From left, Women’s Cancer Care Founder Christopher Perkins M.D.; Sante Health Foundation Director of Marketing Kelly Lilles; and Sante Chief Medical Officer Michael Synn M.D. Photo by Ben Hensley

published on August 4, 2022 - 2:23 PM
Written by Ben Hensley

Sante Health Foundation presented a donation of $750,000 to support the Women’s Cancer Research Network – Cooperative Gynecologic Oncology Investigators (WCRN-COGI) on Thursday, officially ushering in new clinical trials for women’s health in Fresno.

The cancer center is the first clinic to join WCRN-COGI and as such, will be the first site to begin clinical trials, expanding the quality of care to patients in the Fresno area and Central Valley.

“Sante Health Foundation is an organization for physicians dedicated to charitable causes such as medical education, bringing physicians into this medically underserved region and medical research,” said Michael Synn, chief medical officer at Sante. “Sante Health Foundation is very pleased to be involved in helping bring advanced clinical research, clinical trials and cancer treatment to the citizens of our region.”

Christopher Perkins, M.D., also added that Women’s Cancer Research Network hopes to expand in Fresno, in addition to regional and national expansion.

“With these funds we have been able to establish and build the only Women’s Cancer Research Network in this region,” Perkins said.

Perkins added that women’s cancer research is imperative to develop future treatments, particularly in women’s cancers. Women’s Cancer Research Network hopes these funds will assist in partnering with some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.

Now known as Women’s Cancer Care Center, the center was previously known as California Oncology of the Central Valley. 

“We have only been open a short period of time, and in the short period of time we have been very successful in developing relationships with pharma, and accruing patients to these trials,” Perkins said.

He also commented on clinical trial patients like Valerie Villalobos-Liles, who has been one of Perkins’ patients since 2009. Villalobos-Liles is participating in the clinical trial and hopes her participation will not only benefit her, but other women battling similar conditions. 

“These patients, in a world of intense narcissism, are able to give of themselves to participate in these trials to advance the quality, [and] hopefully find the cure for breast cancer and women’s gynecological cancers,” Perkins said.

Sante Health has more than 450 providers in more than 30 groups, providing care to more than one million patients annually.


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