CHAPEL HILL, NC - Coastal Carolina Radiation Oncology in Wilmington, NC has been recognized with the American Society for Clinical Oncology's 2010 Clinical Trial Participation Award, which was presented to Michael Papagikos, MD on Sunday, June 6 at ASCO’s annual meeting in Chicago.
The award recognizes the practice's efforts, along with New Hanover Regional Medical Center, UNC Lineberger and Wake Forest University, to enroll more patients from under-represented groups into cancer clinical trials.
Of the 1.3 million people who will be diagnosed with cancer this year, only three percent will participate in cancer clinical trials. Clinical trials not only benefit future patients by testing the safety and effectiveness of new treatments, but can also provide opportunities for patients to get access to state-of-the-art cancer therapies that may not be widely available elsewhere.
"This is a great example of how our state’s comprehensive cancer centers and community institutions can partner in ways that ultimately improve the quality of care for all North Carolinians," said Larry Marks, MD, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
"I want to congratulate all of the partners – and particularly those who have been working so hard in the Wilmington area – on the success of these efforts," said Shelton Earp, MD, Director of UNC Lineberger.
The partnership's efforts have been supported by a National Cancer Institute Cancer Disparities Research Partnership Grant, which creates collaborations between community doctors and hospitals and NCI-designated Cancer Centers to increase the number of underserved, low-income, ethnic and minority individuals participating in clinical trials.
Clinical trials are research studies designed to evaluate whether a new treatment or procedure is better than the current standard of care. Thanks in part to advances made with the help of clinical trials, the percentage of cancer patients surviving five years or more after diagnosis has significantly increased over the past three decades.