Moffitt gains new research affiliate

The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center announced the addition of the Leesburg Regional Medical Center as a new research and treatment affiliate.

The announcement came Sept. 19, and Moffitt hopes the new cooperation will extend its treatment to senior citizens, a demographic Moffitt officials say they feel is lacking in the center’s broad research and treatment program.

LRMC becomes Moffitt’s 11th affiliate in Florida. Moffitt is constantly seeking to establish new affiliations in hopes of improving quality of care for patients and providing new opportunities for clinical research to both Moffitt and affiliate specialists.

“(LRMC) geographically is situated in an important market for Moffitt,” said Jan Marshburn, Moffitt director of affiliate relations. “The Leesburg area has a high senior population, and our affiliation with (LRMC) will give us an opportunity to expand our treatment and our cancer research (to seniors in their market).”

But a potential research field is not the only factor that led Moffitt to adopt the new partnership. Marshburn said an established cancer program at LRMC was important in the decision making, too.

“(Research) is, of course, a major part of what we do at Moffitt,” Marshburn said. “We are constantly researching the causes and effects of cancer and cancer prevention, but facilitating access to care and treating patients, of course, are important to the Moffitt Center as well. (LRMC) already has their own organized cancer program, which is something a lot of hospitals lack. (LRMC and Moffitt) will be referring patients between the two facilities, and it is important that Leesburg is able to offer treatment to some of our patients.”

Marshburn said Moffitt specialists will now benefit from a growing field of research options, and will have the opportunity to treat more patients as the two programs refer and transport patients to find the best treatment available.

Leesburg specialists, in return for opening their market to Moffitt, will have access in the Tampa area to conduct clinical trials and research, Marshburn said.

“(The LRMC affiliation) is a step in our goal to maintain a large program that will play an important part of cancer research and resources in Florida,” Marshburn said.