnose and deliver precise cancer treatments that achieve the best outcomes and improve the lives of cancer patients. The Institute offers an impressive roster of established community oncologists and renowned experts, clinical researchers and genomic scientists recruited from the nation’s top cancer centers. Selected as Florida’s only member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer (MSK) Alliance, Miami Cancer Institute is part of a meaningful clinical collaboration that affords patients in South Florida access to innovative treatments and ensures that the standards of care developed by their multidisciplinary disease management teams match those at MSK.
Miami Cancer Institute is part of Baptist Health South Florida, the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 12 hospitals, more than 24,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 100 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Baptist Health has internationally renowned centers of excellence in cancer, cardiovascular care, orthopedics and sports medicine, and neurosciences. In addition, it includes Baptist Health Medical Group; Baptist Health Quality Network; and Baptist Health Care On Demand, a virtual health platform. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to its faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies.