COMPPARE Consortium Spotlight: The Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute

Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute

Recently celebrating ten years in operation, Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute (HUPTI) has treated more than 3,100 patients to date and is the largest free-standing proton therapy cancer center in the world.

HUPTI has also led most COMPPARE partner sites in patient enrollment over the past year, with plans to continue to do so for several more: Patients have overwhelmingly agreed to join the study and staff members have actively worked to support these efforts.

According to Medical Director Christopher Sinesi, MD, the biggest initial challenge to patient accrual at HUPTI was the infrastructure allocation to begin the enrollment process.

“All clinical trials require dedicated educated staff to adhere to the protocols as written,” he explains.  “Once we developed and educated the staff and committed to 100% screening of all patients, the enrollment process was seamless. Making the COMPPARE trial part of our routine evaluation of all patients eliminated the risk of a missed opportunity.”

He advises other partner sites to adopt the same approach. “Up-front, real-time interaction will greatly impact your overall enrollment and your ability to contribute to the COMPPARE study.”

This strategy also helps to overcome patient hesitancy by creating a sense of community and purpose, and promotes the idea that participants will be making a difference for future prostate cancer patients through COMPPARE.

Further, since HUPTI’s patient population is richly diverse, Dr. Sinesi relates that the center has been able to recruit a large number of minority patients for COMPPARE, greatly benefiting the study’s outcomes. Data in 2005 showed Hampton Roads led the nation in prostate cancer deaths, and with African American men more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer than white men, HUPTI strove to become a leader in treating minority patients.

Dr. Sinesi hopes that the results from the COMPPARE trial will guide future decisions regarding prostate cancer treatment.

“Health care providers are faced with ever-tightening budgets, and the data from this trial will provide guidelines by which healthcare providers can direct their patients toward efficacious treatment with the fewest potential complications and side effects,” he predicts. “Patients who are contemplating treatment for their prostate cancer will be able to compare the results of this study as they choose among the many treatment options.”

Our COMPPARE Consortium Spotlight provides insight into the successes of our partner proton and photon centers across the U.S. We are grateful to Dr. Sinesi and his team for their input and dedicated participation in COMPPARE, and we appreciate all partner sites working so diligently to improve prostate cancer outcomes for men.