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St. Joseph cancer patients get more access to treatment

Cancer patients at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center will now be able to access clinical trials and specialists offered in downtown Baltimore at the hospital system’s flagship research center.

St. Joseph, bought by the University of Maryland Medical System in 2012, has formally signed an affiliation agreement with Maryland’s Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, hospital officials said Feb. 6.

At the time of the purchase, officials said they wanted to bring more top-tier services and specialists to the community hospital in Towson. They brought on a radiation oncologist from Maryland to be St. Joseph’s chief executive.

St. Joseph had already been offering treatment for many types of cancer in its center, opened in 2006, and also already offered access to some clinical trials. Most patients will continue to get their care at the hospital.

The affiliation with Greenebaum, which is led by physicians from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, will expand access to research trials. Greenebaum is one of 64 National Cancer Institute-designated centers set up to advance cancer research.

“Through this new affiliation with the UM Greenebaum Cancer Center, UM St. Joseph patients will have increased access to a wide range of new therapies offered through clinical trials, many of which are only available at an academic cancer center,” Dr. Mohan Suntha said in a statement. “Having the ability to tap into the resources and expertise of a nationally recognized cancer center will enable us to better serve the needs of cancer patients in the Towson area and surrounding communities.”

The Greenebaum center also signed an affiliation agreement with Upper Chesapeake Health's Kaufman Cancer Center in Harford County in October 2012.

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