#ResearchAtHorizon: Finding New Treatments for Cancer Patients in Clinical Trials

Dr. Mahmoud Abdelsalam, medical oncologist at Horizon’s The Moncton Hospital.

Dr. Mahmoud Abdelsalam, medical oncologist at Horizon’s The Moncton Hospital

Dr. Mahmoud Abdelsalam is an active physician researcher and medical oncologist at Horizon’s The Moncton Hospital. His research covers various diseases including gastrointestinal cancers and melanoma.

For Dr. Abdelsalam, clinical trials are an important and essential part of his clinical practice at Horizon – ensuring he and his team know the latest science and innovation in cancer management, so he can use this knowledge to treat his patients.

“We are doing a great deal to open new clinical trials … to get new options and mechanisms of fighting cancer,” says Dr. Abdelsalam. “This is very important to our Oncology Clinical Trials team.”

The Oncology Clinical Trials Team at Horizon’s The Moncton Hospital

“A few medications we used only in trial settings a few years ago are now standard of care therapies in today’s practice,” he added. “The majority of clinical trials that I participate in provide targeted therapies to various unmet needs and have a low side effect profile with better promising outcomes.”

In addition to clinical trials, Dr. Abdelsalam is also active in applied health research, with a recent focus on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on those living with cancer.

“There were many necessary changes initiated in patient management, including frequency of treatment, reducing visits to the hospital and oncology clinic, etc.,” he says. “These (changes) could impact patient outcomes and the management of side effects of treatment.”

He and his team are starting a second study to document any impacts COVID-19 vaccinations may have on patients, including recording side effects, and whether there are differences in antibody production between different types of cancers.

Looking to the future, Dr. Abdelsalam plans to increase his integration and collaboration with other hospital departments and research groups in cancer diagnosis and management, as he recognizes the opportunity this collaboration offers to sharing and understanding new ideas in basic and translational cancer research.

He would like to participate in more academic trials, especially in earlier phases to provide his patients with more opportunities to receive the latest in cancer treatment.

“Having a very well-trained Clinical Trials team, and support from Horizon Health Research Services and Ethics Services, makes the process of opening new trials and recruiting patients a seamless process.”

Dr. Abdelsalam and the Clinical Trials team want patients to know they will keep doing their best to access to all available novel treatments in their journey of cancer management.

Dr. Abdelsalam thanks all his patients and their loved ones who participate in clinical trials. Their time, effort and support are appreciated.

His last piece of advice is encouraging people to understand what clinical trials are and guide patients who might benefit from their participation.