2016-17 Cancer Network Annual Report

Select Page

Connecting patients to clinical trials: Christine Urbanski, M.D., Medical Oncology, Sentara RMH Medical Center

Medical Oncology

Innovative therapies are changing cancer care

In the past 10 years, there have been significant advancements in the availability of new and innovative drugs for cancer patients. Immunotherapy and chemotherapy options that target specific genetic mutations and often have fewer side effects are becoming more common. Our Network infrastructure allows for these new tests, new personalized therapies, and new clinical trials to be reviewed and offered quickly and conveniently to the communities we serve.

Collaborating to identify possibilities: Rita Mack, Clinical Research Coordinator, Sentara Cancer Network and Richard Hoefer, D.O., Surgical Oncology, Sentara CarePlex Hospital


Clinical Trials

Within our Sentara Cancer Network, clinicians and academic researchers work together to elevate care for patients. This collaborative philosophy fosters innovation in our network and drives access to clinical trial options for our patients. Collaborations between surgical, radiation and medical oncologists in our Sentara Cancer Network are especially instrumental in connecting patients with clinical trials.

Through collaboration with the National Cancer Institute’s National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN), the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology and National Research Group Oncology develop and conduct clinical trials with promising new cancer therapies. These collaborative efforts allow us to utilize the best science to develop optimal treatment and prevention strategies for cancer, as well as research methods to alleviate side effects of cancer and cancer treatments.

Clinical Trials Highlights:

  • Efficacy and Safety trials for investigational biologics
  • Combination trials for oncology drugs
  • Surgical and radiation therapy research trials
  • Adjuvant and maintenance drug trials
  • Postoperative oncology options
  • Retrospective chart review

Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy accreditation

After meeting rigorous clinical standards, our autologous stem cell transplant program received accreditation by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT). The program remains the first and only transplant program in Hampton Roads to earn the prestigious distinction. The Autologous Stem Cell Transplant Program at our quaternary hospital, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, is one of 135 nationally. Sanctioned through FACT, the program adheres to the most stringent clinical standards. FACT accreditation is the gold standard insurance companies often demand.

Quality Oncology Practice Initiative certification

Multiple medical oncologists within the Sentara Cancer Network have earned the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) Certificate of Participation by the American Society of Clinical Oncology. QOPI is an oncologist-led, practice-based quality improvement program promoting excellence in cancer care by helping practices create a culture of self- examination and improvement.