News & Information | START In The News

January 28th, 2011
By: Wendy Rigby

S.A.'s START Cancer Center Expands to China

SAN ANTONIO -- A San Antonio cancer facility is expanding halfway around the world. It’s a first-of-its-kind partnership in China.

South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics (START) treats people with cancer, often those who have been told they have no other options. START’s goal is to speed up the rate of research into experimental cancer drugs, helping get promising new medicines to patients sooner.

Two years ago, START opened a clinic in Madrid. Now, Start Shanghai is becoming a reality. The first phase one cancer clinic in China will open at a hospital at Fudan University.

“In China, you know it’s a nation of 1.3 billion people who really want to participate as they become a much greater economic power,” commented Dr. Anthony Tolcher, medical oncologist.

Tolcher is an acclaimed cancer researcher and the driving force behind START. He called the Shanghai connection a “dream come true” with important trials now running 24 hours a day.

“That means that we can be doing cancer research all 24 hours,” Tolcher explained. “So when our operation closes, down, Start Shanghai will be opening up. When they close down for the day, Start Madrid will be opening up.”

For San Antonio, the expansion will mean more jobs and a higher international profile for the city’s burgeoning biomedical industry. For patients around the globe, it will help pinpoint new ways to attack killer cancers.

“Their patients will have access to experimental patients. Our patients will have access to the results that come from those studies. All around, I see it as a win-win situation,” Tolcher said.

The Start Shanghai clinic will begin seeing its first patients in July.