This month, we are honored to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Sarah Cannon Research Institute’s founders, Dr. John Hainsworth and Dr. Anthony Greco.

Here’s a quick snapshot into how it all started…

Beyond chemotherapy, patients had very few treatment options to fight cancer until the mid-1990s. At the time, patients could only access clinical trials in academic settings and there were only a small number of patients participating in research, almost all of whom had been heavily pre-treated. With the majority of people facing cancer seeking treatments through their local community programs, access to trial options was limited and so was the progress being made to identify better therapies.

Two academic research leaders, Dr. Anthony Greco and Dr. John Hainsworth, had a solution: start a research program in the community, where more people could access more trial options. In 1993, they formed what is now known as Sarah Cannon Research Institute, with the backing of HCA Healthcare and Tennessee Oncology. Many doubted that forming this type of research program would work, but nearly 30 years later, the team at Sarah Cannon has demonstrated that it has and continues to make an impact by serving patients in the community.

Learn more about why Dr. Greco and Dr. Hainsworth took a calculated risk to expand access to clinical research for patients in the community in the video above.

What happened next?

In 1997, Dr. Skip Burris, Sarah Cannon’s President and Chief Medical Officer, was recruited to pioneer Sarah Cannon Research Institute’s first community-based phase I drug development program in the world, which expanded research offerings to patients seeking access to novel therapies. Stay tuned for more about Dr. Burris next month as he celebrates 25 years (and counting) at Sarah Cannon.