American Oncology Network & Sarah Cannon Research Institute Expand Cancer Research Collaboration with Addition of Messino Cancer Centers

Fort Myers, Fla. & Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 9, 2020 – American Oncology Network, LLC (AON) and Sarah Cannon Research Institute announced today the addition of AON partner practice Messino Cancer Centers (MCC), as a second strategic research site. Hematology/Oncology Clinic (HOC) in Baton Rouge, La., also a partner practice of AON, was the first strategic research site under this partnership.

Clinical trials will now be offered as a part of MCC’s oncology services at its Asheville, N.C. location. For over 30 years, the MCC physicians have been providing a full range of exceptional cancer care in the Western North Carolina region. MCC medical oncologists serving patients in Asheville are Dr. Michael Messino, Dr. Charles Bryan, Dr. Shantae Lucas, Dr. Christopher Chay, Dr. Wieslawa Pekal, Dr. Mridu Chand, Dr. Mohan Thakuri, Dr. Martin Palmeri, Dr. Trevor Austin, Dr. Rachel Raab, Dr. Sean Warsch, Dr. Hiromi Terawaki, Dr. Andrew Beardsley and Dr. Brent Skiver.

“Messino Cancer Centers partnership with Sarah Cannon Research Institute is truly a value add for cancer patients in Asheville and the surrounding communities, most of whom live in rural areas,” said AON CEO Brad Prechtl, MBA. “Having access to community-based clinical trials enables patients to be matched with potentially life-saving research, while staying within the comfort and familiarity of their local oncologist’s office.”

AON is currently comprised of an expanding network of partner practices across 15 states. AON practices offer in-house laboratory, pathology and oral pharmacy services all under one roof so that patients can receive the care they need in one location. Research has shown that having easy and convenient access to expert physician care and a comprehensive range of treatments and support services close to home is vital to a patient’s well-being. By collaborating with Sarah Cannon Research Institute, which is a global leader in offering community-based clinical trials, AON is expanding opportunities for patients to participate in cutting-edge cancer research, while reducing the need to drive long distances or travel out of state for care.

Sarah Cannon Research Institute pioneered the first community-based oncology drug development program in the United States and has grown to become a global leader in early phase research, conducting more than 450 first-in-human studies to date.  Through its efforts to advance therapies for patients, Sarah Cannon Research Institute has been a clinical trial leader in the majority of approved cancer therapies over the last decade and enrolls thousands of patients on clinical trials annually throughout its network of strategic research sites.  

“By expanding our collaboration with AON, we will further advance our mission to bring the latest therapies through clinical trials into the western North Carolina community,” said Howard A. “Skip” Burris, III, MD, President of Clinical Operations and Chief Medical Officer at Sarah Cannon. “We look forward to working together with the experts at Messino Cancer Centers to provide even greater access to cutting-edge therapies that patients vitally need, close to home.”

About American Oncology Network, LLC: 
American Oncology Network, LLC (AON) is an alliance of physicians and seasoned healthcare leaders partnering to ensure the long-term success of community oncology. Launched in 2018, the rapidly expanding AON network currently represents 88 physicians and 57 nurse practitioners and physician assistants practicing across 15 states. The executive management team of AON encompasses more than three decades of oncology practice management experience, enabling physicians to focus on what matters most – providing the highest quality care for patients.

The organization provides unique and comprehensive protocols for managing administrative procedures and enhancing ancillary services for its affiliates. AON is able to aggregate volume and attain economies of scale, as it guides its member physicians and practices through the transition to value-based reimbursement models that improve the patient experience and help to reduce the per capita cost of cancer care.

AON also provides a unique model of physician led, community-based oncology management. With services such as a centralized specialty pharmacy, diagnostics, pathology, fully integrated electronic medical records, a care management team and a variety of financial assistance programs, an alliance with AON ensures that patients’ experiences will be at the very pinnacle of cancer care today.

About Sarah Cannon Research Institute
Sarah Cannon Research Institute is the research arm of HCA Healthcare’s global cancer institute, Sarah Cannon. Focused on advancing therapies for patients, it is one of the world’s leading clinical research organizations conducting community-based clinical trials throughout the United States and United Kingdom. Sarah Cannon’s network of strategic sites includes hundreds of physicians who engage in research. The organization has led more than 450 first-in-man clinical trials since its inception in 1993, and has been a clinical trial leader in the majority of approved cancer therapies over the last 10 years. Additionally, Sarah Cannon offers management, regulatory, and other research support services for drug development and industry sponsors as well as strategic investigator sites through its contract research organization (CRO), Sarah Cannon Development Innovations. For more information about Sarah Cannon and the latest news from across the network, visit

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