Faith Presbyterian Hospice Hosts Meeting With UT Southwestern On May 19

Faith Presbyterian Hospice, Visiting Nurse Association of Texas (VNA) and UT Southwestern participated in a kick-off partnership meeting on Wednesday, May 19 at the Marnie and Kern Wildenthal Education Center. Faith Presbyterian Hospice, Visiting Nurse Association of Texas and UT Southwestern are partnering together in a SUN-RISE research study. This study is designed to understand what happens with advanced cancers after patients stopped receiving anticancer therapy.

“I’m honored to partner with UTSW and VNA,” said John Mezo, executive director of Faith. “The founders of the T. Boone Pickens Hospice Center had research in mind as they were dreaming of the center, and to be able to take part in a study with the goals of improving diagnosing and prognostication, plus the possibility of improving treatment of cancer, is very exciting.”

The meeting was held to review the objectives of the research study, begin preparing protocols for collection and shipment of specimens. The group also celebrated the approval by the Internal Review Board by UT Southwestern for the research study.

During the study, approximately 200 patients’ blood will be analyzed for the purposes of better understanding how cancer behaves, and what happens to the body. Further, to better equip hospice clinicians with information to manage symptoms of specific cancers. 

“We were considered as the first choice to participate due to our clinical expertise and the volume of patients treated at The T. Boone Pickens Hospice Center,” said Mezo. “Our hope is that the research will find different markers earlier in the patient’s decline, that will provide definitive prognosis information thus confirming that a patient should enter hospice care at an earlier time in their decline. Lastly, our hope is the research will identify specific markers that should be treated to mitigate pain more effectively.”

The Principal Investigators for the SUN-RISE Research Study are Faith’s Chief Medical Officer and Medical Director, Michael Bond, Matteo Ligorio and Kelley Newcomer​. 

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