Shands at the University of Florida has been recognized as a center of excellence for cancers known as myelodysplastic syndromes that strike the bone marrow.
The designation by the Myelodysplastic Syndrome Foundation recognizes outstanding research efforts as well as superior clinical care for patients.
“This validates our efforts on an international scale and will alert patients, physicians and researchers of our MDS expertise and cutting-edge options for diagnosis and treatment,” said Christopher R. Cogle, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine in the division of hematology and oncology and a 1997 graduate of the UF College of Medicine.
Cogle, who also serves as research director of the Shands at UF medical center clinical stem cell lab, cited several developments in recent years that supported the foundation’s designation:
•Inauguration in 2007 of a specimen bank for blood and bone marrow samples that now houses more than 400 rare samples;
•Ongoing research into various strategies for bone marrow-related disorders, including clinical trials for relatively less-toxic chemotherapies that can be administered by mouth;
•A broader array of therapeutic options for patients diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndromes; and
•Doubling of the number of patients seen in the past five years.
Official estimates put the number of new MDS cases each year in the United States at 10,000. On the basis of an examination of Florida cancer registry data, Cogle and colleagues from the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa suggest that the actual number is much higher. With the designation, Shands at UF becomes one of 59 centers of excellence in the United States recognized by the foundation.