June 2023

Issue Highlights

  • Cancer Moonshot Biobank

  • Newly Activated Studies

  • Diving into Disparities

  • Smiling Faces

Cancer MoonshotSM Biobank

Due largely to the efforts of Dr. Tondre Buck and Audrianna Carrington, MS, Lead Moonshot Coordinator, Upstate Carolina NCORP received an NCI Certificate of Excellence for Gibbs Cancer Center's commitment to Moonshotsm. Gibbs leads the nation for patient enrollment and, of those, 54% of participants are African American. Additionally, Gibbs was just rewarded with a third Moonshotsm "Engagement grant" to continue its efforts to increase our community in research. "The One" magazine highlighted our Moonshotsm Biobank efforts with an article in the Spring 2023 edition.

The ONE - Moonshot

Newly Activated Studies

These studies have recently activated.

More information can be found on CTSU.

  • S2209: A Phase III Randomized Trial for Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma (NDMM) Patients Considered Frail or in a Subset of "Intermediate Fit" Comparing Upfront Three-Drug Induction Regimens Followed by Double or Single-Agent Maintenance
  • A022004: Randomized Trial of Consolidation Targeted Adjuvant Therapy with Encorafenib and Cetuximab Versus Usual Care for Patients with Stage II/III BRAF V600E Colon Cancer
  • CCTG-NE1: NET RETREAT: A Phase II Study of 177 Lutetium-DOTATATE Retreatment vs. Everolimus in Metastatic/Unresectable Midgut NET
  • EAY191-E4: Nilotinib and Paclitaxel in Patients with Prior Taxane-Treated Solid Tumors: A ComboMATCH Treatment Trial
  • EA3211: Phase III Randomized Trial of Immunotherapy With or Without Consolidative Radiotherapy for Oligometastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • EA7211: A Randomized Phase III Study of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Followed by Surgery Versus Surgery Alone for Patients with High Risk RetroPeritoneal Sarcoma (STRASS 2)

Accruals, Biospecimens & Special Entries

Under-Represented Populations

CCDR Corner

New CCDR Amendments for URCC-18110CD and WF-1805CD

Reach out to Melyssa with questions or if you are interested in participating in ENABLE


  • May complete consent in one visit (must still complete script and consent with HIPAA)
  • Added pharynx as tumor site
  • IT Specialists removed from list of Stakeholder
  • List of Symptoms-Designated Clinician Form available on paper and guides have been revised
  • No Stakeholder interview in Usual care Arm
  • Sites may enroll up to 50 survivors!


  • Allows practices to enroll when you are ready (i.e., no cohorts) 
  • Decreases target enrollment per practice cluster to 13 
  • Introduces the minimum commitment for practices
  • Reduces training for study start-up
  • Allows flexibility on who can serve as ENABLE Coach
  • Registered Nurse or Advanced Practice Provider (APP)
  • Physician (e.g., medical and radiation oncologists, including oncology trainees)
  • Other professionals (e.g., social workers, chaplains) with appropriate credentials & experience

Cancer Care Delivery Research "C"udos

Shout out to UC-NCORP superstar investigators for top accruals to WF-1805CD (HN-STAR)

  • Amy Curtis, MD (SC024): 14
  • Jeremy Kilburn, MD (SC024): 8
  • Robert Siegel, MD (SC108): 8

Shout out to SMC's rockstar coordinator, Mohsen Alqalam,

1805CD (HN-STAR)!

Diving into Disparities

Colorectal Cancer in Young Adults?

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the US among men and women. With new cases of colorectal cancer on the rise, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is highlighting a study that identifies potential warning signs of colorectal cancer in younger adults. Colorectal cancer in younger adults is relatively rare, which explains why no screening age recommendations are under 45. However, researchers have identified four warning signs that may help identify colorectal cancer early in younger adults. The image shows that the signs or symptoms include abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, diarrhea, and iron deficiency anemia. According to researchers, many early-onset colorectal cancer diagnoses are advanced. Therefore, research studies focusing on identifying warning signs and getting diagnosed as early as possible will likely improve access to adequate care, provide better treatment options at an earlier disease stage, and help providers identify the at-risk population for better screening implementation strategies.

To read the full article from the NCI Cancer Research Blog, click the link:

Possible Signs of Colorectal Cancer in Younger Adults - NCI

Do you have any staff you would like highlighted in The Connector?
Please submit it by the 15th of the month to Alaina: akennedy@srhs.com

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Kamara Mertz-Rivera, MA, CCRC

Email: UpstateNCORP@srhs.com

Phone: 864-560-6104

eRegulatory Systems

Laura Bailey, BS, CCRP

Email: UpstateNCORPRegulatory@srhs.com

Phone: 864-560-6954


Josh Acuna, MPH

Email: UpstateNCORPRegulatory@srhs.com

Phone: 864-530-6523

AYA Coordinator

Heather Schwartz, MPH, HTL

Email: heather_schwartz@bshsi.org

Phone: 864-603-6212

Grant Manager

Alex Akkary, MBA

Email: UpstateNCORPFinance@srhs.com

Phone: 864-560-6967

Quality Assurance

Kristen Ford & Sahra Khan

Email: UpstateNCORPQA@srhs.com

Phone: 864-530-6510

CCDR Director

Melyssa Foust, MSN, RN, OCN

Email: UpstateNCORPCCDR@srhs.com

Phone: 864-560-1035

Community & Social Media 

Alaina Kennedy, BA

Email: akennedy@srhs.com

Phone: 864-560-6882

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