Cooper University Hospital Becomes a Major Clinical Research Affiliate
New Brunswick, N.J. – Enhancing its collective strength in the area of oncology research in the state, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) has announced that Cooper University Hospital will be the fourth affiliate hospital within its Network to receive the prestigious Major Clinical Research Affiliate (MCRA) designation. CINJ is a Center of Excellence at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Through this affiliation, Cooper University Hospital is able to provide its patients with access to clinical trials only available at NCI-designated cancer centers and their Networks. As an MCRA, Cooper University Hospital also will receive professional education, community education and outreach, and other services from CINJ that complement its own cancer programs.
To achieve MRCA status, affiliates commit themselves to upholding stringent programmatic standards as outlined by the designation mandates. One of these requirements is that an MCRA must house at least one nationally-funded cancer-related program in the areas of basic science, clinical care or research, prevention, screening or outreach and education. Another mandate is for the MCRA facility to actively participate in clinical research through the Cancer Institute of New Jersey Oncology Group (CINJOG).
Molly Gabel, MD, deputy director of extramural affairs at CINJ and associate professor of radiation oncology at UMNDJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, is pleased with Cooper’s dedication to oncology research through this commitment. “By choosing to uphold the MCRA standard, Cooper University Hospital is assuring its patients that it is dedicated to finding a cure for cancer through research right in its own community,” she said.
In addition to its robust Phase II cancer clinical trials program, Cooper is developing a Phase I Cancer Clinical Trial Program led by Nancy L. Lewis, MD, associate professor of medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, who will serve as principal investigator for all CINJ research initiatives at Cooper. Phase I clinical trials test metabolic and pharmacologic reaction of drugs in humans and help scientists determine safe dosing levels.
CINJ Network hospitals with the MCRA designation also must be active in submitting clinical trial ideas that can be disseminated to other CINJ Network hospitals through CINJOG. Generosa Grana, MD, director of Cooper Cancer Institute at Cooper University Hospital and associate professor of medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, notes, “With our Phase I program we have a greater ability to recruit patients to clinical trials that are identified and developed by our own physician scientists. The contribution of these trials to the CINJOG group will help us become a collective statewide leader in cancer research.”
Since beginning a year ago, the MCRA designation also has been given to three other CINJ affiliate hospitals: The Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Memorial Hospital, Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Overlook Hospital, and Jersey Shore University Medical Center. “During the first year of the program, the Carol G. Simon Cancer Centers at Overlook and Morristown Memorial Hospitals and Jersey Shore University Hospital have exceeded their goals and have added unique strengths to the CINJ Network,” noted Dr. Gabel.
About The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is the state’s first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is dedicated to improving the prevention, detection, treatment and care of patients with cancer. CINJ’s physician-scientists engage in translational research, transforming their laboratory discoveries into clinical practice, quite literally bringing research to life. The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is a center of excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. To support CINJ, please call the Cancer Institute of New Jersey Foundation at 1-888-333-CINJ.
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Network is comprised of hospitals throughout the state and provides a mechanism to rapidly disseminate important discoveries into the community. Flagship Hospital: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Major Clinical Research Affiliate Hospitals: Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Memorial Hospital, Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Overlook Hospital, Cooper University Hospital, and Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Affiliate Hospitals: Bayshore Community Hospital, CentraState Healthcare System, JFK Medical Center, Mountainside Hospital, Raritan Bay Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton (CINJ at Hamilton), Saint Peter’s University Hospital, Somerset Medical Center, Southern Ocean County Hospital, The University Hospital/UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School*, and University Medical Center at Princeton. *Academic Affiliate