By John Devlin, MD, MLH Associate Principal Investigator, CCOP
Cancer can be a particularly devastating event for patients and their families. However, it is comforting to know that the pace of meaningful scientific discovery has rapidly accelerated in recent years, in large part because of the results of coordinated cancer clinical trials. Such trials are essentially research studies that attempt to answer an important scientific question, such as whether an experimental treatment is better than existing therapy, and are critical to the success of any modern cancer program. In fact, the future of all cancer care will be driven by the results of presently ongoing clinical trials, just as the results of the past have led to our present therapies.
The best way for Main Line Health patients and their referring physicians to take advantage of such cutting-edge scientific progress is by participating in our Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP). Main Line Health is fortunate to be one of only about 50 organizations in the country to participate in a CCOP, which allows our patients to locally enroll in ongoing, nationally-conducted, state-of-the-art clinical trials, while sparing them the need to travel to distant, impersonal and often overcrowded academic centers. Contrary to popular thought, the vast majority of cancer patients in our country are diagnosed, treated, and enrolled in clinical trials not in academic centers, but in community settings like the Main Line.
The CCOP allows patients to access promising experimental therapies, innovative surgical or radiation techniques, and potentially exciting preventive options that otherwise might not be available, and all in the convenience of their hometown. In turn, the presence of the CCOP as part of Main Line Health’s cancer repertoire clearly advertises the high quality of the oncology program within our system, and has allowed us to successfully compete with top academic centers across the country for decades. There is a reason why Main Line Health has been able to maintain a vigorous clinical trial program for many years – because oncology staff and supporters realize that nearly everything needed for prevention, diagnosis, expert treatment and superior support of cancer patients has always been right here.
To speak with someone about participating in a clinical trial, call Administrator Diana Blade, BA, MPH, at 484-476-2649. For more information about MLH Clinical Trials, visit: http://www.mainlinehealth.org/clinical-trials