New facility at AdventHealth Celebration offers cancer patients access to cutting-edge treatment and clinical trials
Dr. George Simon joins Moffitt Cancer Center and AdventHealth as executive medical director of the joint Moffit Cancer Center-AdventHealth clinical research unit in Celebration. The new facility, slated to open in September, will provide access to the latest in cancer treatments through cutting edge research, and access to investigational early phase clinical trials to patients in Central Florida.
Dr. Simon brings more than 20 years of clinical oncology translational research experience to this new role. Most recently, he served as section chief of Translational Research in the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Additionally, he served as medical director of the MD Anderson Cancer Network. He has also held director level positions at Hollings Cancer Center in Charleston, S.C., and Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. Prior to that, Simon was a faculty member at Moffitt from 2000 to 2008 as director of Mesothelioma Research and a member of the Department of Thoracic Oncology.
“Dr. Simon’s expertise in early phase clinical research and his knowledge of Moffitt and the Florida oncology community make him the perfect selection for this important role,” said Dr. Eric B. Haura, associate center director of Clinical Science at Moffitt. “As Moffitt and AdventHealth continue to expand research activities, our clinical research units like the one at AdventHealth Celebration will become critical for translating new therapies to our patients. It will also allow us to expand our reach to other areas of the state where next generation treatments may not be available.”
In addition to his role at AdventHealth Celebration, Simon will also be a senior member of the Chemical Biology and Molecular Medicine Program at Moffitt. He specializes in lung cancer, mesothelioma and thymoma. In particular, he studies optimal strategies to deliver personalized cancer care in the form of either immunotherapy or targeted therapy individualized to a patient’s tumor molecular profile. He has served as principal investigator on numerous clinical trials and received several federal grants to support his work.
“Moffitt and AdventHealth are committed to offering world-class care and treatment options to cancer patients across Central Florida, including investigational therapies. Dr. Simon’s translational research experience and ability to work with clinicians, researchers, patients and community partners to increase clinical trial awareness and enrollment will be key to better serving our patients and advancing care,” said Dr. Steven R. Smith, associate center director of the AdventHealth-Moffitt Partnership and chief scientific officer of AdventHealth Research Institute in Orlando.
The new facility, on the campus of AdventHealth Celebration, will have 28 chairs in the infusion center to provide standard-of-care therapies and 14 chairs in the clinical research unit, where investigation treatments will be administered. Care will be provided to patients with solid tumors or hematologic malignancies, such as leukemia. One clinical trial for lung cancer is already accruing patients at the location.
This new research center is part of a larger partnership between Moffitt and AdventHealth focused on enhancing both institutions’ ability to deliver the highest quality cancer care to their patients. It includes innovative and leading-edge research activities at the AdventHealth Orlando and Celebration campuses, as well as a new Moffitt outpatient cancer center based in the community at AdventHealth Wesley Chapel.