South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday February 25, 2020

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January 2020 - Volume 16 - Issue 7




Innovative Clinical Research at Holy Cross Hospital

Physician investigators at Holy Cross Hospital's Research Institutes have expanded their efforts to offer innovative research studies close to home for patients who live in South Florida. The hospital’s research programs now include clinical trials in cardiovascular disease, cancer, orthopedics, neuroscience, pain management, and women's health, among others.
Oncology Research
Microbiome research, which involves the study of the millions of microbes that make up our gut digestive tract, is expected to play a major role in diagnostics, prevention and treatment of a number of various disease conditions. Recently, we opened a study developed by Dr. Omar Rashid and supported by the Community Foundation of Broward to evaluate the interaction between patient genetic characteristics, patient immune responsiveness, tumor genetic characteristics and gut microbiome genetic characteristics, in the context of a patient's cancer clinical treatment. This combination of genetic testing and microbiome analysis provides a snapshot before therapeutic interventions in order to develop new targets for cancer treatment to ensure the best possible long-term outcomes and to prevent cancer recurrence.
Additionally, Holy Cross Hospital Research Institutes recently completed negotiations to become the third National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) in the State of Florida. NCORP is a national network of investigators, cancer care providers, and other institutions that provide cancer clinical trials and cancer care research to the local communities. Holy Cross Hospital Cancer Research will become an NCORP site in partnership with the Michigan Cancer Research Consortium and our parent company Trinity Heath. Holy Cross Cancer Research is presently designated as an ECOG-ACRIN member site. This new NCORP designation will provide patients with access to over 110 NCI supported studies.
Neuroscience Research
Dr. Eduardo Locatelli recently announced that the Phil Smith Neuroscience Institute at Holy Cross Hospital has been selected for the HEALEY Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Platform Trial by the Sean M. Healey & AMG Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.
The Sean M. Healey & AMG Center, in collaboration with the Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS), is launching the first platform trial for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The goals of this groundbreaking project are to greatly accelerate the timelines towards effective ALS treatments and provide greater trial access for all those affected by this disease.
This builds upon Holy Cross Hospital’s expanded, formalized relationship with Massachusetts General Hospital, which provides patients with access to first-class research and leading-edge clinical trials and treatments at the Phil Smith Neuroscience Institute.
The HEALEY ALS Platform Trial will begin in early 2020.
Diabetes Research
Holy Cross Hospital also holds patents for the use of B lymphocytes to develop potential treatments for wound healing for chronic diabetic foot wounds.
Holy Cross was awarded a $500,000 Innovation Grant by Trinity Health to study accelerated healing of acute and chronic wounds in both diabetic and nondiabetic mice. These studies, performed in partnership with the MGH Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center (VIC), have investigated how the application of mature B lymphocytes has the potential to improve the quality of regenerated tissue and reduced scarring. The VIC research team reported the results of these studies in the Journal of Wound Repair and Regeneration (18 September 2017), describing how application of mature B lymphocytes greatly accelerated the healing of acute and chronic wounds in both diabetic and nondiabetic mice. The article also describes improved quality of regenerated tissue and reduced scarring. Additional studies are ongoing.

Paul Papagni, JD, serves as the Executive Director of Research at Holy Cross Hospital. He can be reached at or (954) 229-8553.

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