Sarah Cannon announces the opening of an oncology drug development division in partnership with the Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute and the University of Central Florida at Lake Nona


NASHVILLE, Tenn .– (BUSINESS WIRE) – Sarah Cannon recently opened its newest drug development unit (DDU) in partnership with the Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) and the University of Central Florida College of Medicine (UCF) in Lake Nona, Florida, the Sarah Cannon | The UCF Lake Nona Cancer Center is led by Cesar Augusto Perez, MD, a recognized expert in phase 1 oncology research. First of its kind in Lake Nona, the DDU focuses solely on clinical oncology studies in the earliest stages of research and is designed to meet the specific needs of patients looking for advanced cancer treatment options. The first patient was treated in a clinical study in the new department earlier this month.

“Lake Nona is known for building a community of collaborators, and by working with our colleagues at FCS and UCF, we are proud to launch a drug development program that provides better access to novel therapies that are essential for the advancement of science and transforming cancer are essential. “Patient Care,” said Howard A. “Skip” Burris, III, MD, President of Clinical Operations and Chief Medical Officer, Sarah Cannon. “DR. Perez has dedicated his career to translational oncology research and we look forward to his leadership in this new program.”

Cesar Perez, MD, most recently served as Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami, where he was also a director of phase 1 clinical oncology research. He was previously Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville, where he received the Best Faculty Teacher Award in 2015 and 2017. After completing a hematology and oncology fellowship at the University of Miami, Dr. Perez received the Peter A. Cassileth, MD Award as an Outstanding Fellow and served as Chief Fellow.

“It is an honor to join Florida Cancer Specialists and lead Sarah Cannon’s newest drug development program in Lake Nona so we can develop therapies for patients in dire need,” said Dr. Perez. “By aligning our unit with FCS’s medical oncology practice and being located in the center of UCF, which is focused on delivering cutting-edge offerings, we’re delivering a more complete care experience.”

As director of drug development for the Sarah Cannon Research Institute at FCS – Lake Nona, Dr. Perez teamed up with a team that includes Sarah Canon and FCS research nurses, pharmacists and patient caregivers who provide patients with access to the latest research and compassionate care without having to travel far from home.

“For the past two decades, FCS has partnered with Sarah Cannon to bring new treatment options to cancer patients across the state,” said Lucio Gordan, MD, president and managing physician, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute. “The DDU, which is located together with one of our newest oncological practices, ensures that patients have access to specialized oncological care in a purpose-designed room that combines essential oncological services under one roof.”

Located on the Sarah Cannon | The UCF Lake Nona Cancer Center campus, the new 10,000 square foot Sarah Cannon Research Institute of the FCS drug development unit, is part of a new treatment facility that brings together medical oncology services and phase 1 clinical study options for cancer patients in one convenient location. 6400 Sanger Road, Suite A-2400, Orlando, Florida 32827. HCA Healthcare’s Radiation Oncology facility will be offered later this year in partnership with Sarah Cannon and UCF Lake Nona Medical Center. The center also houses departments from the UCF College of Medicine and the HCA Healthcare Center for Clinical Advancement.

“UCF College of Medicine welcomes the partnership with Sarah Cannon and FCS as new members of the growing health and life sciences cluster of Lake Nona,” said Deborah German, MD, founding dean and vice president of health at UCF College of Medicine. “By partnering with Sarah Cannon and FCS, we are able to help cancer patients from the bank to the bedside.”

Sarah Cannon and FCS currently offer clinical trials in more than 36 locations across the state, including existing drug development programs in Sarasota and Lake Mary. All three units will work closely together to increase study options for early-stage patients.

About the Sarah Cannon Research Institute

The Sarah Cannon Research Institute is the research arm of the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, Sarah Cannon. It is focused on advancing therapies for patients and is one of the world’s leading clinical research organizations conducting community-based clinical trials in the United States and the United Kingdom. As a leader in drug development, Sarah Cannon has led more than 500 initial human clinical trials since its inception in 1993 and has been a clinical trial director on most of the approved cancer therapies for the past 10 years. In addition, through her contract research organization (CRO), Sarah Cannon Development Innovations, Sarah Cannon provides management, regulatory and other research support services to drug development and industry sponsors, as well as strategic investigator locations.

About Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, LLC: (

Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) has received a National Clinical Trials Participation Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and gives patients access to more clinical trials than any private oncology practice in Florida. Over the past four years, the majority of new cancer drugs approved in the United States have been studied in clinical trials involving Florida Cancer Specialists. * Our doctors have been trained by renowned medical schools and research institutes and are rated as top doctors nationwide by the US News & World Report.

Founded in 1984, Florida Cancer Specialists has built a national reputation for excellence that is reflected in exceptional and empathetic patient care powered by innovative clinical research, cutting-edge technologies, and advanced treatments including targeted therapies, genome-based treatment, and immunotherapy. Our highest values ​​are embodied by our excellent team of highly qualified and committed doctors, clinicians and employees.


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