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Northeast Georgia Medical Center Seeks Local Pancreatic Cancer Patients for New Clinical Trial

Published on January 09, 2012
GAINESVILLE, Ga. – The Cancer Center at Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) is one of only five sites in Georgia to offer a new clinical trial for patients with previously untreated Stage IV pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer–related deaths in the United States in both men and women, according to the National Cancer Institute. 

“We are excited to offer this new clinical trial for pancreatic patients,” says Patti Rotunda, oncology research and tumor registry manager for NGMC.  “We are hopeful that clinical trials such as this one will provide us with new treatment options that are so desperately needed, especially for patients in such advanced stages of diagnosis.”

All patients enrolled in this clinical trial will receive the standard chemotherapy used to treat pancreatic cancer and some will receive chemotherapy in combination with a novel monoclonal antibody called bavituximab. 

“In prior clinical studies for other cancers, bavituximab in combination with chemotherapy has demonstrated promising tumor response and survival for cancer patients when compared to separate studies using chemotherapy alone,” says Andrew W. Pippas, MD, an oncologist at the John B. Amos Cancer Center and Principal Investigator of the clinical trial for the five trial sites in Georgia.

This clinical trial is provided through the Georgia Center for Oncology Research (Georgia CORE).  Georgia CORE, which was established in 2003 as a catalyst to increase availability of and access to clinical trials, is one of only a handful of research alliances and centers across the nation offering this trial. 

“Clinical trials are so important because they can help determine the tested drug’s efficacy and safety and may lead to eventual approval of the agent by the United States Food and Drug Administration,” says Rotunda.

NGMC currently offers approximately 70 ongoing clinical trials, including trials for chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery for virtually all cancer sites including breast, lung and prostate cancers, three of the most often diagnosed in northeast Georgia.

The other Georgia sites where the trial will be offered are John B. Amos Cancer Center in Columbus, Suburban Hematology Oncology Associates in Lawrenceville, DeKalb Medical Center in Decatur, and the Lewis Cancer and Research Pavilion at Saint Joseph’s/Candler in Savannah.

To learn more about this clinical trial or others offered at the Cancer Center at NGMC, please call 770-219-8820 or visit

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