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Atlantic Health System Announces Specialized Center to Treat Blood Cancer Patients

December 6, 2023

Beckman Advanced Cellular Therapy Unit at Morristown Medical Center enabled with gift from Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation


MORRISTOWN, N.J., December 6, 2023 – Patients undergoing intensive chemotherapy or immunotherapy for the treatment of blood cancers are particularly vulnerable to treatment-related side effects and require heightened monitoring and management. Atlantic Health System today announced the creation of the Beckman Advanced Cellular Therapy Unit at Morristown Medical Center to help ensure the highest quality care and best outcomes for this complex patient population.

The unit is the latest advancement for the Atlantic Cellular Therapy program at the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center, which currently sees more than 200 hematological cancer admissions annually, most of whom receive chemotherapy. These patients often require multiple hospitalizations as part of their treatment plan, both for induction chemotherapy and for very specific management of their symptoms. During treatment, blood counts drop to very low levels, increasing the risk of life-threatening complications. The Beckman Advanced Cellular Therapy Unit is equipped with state-of-the-art hemodynamic monitoring technology and staffed with highly trained nurses to deliver the safest possible treatment.

“Atlantic Health System is proud to be at the leading edge of the latest, advanced science in the care of blood cancers including leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, but caring for these patients requires a special combination of resources and expertise” Eric D. Whitman, MD, System Medical Director, Atlantic Health System Cancer Care and Director, Atlantic Melanoma Center. “Through the creation of the Beckman Advanced Cellular Therapy Unit, Morristown Medical Center joins an elite level of hospitals providing this potentially lifesaving care.”

Thanks in part to a partnership with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) of Phoenix, Arizona via the Breakthrough Oncology Accelerator, Atlantic Health offers patients access to innovative clinical trials for immunotherapies including the use of Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cells (CAR-T) and Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TIL). The Beckman Advanced Cellular Therapy Unit will safely expand access to these therapies. Occasionally, patients receiving CAR-T and other therapies will experience a side effect called cytokine release syndrome (CRS), an overly aggressive immune response from the body to the medication. The Beckman Advanced Cellular Therapy Unit is designed to optimally manage these patients through specialized monitoring equipment, enabling the dedicated care team to respond immediately.

“The Atlantic Cellular Therapy program is committed to providing our patients with the safest possible access to the latest advancements in clinical care and the Beckman Advanced Cellular Therapy Unit is a powerful step forward in fulfilling that commitment,” said Mohamad Cherry, MD, Medical Director, Hematology/Oncology and Medical Director, Atlantic Cellular Therapy Program. “It also helps drive the science of expanding these treatments to new cancers and we are incredibly proud to be at the forefront of this work on behalf of cancer patients worldwide.”

The Beckman Advanced Cellular Therapy Unit at Morristown Medical Center was made possible in part through support from Foundation for Morristown Medical Center donors, including a generous $1 million grant from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation in honor of J. Peter Simon for his service on the Beckman Foundation Board of Trustees. Simon is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Foundation for Morristown Medical Center and co-chair of the William E. Simon Foundation.

“We are pleased to contribute to the new unit to recognize the exemplary service of our board member, Mr. J. Peter Simon,” said Anne Hultgren, PhD, executive director for the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. “Advancing research that can lead to cures and therapies for disease is core to our mission, and we hope that the new research studies and improvements in patient care that will be possible because of the Beckman Advanced Cellular Therapy Unit will bring us closer to the goal of curing cancer for everyone.”

Visit the Atlantic Health System website to learn more about the exciting research underway in cancer care and other specialties.

About the Foundation for Morristown Medical Center

Established in 1995, the Foundation for Morristown Medical Center’s mission is to inspire community philanthropy to advance exceptional health care for patients at Morristown Medical Center and Goryeb Children’s Hospital. Over the past 10 years, donors have contributed more than $209 million to support both Morristown Medical Center and Goryeb Children’s Hospital. The Foundation for Morristown Medical Center is recognized by the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy as a “High Performer” among the nation’s leading hospitals.

About Atlantic Health System

Atlantic Health System is at the forefront of medicine, setting standards for quality health care in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the New York metropolitan area. Powered by a workforce of 19,000 team members and 5,440 affiliated physicians dedicated to building healthier communities, Atlantic Health System serves more than half of the state of New Jersey including 12 counties and 6.2 million people. The not-for-profit system offers more than 400 sites of care, including its seven hospitals: Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, NJ, Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ, Newton Medical Center in Newton, NJ, Chilton Medical Center in Pompton Plains, NJ, Hackettstown Medical Center in Hackettstown, NJ, Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, NJ, Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute in Madison, NJ and through its partnership with CentraState Healthcare System in Freehold, NJ.

The system includes Atlantic Medical Group, part of a physician enterprise that makes up one of the largest multispecialty practices in New Jersey with more than 1,600 physicians and advance practice providers. Joined with Atlantic Accountable Care Organization and Optimus Healthcare Partners they form part of Atlantic Alliance, a Clinically Integrated Network of more than 2,500 health care providers throughout northern and central NJ.

Atlantic Health System provides care for the full continuum of health care needs through 24 urgent care centers, Atlantic Visiting Nurse and Atlantic Anywhere Virtual Visits. Facilitating the connection between these services on both land and air is the transportation fleet of Atlantic Mobile Health.

Atlantic Health System leads the Healthcare Transformation Consortium, a partnership of six regional hospitals and health systems dedicated to improving access and affordability and is a founding member of the PIER Consortium – Partners in Innovation, Education, and Research – a streamlined clinical trial system that will expand access to groundbreaking research across five health systems in the region.

Atlantic Health System has a medical school affiliation with Thomas Jefferson University and is home to the regional campus of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Morristown and Overlook Medical Centers and is the official health care partner of the New York Jets.