Bingcheng Wang, PhD, Director of the Division of Cancer Biology in the Department of Medicine and Director of Basic Sciences in the MetroHealth Research Institute, has assembled an impressive team of cancer researchers who are bringing cutting-edge care to The MetroHealth System and its hundreds of thousands of patients.
William Tse, MD, is training blood cells to become cancer-killing CAR T cells so patients can beat cancer without the toxic side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
Khalid Sossey-Alaoui, PhD, is working to understand why triple-negative breast cancer occurs much more often in African-American women so he can help end the dreaded disease.
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Zhisan Wang, MD, PhD, is searching for the biological signal in patients’ bodies that tell doctors lung cancer is there – long before it becomes deadly.
They are four of eight nationally and internationally recognized researchers forming a new cancer research team in Cleveland focused on more than curing one of the most feared diseases. The team, which is backed by millions of dollars in support and grants and dozens of research assistants, will also focus on ending the racial, ethnic, social and economic inequities that impact cancer diagnosis and treatment.
“We’re doing this for the patients we serve, to ensure that they have the latest advances in cancer care and that they are able to participate in cutting-edge clinical trials in cancer care," says Bernard Boulanger, MD, MetroHealth Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer. Clinical trials give patients access to newly discovered medical testing and treatments before they’re available to the public.
More patient diversity – to improve outcomes for all patients – has been a goal in cancer research for years.
“A lot of people can’t get to the most advanced cancer care because they don’t have the assets to do that,” says Dr. Tse, Chief of Hematology and Oncology at MetroHealth.
MetroHealth’s location would make that care available to a large, diverse population and, in many cases, to patients who haven’t had access in the past, he says.
“MetroHealth plays a big role in caring for the underserved throughout the Cleveland area,” says Dr. Bingcheng Wang. “And they are impacted differently by cancer including having a higher chance of being diagnosed with aggressive forms of breast and prostate cancer. Because of that, MetroHealth is uniquely positioned to contribute to the understanding of racial disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.”