St. Joseph Mercy Brighton Medical Center will be one of the facilities to benefit from a recent cancer-care grant.

The Saint Joseph Mercy Health System and its Michigan Cancer Research Consortium have been awarded a grant for $19.3 million as part of the National Cancer Institute's Community Oncology Research Program, a national network of organizations that provide cancer care to diverse populations in community-based health care practices across the United States.

The award is one of the largest federal grants that Trinity Health, the parent organization of St. Joseph Mercy Health, has ever received and places Dr. Philip Stella, the principal investigator, as one of the top funded cancer researchers in the state of Michigan. It will allow patients throughout the 13-hospital consortium, spanning three states, to participate in leading-edge clinical trials offering access to the most advanced cancer treatments available in the country.

The St. Joe system hails itself as a national leader in personalized medicine with trials that use promising targeted agents based on the genomics of the patient's tumor as well as the latest immunotherapy trials. In addition, they say research by the Community Oncology Research Program helps to evaluate trials looking at advances in the latest surgical and radiation techniques and methods to reduce the side effects of cancer treatments.

It addition to St. Joe’s cancer center in Brighton, other Michigan-based medical facilities participating include St. Joe Mercy hospitals in Ann Arbor, Canton, Chelsea, Oakland and Livonia. (JK)