THE WOODLANDS, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--US Oncology Research, one of the largest community-based oncology research site management organizations in the U.S., is celebrating the significant milestone of contributing to the FDA approval of over 100 cancer therapies. This achievement is a result of the hard work and dedication to research from more than 165 research locations conducting over 1,600 clinical trials for cancer therapy. More than 80,000 participants have enrolled in clinical trials since 1999.
“US Oncology Research’s core mission is to bring potentially life-saving and life-improving treatments to the community where patients seek care,” said Robert L. Coleman, MD, FACOG, FACS, chief scientific officer, US Oncology Research. “These new interventions come from expert stewardship and execution of clinical research protocols positioned to better understand cancer biology and challenge the status quo. We are, therefore, incredibly proud of this milestone, which reflects the dedication and collective spirit of investigators across The US Oncology Network, committed to defining the next treatment standard. Research is a team sport dedicated to the individual patient.”
With each approved therapy, real patient stories reflect the hope and potential that new science brings. One such patient is Henry “Ray” Picagli, who consulted with his oncologist, James H. Essell, MD, at Cincinnati-based OHC (Oncology Hematology Care), after his lymphoma returned after chemotherapy. “Dr. Essell told us about the CAR-T clinical trial OHC was offering for patients in my exact situation and that he thought I would be a good candidate for the investigational treatment,” said Picagli. “I was immediately all-in for two reasons. Obviously, I want to live, but I also want others to benefit from what I’m doing, even if it helps only one person.”
Today, Ray’s scans are clear, and he is in remission. “I spoke with friends in the medical field,” added Picagli. “Everyone said the same thing: ‘You have no idea how lucky you are to be able to get this investigational treatment and that it’s available at OHC. And they were right.’”i
OHC is one of 68 community-based practices in The US Oncology Network, including about 482 sites of care and more than 1,350 physicians, many of which offer their patients a chance to participate in advanced clinical trials. “Usually available only in major academic medical centers or hospital systems, these novel cancer trials are accessible to patients close to home, right in their own communities,” said Michael Seiden, MD, PhD, president of The US Oncology Network. “With about 400 active trials at any given time, US Oncology Research is making a tangible difference in the lives of patients.”
Having access to a state-of-the-art clinical trial has made all the difference for Laura Reith, who was diagnosed with stage IV triple negative breast cancer just months after delivering a baby. “I wanted to stay closer to home so I could continue with my life,” said Reith, who enrolled in a trial under the guidance of her physicians at Illinois Cancer Specialists (ICS), a practice in The US Oncology Network. “I work full-time. I have small kids. It would be difficult to spend a full day in a hospital hours away.” Now in her 39th round of treatment in the trial, which she started in 2018, she shows no signs of disease.ii
“It’s all about having the right advocate in your corner. I’m so thankful to have a team of physicians that cares about more than just the dollars – they care about not only my journey but about the future,” said Reith. “Being on a clinical trial has provided me hope above all. Hope for more time with my kids. Hope for a future without cancer.”
About US Oncology Research
US Oncology Research draws from a network of experienced investigators and dedicated clinical staff who specialize in oncology clinical trials. US Oncology Research serves approximately 60 research sites and more than 165 locations, managing about 400 active trials at any given time. For the past 20 years, physicians in the research network have enrolled more than 80,000 patients in over 1,600 trials and have played a role in more than 100 FDA-approved cancer therapies. US Oncology Research is supported by McKesson Corporation.
i This patient’s experience may be atypical and individual results may vary. The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, which tracks 5-year relative survival rates in the United States, lists survival rates of 73% for localized, 72% for regional, 55% for distant and 63% for all SEER stages of non-Hodgkin lymphoma combined. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/non-hodgkin-lymphoma/detection-diagnosis-staging/factors-prognosis.html
ii This patient’s experience may not be typical and individual results may vary. The SEER database lists survival rates of 99% for localized, 86% for regional, 27% for distant and 90% for all SEER stages of breast cancer combined. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/understanding-a-breast-cancer-diagnosis/breast-cancer-survival-rates.html