VU cancer center links up with Memphis health system

VICC will collaborate with 14-hospital network on trials and fellowships, share tissues for research

Vanderbilt University Medical Center officials on Monday announced that they have signed an academic affiliation agreement with their peers at Baptist Memorial Health Care in Memphis to share their cancer research and resources throughout the hospital system’s footprint in West Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas.

As part of the cooperation, Baptist cancer patients will have increased access to clinical research trials and other tools through the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. The organizations also will work together on clinical trials, grant applications and fellowship training programs and share cancer tissue to help advance the personalized, genomic-based therapy VICC has been pushing in recent years. Baptist will become an official sub-site for VICC in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

“Our affiliation with Baptist Memorial Health Care creates an outstanding opportunity for Vanderbilt to closely collaborate with the highly-skilled, highly-dedicated clinicians and researchers with Baptist Medical Group,” said Wright Pinson, CEO of the Vanderbilt Health System.

The Baptist system comprises 14 hospitals in three states that have 2,300 licensed beds and are home to more than 4,000 affiliated physicians. Its multispecialty Baptist Medical Group physician arm has more than 300 doctors and has in the past year added nearly 30 oncologists.

“What this means to Mid-South residents is enhanced access to specialized research and genomic medicine,” said Jason Little, COO of Baptist. “This relationship will allow us to bring a whole new level of cancer research to Memphis and the surrounding area. We will be working with Vanderbilt-Ingram to develop more personalized cancer programs based on patients’ genetic makeup, which is the future of cancer therapy.”