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ONcology Rounds


 
Mathew Ninan, MD, FACS

Nashville Lung Using Advanced Robotics

Nashville Lung Surgery - part of AdvancedHEALTH, Middle Tennessee's largest, independent, multi-specialty practice - continues to build its Thoracic Robotics program. This summer, specialists with Nashville Lung Surgery began using the latest da Vinci Xi Robotic system at Ascension Saint Thomas West Hospital.

"This minimally-invasive technology allows us to perform complex procedures with less recovery time, pain and surgical trauma for our patients," said thoracic surgeon Mathew Ninan, MD, FACS. "This technology also allows for high definition 3D visualization for more precise surgeries."

Ninan has personally trained the Thoracic Robotics OR team at Saint Thomas West, following the protocols used at Baylor Heart Hospital in Dallas, Texas.

With the da Vinci Xi Robot, Nashville Lung Surgery is able to perform advanced thoracic robotic procedures, including: lung resections for lung cancer; mediastinal and chest wall lesion removal; foregut surgery, such as robotic laparoscopic hiatal hernia repairs and anti-reflux procedures, like the Linx magnet procedure. Nashville Lung Surgery also has performed full esophageal mobilization in the chest, as well as resected benign esophageal tumors with the robotic technology. As the Thoracic Robotics program continues to expand, the practice will be performing esophagectomy with a total port access approach to avoid the traditional open surgery.

OneOncology: Building Partnerships to Drive Community-Based Cancer Care

This fall, three leading oncology practices - Nashville-based Tennessee Oncology, New York Cancer & Blood Specialists and Memphis-based West Cancer Center - joined forces to launch OneOncology, a patient-centric, physician-driven, technology-powered company with the mission of improving the lives of those with a cancer diagnosis in communities across the country.

Nearly 40 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime. With early diagnostic, research and treatment breakthroughs, survivorship has increased dramatically. For an increasing number of individuals, their cancer has become similar to managing a chronic disease and is cared for in a community-based setting close to home.

Key goals behind OneOncology are to support and empower partnering community oncologists through peer learning and collaboration to leverage a collective experience to address practice and care delivery challenges and to connect oncologist with resources to improve quality, reduce costs and improve the patient experience across the care continuum.

"With the launch of OneOncology, we hope to transform the future of cancer care," said the new company's President and CEO Tracy Bahl, a 20-year healthcare industry veteran with previous executive and board roles at CVS Health and Emdeon. "Cancer is increasingly being treated like a chronic condition rather than a terminal diagnosis. Working together with world-class oncologists, we will drive the change that community cancer needs through continual learning, creative and smart evolution, and a collective desire to positively impact the lives of every person touched by cancer."

The new company received $200 million from private equity firm General Atlantic and has partnered with Flatiron Health, an EHR developer specializing in oncology that has software in more than 275 practices around the country.

CET Companies Awarded more than $3 Million in Grants

Last month, Cumberland Emerging Technologies, Inc. (CET), an incubator of early-stage life science companies, announced more than $3 million in research grant awards for three company tenants at the CET Life Sciences Center.

"This significant funding points to the important role the CET Life Science Center is playing in supporting the creation of innovative biomedical technologies that stimulate economic development in Tennessee," said A.J. Kazimi, CEO of Cumberland Pharmaceuticals, Inc., one of CET's founders.

The total of $3,070,000 in funding includes:

  • A $2 million grant from the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) to support a joint research program involving Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc., CET, and researchers at Vanderbilt University. The objective of the collaborative research program is to further develop a novel small molecule radiosensitizing agent for the treatment of certain lung cancers. By enhancing the cancer's sensitivity to radiation therapy, this technology addresses a significant medical need of improving clinical outcomes for these oncology patients. This Phase II grant is awarded under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding mechanism and follows successful completion of an initial Phase I award.
  • A $750,000 grant to PATH EX, Inc. from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a fluidic platform for selective bacterial and endotoxin removal from blood. This technology can potentially serve as a novel blood cleansing therapeutic for diseases such as sepsis. This Phase II grant was also awarded under SBIR funding and follows successful completion of an initial Phase I award.
  • A $320,000 grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to fund research by IQuity to predict and detect Alzheimer's disease. For more information on this project, see page xx.

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Tags:
A.J. Kazimi, Alzheimer’s, CET, Community-based Cancer Care, Cumberland Pharmaceuticals, da Vinci Xi Robot, Flatiron Health, General Atlantic, IQuity, Lung Cancer, Lung Surgery, Mathew Ninan, National Cancer Institute, NCI, New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, OneOncology, PATH EX, Radiation Therapy, Saint Thomas West, Sepsis, Tennessee Oncology, Thoracic Robotics, Tracy Bahl, West Cancer Center
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