Fox Chase Cancer Center Launches Clinical Trials Collaboration with China’s Beijing Friendship Hospital

PHILADELPHIA (May 13, 2019) – Fox Chase Cancer Center and Beijing Friendship Hospital in Beijing, China, have initiated a collaborative agreement that will provide both institutions with added capability in cancer clinical trials. Under the agreement, Fox Chase will provide consultative services intended to enhance Beijing Friendship Hospital’s existing clinical trial capabilities. In the future, the Chinese hospital hopes to expand its own trials, while serving as a site for Fox Chase to conduct studies suitable for multiple, diverse populations.

Elin R. Sigurdson, MD, PhD, FACS, FRCS (C), director of surgical oncology at Fox Chase, helped initiate the relationship between the two institutions. “This collaboration has the potential to expand access to clinical trials, and to strengthen the trials themselves, with robust patient accrual,” she said.

Richard I. Fisher, MD, president and CEO of Fox Chase Cancer Center, sees many advantages for all involved. “Our researchers are gaining access to a large pool of new patients for their clinical trials, their researchers are gaining opportunities to participate more extensively in clinical trials, and of course, patients in Beijing may have expanded access to novel cancer therapies,” he said.

This agreement is one of several projects Fox Chase has ongoing in China. The most recent is the development of a biosample repository in Chengdu, which provides collection, storage, and distribution of blood and tissue for scientific research. These initiatives are run by Fox Chase International, a division of the Center that works to export skills and expertise in cancer prevention, detection, and treatment, and to establish advanced cancer treatment centers abroad in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

Professor Zhongtao Zhang, MD, PhD, FACS, FRCS, deputy president of Beijing Friendship Hospital, said “Our hospital maintains high standards of research and patient care through cooperative relationships around the world, and I am especially enthusiastic about our new long-term collaboration with Fox Chase Cancer Center.”

The agreement was finalized at a recent meeting in Beijing attended by several leaders from both institutions.

“We are excited about the ways that this collaboration will enhance patient care and expand our clinical research capabilities,” said Professor Hongwei Yao, MD, PhD, deputy director of the department of gastrointestinal surgery at Beijing Friendship Hospital.

Fox Chase has about 300 active clinical trials currently enrolling patients across a wide range of cancers and therapies.

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and the American Oncologic Hospital and is a part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of just 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence six consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.

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