OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It’s being considered a major step forward for cancer research in Oklahoma.
The Stephenson Cancer Center currently ranks number one in enrolling patients for clinical trials, and this is the fourth year in a row they’ve received the prestigious honor.
Over the past year, they’ve enrolled 330 patients in clinical trials.
“Access to clinical trials can literally mean a new chance at life,” said Dr. Jason Sanders, Senior VP of OU Health Sciences Center.
Now, they’re expanding research even further, becoming a part of two additional networks within the National Cancer Institute.
The first is the Experimental Therapeutics Trials Network, working at exploring new drugs for cancer patients.
The second is the Cancer Prevention Clinical Trials Network, which is aimed at preventing cancer before it even forms.
Both will increase the amount of trials, and variety of trials available in Oklahoma.
“We’re a very incredible state. We’re a very unique state. A rural state, we have a very unique ethnic diversity, and so if we’re developing prevention drugs and new screening technology, they have to work for all Americans not just those that live in big cities,” said Dr. Kathleen Moore, Asst. Dir. of Clinical Research at the Stephenson Cancer Center.
To illustrate the importance of cancer research, KFOR spoke with Deborah Winters, who has battled the deadly disease twice.
“After speaking with a doctor, she told me to get ready, there probably wasn’t anything that could be done and I told her I’m not giving up the fight,” said Winters.
Winters was part of a clinical trial herself.
“They came to me and said they have a new drug on clinical trials, didn’t even have a name just a number!” she said.
Winters says that test drug and her determination are two of the reasons she’s now in remission.
“It’s a fight, you fight for your life,” said Winters.
Now a part of these two networks, doctors at the Stephenson Cancer Center hope their work will save even more lives.
“We need to do better and the only way to do that is through clinical trials,” said Dr. Robert Mannel, Dir. of the Stephenson Cancer Center.
For more info. you can visit Stephenson Cancer Center’s website.