Medical grant will bring wellness, jobs and dollars to the area - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Medical grant will bring wellness, jobs and dollars to the area

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Dr. Augusto Ochoa talks about the grant he helped bring to LSUHSC Dr. Augusto Ochoa talks about the grant he helped bring to LSUHSC
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

The fight against cancer is ongoing at the LSU Cancer Research Center on Tulane. In a seventh-floor lab, Dr. Krzysztof Reiss is figuring out ways to kill cancer cells. It's the first step in making medicines for patients involved in clinical trials.

"We have to be sure the substance will not harm the patient," Reiss said.
 
Downstairs, an exciting announcement is unveiled that brings the work of Reiss and other researchers closer to the doorsteps of patients in need.

"We can translate our research from the laboratory to clinic and back, and this grant says we can achieve this," said Dr. Augusto Ochoa.

An almost $6 million grant over five years will build a clinical trial network that will include 26 sites around the Gulf Coast. Minorities and the under served will benefit the most.

"We forget not everyone has the ability to hop in their car and drive an hour away or two hours away," said cancer patient Daniel Pena. "Public transportation isn't going to get you from Gonzales to New Orleans like that. This grant extended those hands."

Pena is involved in a clinical trial for Hodgkin's lymphoma at LSU.

"Every time you walk through that door, you're the superstar," he said. "You're the one that gets all the attention, and everyone remembers your name."

Dr. Daniel Hollier, chancellor of the LSUHSC, weighed in on the economic boost the network will bring.

"The conservative estimate of the additional revenue from this enterprise is about $10 million."

Hollier said jobs like nurse managers, data input clerks and quality monitors will be available.

The grant is one of only 12 of it's kind awarded by the National Cancer Institute.

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.

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