Seventeen Texas Oncology Physicians Present Clinical Trials Research That Could Lead To New Cancer-fighting Treatments

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The oncology community gathers this week at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago to discuss the latest research breakthroughs in fighting cancer. Seventeen Texas Oncology physicians were chosen to present their findings on a wide range of cancers at ASCO.

Many of today's most important cancer-fighting treatments began with research unveiled at ASCO

The oncology community gathers this week at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago to discuss the latest research breakthroughs in fighting cancer. Seventeen Texas Oncology physicians were chosen to present their findings on a wide range of cancers at ASCO.

ASCO is the most significant cancer meeting of the year, attracting more than 30,000 practicing oncologists, researchers, and others who work with cancer globally to learn about the latest developments in cancer care. Having research accepted for presentation by its highly competitive peer-review process speaks to the quality of the research, according to Dr. R. Steven Paulson, president and chairman of the board of Texas Oncology, the nation's largest independent oncology practice.

"Many of today's most important cancer-fighting treatments began with research unveiled at ASCO," said Paulson. "This research is not just taking place at large medical centers and research universities, but also at community-based private practices like Texas Oncology. We are industry leaders in conducting clinical trials and other research that helps treat and fight cancer, bringing the best outcomes for our patients."

Texas Oncology's Joyce O'Shaughnessy made one of last year's major announcements. Along with fellow Texas Oncology and other researchers, her clinical trials found that PARP inhibitors were successful in attacking hard-to-treat breast cancer. Many of the 4,500 research abstracts presented at this year's ASCO meeting will lead to additional treatment options and advanced exploration of cancer-fighting therapies to help cancer patients in the future.

Behind Every Breakthrough is a Clinical Trial

Clinical trials are a critical component in the fight against cancer, as they advance medical research and identify breakthrough treatments. The National Institutes of Health lists more than 26,000 cancer-related clinical trials that are currently under way. With the help of patient volunteers, clinical trials examine how participants respond to different medical approaches for various types of cancers. Trials address scientific challenges and attempt to uncover better ways to treat, diagnose, and prevent cancer-related diseases. The results of clinical trials bring lifesaving new drugs, better cancer screenings, and cancer prevention options to the general population, enhancing treatment options and overall care. Such trials recently resulted in a new vaccine for prostate cancer, for example.

In 2009, 1,500 Texas Oncology patients voluntarily participated in 40 different clinical trials at Texas Oncology cancer centers and practices across the state, including for prostate, breast, lung, and skin cancers. Overall, Texas Oncology physicians have been involved in developing 39 cancer-fighting drugs approved by the FDA.

"Clinical trials are vitally important to advancing patient care," said Paulson. "The Texas Oncology physicians presenting at ASCO have made important strides in identifying new treatment options, and our patients who participated in those trials have made tremendous contributions to cancer research."

Anatomy of a Clinical Trial

There are four types of clinical trials that help physicians analyze and treat cancer more effectively: prevention trials (those that test whether a treatment may prevent cancer), screening trials (those that test how to detect cancer), diagnostic trials (those that identify cancers), and treatment trials (those that look for new cancer treatments).

Additionally, most clinical trials pass through a four-phase process to determine the new drug's effectiveness and safety. Each phase includes rigorous testing and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals to ensure that a high-quality treatment will be released to the marketplace. For more information about specific types and phases of clinical trials, click here.

Texas Oncology Presentations at ASCO

The Texas Oncology physicians presenting at ASCO include:

  • Drs. Joanne Blum (Dallas), Debra Patt (Austin), and Joyce O'Shaughnessy (Dallas) will present their separate research and clinical trials updates on breast cancer.
  • Drs. Joanne Blum, Frankie Holmes (Houston), and Cynthia Osborne (Dallas) will give a presentation on metastatic breast cancer.
  • Dr. Michael Teneriello (Austin) will offer two presentations on ovarian cancer.
  • Dr. Donald Richards (Tyler) will present his research on ovarian cancer, metastatic pancreatic cancer, and metastatic colorectal cancer.
  • Dr. Joseph Fay (Dallas) will offer an update on his ongoing clinical trial related to stage IV melanoma.
  • Drs. Beth Hellerstedt (Austin), Thomas Hutson (Dallas), Scott McKenney (Beaumont), and Guru Sonpavde (Houston) will present their research on urothelial carcinoma.
  • Dr. J. Russell Hoverman (Austin) will offer two presentations on pancreatic and lung cancers.
  • Dr. Thomas Hutson will offer four separate research studies related to prostate cancer and kidney cancer.
  • Drs. Sanjay Awasthi (Arlington), Thomas Hutson, and Guru Sonpavde offer a presentation on a clinical trial related to prostate cancer.
  • Drs. Punit Chadha (Austin), Darren Kocs (Round Rock and Cedar Park), David McCollum (Dallas), and Donald Richards present their clinical trial research on colon cancer.

Four Texas Oncology physicians, Drs. Joseph Bailes (Austin), John Cox (Dallas), Steven Paulson (Dallas), and John Pippen (Dallas), will serve as chairs and/or speakers at educational and special sessions during the conference. Additionally, Dr. Cox will be honored with an ASCO Statesman Award, which is awarded to ASCO members for more than 20 years of extraordinary volunteer service, dedication, and commitment to ASCO.

About Texas Oncology
Texas Oncology delivers high-quality cancer care with leading-edge technology and advanced treatment and therapy options available to help patients achieve "More breakthroughs. More victories." ® in their fights against cancer, right in their own communities. Texas Oncology, a pioneer in community-based cancer care, is an independent oncology practice with sites of service throughout Texas, southern New Mexico, and southeastern Oklahoma.

Texas Oncology patients have the opportunity to take part in some of the most promising clinical trials in the nation for a broad range of cancers. Texas Oncology, through its affiliation with the US Oncology Research network, has played a role in the development of 39 cancer-fighting drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Texas Oncology is United in Healing with US Oncology, which supports the nation's foremost cancer treatment and research network advancing the quality of cancer care in America. With more than 1,310 physicians at 496 locations in 38 states, the US Oncology network and Texas Oncology provide cancer patients with access to the latest developments in therapies, technology, and clinical research, as well as best-in-class practices to improve the patient experience. For more information, visit http://www.UnitedinHealing.com, or visit the company's website, http://www.USOncology.com.

For more information, visit http://www.TexasOncology.com or call 1-888-864-I CAN (4226).

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