As we reboot, reboat, and re-engage Dragon Boat Upstate Festival 2020, we want to thank you for your dedication and commitment to be part of our event. We are so appreciative of your support in raising awareness and funds in our fight against cancer right here at home. Regardless of our community's state, every day, our patients and caregivers continue to fight cancer. Your support and encouragement allow us to continue making a positive impact on the cancer patients and their families we have the privilege to serve every day.
In addition to showing our appreciation to you, we want to shine the spotlight on our health care heroes - especially those serving our cancer patients. Our Prisma Health clinical leaders are working around the clock to contain the coronavirus, while our front line team members continue to ensure that patients and families receive the care and support they need.
The coronavirus has presented a unique opportunity for the Prisma Health Cancer Institute team to be creative and resourceful in the daily care of cancer patients while stepping up the work outside of oncology to meet the current and future needs of the pandemic. Examples of work include:
- The Prisma Health Cancer Institute is one of 100 sites across the country participating in the national coalition established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Positive COVID-19 patients who meet specific criteria established by the FDA are eligible for the treatment. The Mayo Clinic serves as the lead institution, with blood banks helping collect the plasma and distribute it for use in COVID-19 patients. A unique partnership with Prisma Health and The Blood Connection based in Greenville ensures local plasma is available for South Carolinians.
- Jeffery Edenfield, M.D., Prisma Health Cancer Institute Medical Director for the Institute for Translational Oncology Research, is the principal investigator in a national investigational treatment to test the effectiveness of blood plasma in severe or critically ill COVID-19 patients. The treatment is developed from the plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients and then administered to hospitalized patients who have the life-threatening COVID-19 disease.
- Larry Gluck, M.D., Prisma Health Cancer Institute Medical Director, is the principle investigator for an FDA fast-tracked research project relating to therapeutic plasma exchange for the treatment of respiratory failure in COVID-19 patients.
- John O’Connell, M.D., Prisma Health Cancer Institute Radiation Oncologist, is conducting a Phase I Clinical Trial of the Combination of Famotidine (FAM) and Oral N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) Open Label for Outpatient Treatment of Subjects with Newly Diagnosed SARS-CoV-2 Infection.
- In addition to these efforts, the cancer team created a stand-alone Special Precautionary Unit (SPU) to take care of cancer patients that also were COVID positive or suspected. This special unit allows for patients to continue cancer treatments while not exposing others.
- Dr. Gluck, LeAnn Perkins NP, and our entire team continue to lead the effort for the Center for Cancer Prevention and Wellness. To date, our study has enrolled a total of 433 participants an increase of over 150 participants in six months. We are currently experiencing over a 90% return of first year enrollees. The study questionnaire has been converted to an electronic format in EPIC and a portal has been added to MyChartTM for participant convenience and improved data tracking.