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Research 

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The Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Brain Tumor Initiative (BTI) strives to close the gap between pioneering research and promising treatments. We do this by exploring how cancers develop and progress and the intricacies of cellular interactions within tumors. By evaluating a tumor’s genetic profile and how it responds to medication, our researchers identify changes at the molecular level. In this way, we develop customized treatment plans using the latest evidence-based protocols.

As our patient, you have access to a variety of ongoing clinical trials and a team of multidisciplinary experts. This provides the resources you need, in one location, to achieve your best possible outcome. By working with our team, you also help other cancer patients – now and in the future.

To advance brain tumor research, we partner with other initiatives within the University of Miami’s Centers of Collaboration:

Even as we pursue excellence, we haven’t left the personal touch out of precision medicine. Sylvester’s Brain Tumor Initiative provides education, guidance and support. Our clinical trials and published scientific research may be complex, but the motivation behind them is simple: providing the best possible patient care.

Here is a brief overview of our research initiatives and how they help patients:

Clinical Research
Hearing our researchers discuss their work, you sense the passion and urgency behind their quest to cure complex brain cancers. To prevent or control tumor growth, we study a variety of factors, including how inflammation, immunity and conditions like obesity affect tumors. Some of our neuro-oncologic trials focus on immune-modulated tumor therapy using vaccines, radiation therapy and surgical procedures. With a dedicated lab and access to 10 other Health System labs, we can offer more cancer clinical trials than any other South Florida hospital. As our patient, you have access to emerging treatments and experimental drugs when or sometimes before they become widely available.

Translational Research
Translational research uses the knowledge gleaned from clinical trials to create new treatments, procedures and diagnostic tools. By translating scientific data into novel therapies, this “bench-to-bedside” process fine-tunes treatments and improves outcomes. As South Florida’s only university-based health system, we’re shortening the time between what happens in the lab and what happens in the hospital.

Clinical Research
Hearing our researchers discuss their work, you sense the passion and urgency behind their quest to cure complex brain cancers. To prevent or control tumor growth, we study a variety of factors, including how inflammation, immunity and conditions like obesity affect tumors. Some of our neuro-oncologic trials focus on immune-modulated tumor therapy using vaccines, radiation therapy and surgical procedures. With a dedicated lab and access to 10 other Health System labs, we can offer more cancer clinical trials than any other South Florida hospital. As our patient, you have access to emerging treatments and experimental drugs when or sometimes before they become widely available.

Stem Cell Repository
Patient-derived stem cells will transform how physicians treat brain tumors in the future. To capture this opportunity, we created one of the largest stem cell repositories in Florida. While still investigational, participating patients are poised to take advantage of trials and treatments as they become available. These patients are also helping us find cures for future patients.
Click here to learn more about our work with stem cells.

Tumor Registry
The Tumor Registry puts a powerful tool at your physician’s fingertips. This massive database contains demographic, diagnostic, treatment and outcome information for all of our cancer patients since January 2005. This resource guides Sylvester Brain Tumor Initiative in planning treatments and evaluating health outcomes. The Registry’s dedicated staff identifies, collects, analyzes and maintains quality control of the data. They also follow-up with all patients in the database throughout their lifetimes to comply Florida Cancer Data System and American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer guidelines.
Read more about our Tumor Registry.

Patient Safety and Outcomes Research
Safety is paramount in every medical procedure, especially in one of the most delicate regions of the body. Three of our recent research-driven technologies are designed to make the biopsy, diagnosis and removal of brain tumors more precise:

  • ROSA robotics
  • 5-ALA tumor fluorescence
  • NIO intraoperative histology system represent cutting-edge technologies

Like other innovations, these game-changing tools take patient safety and outcomes to a new level. By studying ways to develop the least invasive surgical techniques, we help shorten your recovery and enhance your quality of life. To monitor and improve patient outcomes, our teams use data from the Tumor Registry and other sources.

Patient Support
Even as we push the boundaries of what’s possible, we never forget that patients are people. We recognize that patients, their families and caregivers need support and resources. Whether it’s counseling to help you manage your “new normal” or connecting you with complementary and integrative medicine caregivers, we’re here for you. Our researchers communicate with your entire medical team to coordinate and manage your care. We focus on you so you can focus on health and healing.

To read about our current clinical trials and eligibility requirements, please click here.

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