A new building on Morehead Street opened Monday, symbolizing a new era of cancer care for Carolinas HealthCare System.
The six-story building – five new stories added to an existing radiation oncology center – serves as the research and administrative headquarters of the hospital system’s Levine Cancer Institute.
But the institute’s work will reach far beyond Charlotte, bringing greater access to cancer specialists, treatment, clinical trials and support services for patients served by about 30 hospitals owned or managed by the hospital system.
Many of these hospitals already offer cancer treatment, but only the larger ones, such as CMC, enroll patients in clinical trials that compare new drugs and therapies to standard treatments.
Unlike cancer centers that attract patients from around the world to a central location for treatment, Levine Cancer Institute will do the opposite – taking care and research closer to the patients.
Creation of the institute was made possible by a $20 million gift from the Leon Levine Foundation in 2010.
“The opening of the building is symbolic of the entire Levine Cancer Institute network being fully functioning,” said Dr. Derek Raghavan, the institute’s president.
The institute employs more than 30 oncologists, and has recruited specialists from renowned cancer centers. They include: Dr. Edward Kim, chair of the Levine Cancer Institute’s department of solid tumor oncology, who came from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Texas; and Dr. Edward Copelan, chair of the Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders, from the Cleveland Clinic.
The institute has also hired two pharmacologists and a biostatistician to expand research capabilities, in addition to more than 80 support staff including social workers, nurse navigators and a financial counselor.