Sylvester Opens New Clinic for Cancer Patients in Phase 1 Clinical Trials

Patients who participate in Phase 1 clinical trials at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center now have a new clinic where they can get their specialized care in one convenient location. On Friday, April 20, Sylvester’s director, Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., and the director of Phase 1 clinical trials, Jaime Merchan, M.D., cut the ribbon at the new clinic located on the third floor.

“This is the beginning of us becoming a great and important Phase 1 center in the country and in the world, where we will be able to bring the best and most innovative treatments and especially a lot of hope for our patients,” Merchan, who is also associate professor of medicine, said at the opening.

Centralizing care in one clinic for these study participants streamlines the process and makes it easier for them to receive new drugs and other novel therapies from cancer research experts. Sylvester is the only academic cancer center in South Florida, and patients have treatment options not available elsewhere in the community. In fact, Sylvester is the first center in the world to test several of the treatments in the clinical trials.

“Sylvester is really the only Phase 1 program for patients with cancer, whether they be adults or children, in South Florida,” Nimer said. “And so, we have a very important responsibility to our community, which is to have therapies available for patients when what they get initially doesn’t work.”

Phase 1 clinical trials are medical research studies of a new drug, combination of drugs, or other types of innovative treatments. The National Institutes of Health states that the purpose of these studies is to determine a safe dose and to see how the human body and the cancer respond. Patients who volunteer to participate have usually failed standard therapies and have run out of treatment options.

For more information, view the Clinical Trials FAQs or call the Sylvester Information Center at 305-243-1000 or 800-545-2292.

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