Baptist Announces Mid-South Miracle Initiative Aimed at Reducing Lung Cancer Deaths by 25% by 2030

Dr. Raymond Osarogiagbon, chief scientist and director of Baptist Cancer Center’s Multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Program, speaks at the news conference announcing Mid-South Miracle.

Baptist Cancer Center announced a multifaceted initiative called the Mid-South Miracle aimed at reducing lung cancer deaths in the Mid-South by 25% by 2030.

The initiative comprises seven components that will address prevention, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer through smoking cessation; low-dose CT screening; algorithmic management of incidentally detected lung nodules; multidisciplinary decision-making and care; high-quality surgical care; high-quality pathologic evaluation, including biomarker testing; and expanded access to innovative treatment through clinical trials.

“We have spent years developing the critical components of the Mid-South Miracle, and I am excited to see it realized,” said Dr. Raymond Osarogiagbon, chief scientist and director of Baptist Cancer Center’s Multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Program. “I believe this initiative will revolutionize lung cancer treatment globally by demonstrating the practical implementation of high-quality programs and team-based care across the spectrum of lung cancer from prevention, expanding access to early detection, standardizing and improving the quality of diagnosis and staging, and ensuring personalized, biomarker-directed treatment for every patient.”

Lung cancer is most often diagnosed at a late stage when treatment is still unlikely to cure cancer because people often have no symptoms until the disease is advanced. Although lung cancer screening saves lives, most people and their doctors aren’t aware of the availability of lung cancer screening. But screening alone is not enough. Most people diagnosed with lung cancer would not qualify for screening, which is why the Mid-South Miracle initiative has adopted the innovative approach of dual implementation of screening and managing incidentally detected lung nodules to expand access to early detection.

“This initiative will result in earlier detection of the disease, which will save thousands of lives, while also improving the quality of life for lung cancer patients,” said Osarogiagbon.

While lung cancer deaths are decreasing in the U.S., lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths for the country. And Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee rank second, third and fourth in per-capita U.S. lung cancer deaths.

“We have invested substantial resources and brought together the top experts in the field to develop this comprehensive program unlike any other in the U.S. or the world — to save lives,” said Ann Bishop, system administrator of oncology for Baptist Cancer Center. “This is the most comprehensive cancer prevention and treatment initiative that we have undertaken, and it represents our commitment to not just treating and curing cancer, but to preventing it altogether.”

Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation awarded Baptist Cancer Center $200,000 to develop optimized models of lung cancer care delivery and $1,000,000 for the development of the incidental lung nodule program, which detects lung cancers on unrelated diagnostic scans, resulting in earlier detection of the disease. The National Institutes of Health granted Baptist Cancer Center $3.5 million plus $4 million to develop the surgical quality improvement and pathology quality improvement programs, which standardize diagnosis and evaluation of lung cancers. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute awarded Baptist Cancer Center $2.5 million to evaluate the effectiveness and success of multidisciplinary care for lung cancer patients.

Please click this link to see a patient’s story: https://youtu.be/NHPRZAWZ_Cc. Go to midsouthmiracle.com for more information.

Baptist Cancer Center (BCC) provides world-class cancer care close to home throughout Baptist Memorial Health Care’s tri-state service area of Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. The center takes an interdisciplinary approach to patient care and offers treatment, research, support services, community education and the area’s first genetic counseling and testing program for cancer. In addition, BCC has the Mid-South’s first adult myelosuppression unit, which provides specialized care for patients who have received chemotherapy that interferes with blood cell production or stops bone marrow activity. In 2019, BCC was awarded a second $9,000,000 research grant from the National Cancer Institute to continue building out clinical research infrastructure to expand lifesaving, leading-edge treatment across the Mid-South, including overcoming disparities in cancer care under the Minority-Underserved NCI Community Oncology Research Program, known as NCORP. For more information, please visit baptistcancercenter.com or follow us on Facebook.