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US Oncology Helps Deliver Latest Cancer Therapies Through Local Community Access to Cutting Edge Research
Date:8/19/2010

THE WOODLANDS, Texas, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- US Oncology, Inc., the nation's leading integrated oncology company, announced today that in less than two decades it has played a role in the development of 42 novel cancer therapies approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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Tasigna® (nilotinib) capsules, a medicine developed by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, was the most recent therapy to benefit from clinical trials conducted in part by physicians and patients within the US Oncology Research network. The drug, which was recently approved by the FDA, is for the treatment of adult patients with newly diagnosed Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+CML) in chronic phase.

"US Oncology Research contributed more patients in the United States to this study than any other group," said Kathryn Kolibaba, MD, lead investigator in the US Oncology Research network for the Tasigna clinical trial and medical oncologist with Northwest Cancer Specialists-Vancouver Cancer Center. "One of the strengths of the US Oncology Research network is in being able to find patients with less common diseases. CML is such a disease."

US Oncology is affiliated with 500 sites of care throughout the nation and its network treats more than 850,000 patients a year.  Whether it's to treat a common cancer like breast or prostate or a disease more rare like CML, the ability of the US Oncology Research network to reach patients in their local communities can help speed enrollment of clinical trials and ultimately advance development of new treatment options.

"This is yet another win, not just for advancing cancer research and cutting-edge therapies, but for the patients these drugs benefit," said Steve Jones, MD, medical director of US Oncology Research and physician with Texas Oncology.  "The size of our network ensures that patients being treated by independent community-based physicians have access to latest clinical studies available."

Darwin Macklin of Colorado Springs, Colo. is one of those patients. As a husband and father of four, Macklin was scared and nervous when he was diagnosed with CML. But, after starting his treatment and a clinical trial at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, he soon had a positive outlook for his future.

"My doctor and nurses coached me every step of the way. I know they are in my corner," says Macklin. "The clinical trial they have me participating in is working for me. It lets me keep doing what I want to do, like spending time with my family. I am getting high quality treatment close to home, which makes all the difference for my recovery and my state of mind."

Providing novel therapies to patients in the community setting and participating in landmark clinical trials are core to the mission of US Oncology Research. Playing a role in the FDA approval of 42 cancer drugs and supportive care agents is a record rarely matched in the industry.

"The therapies of today are the clinical trials of yesterday," said Dr. Jones. "We need research to find better therapies for patients battling cancer today and to help us discover new treatments for those diseases where we still don't have adequate treatment. We are proud of the team effort within the US Oncology Research network that has allowed independent community-based physicians to participate in the development of new treatments for cancer."

"There are so many lives lost to cancer," said Dr. Kolibaba. "US Oncology Research and its physician participants understand that research leads to cancer cures, that new therapies extend survival, and that carefully conducted clinical trials are the only way that progress is achieved. There is no better way to help patients than to offer new treatments. Through participation in clinical trials, physicians can do both, treating cancer patients with the best possible care and moving the field forward."

US Oncology Research is physician-led and physician-driven with a successful history of clinical depth and expertise.  

  • More than 43,000 patients have participated in US Oncology Research trials.  
  • With the approval of Tasigna, US Oncology Research has played a role in the development of 42 cancer therapies approved by the FDA in less than two decades.
  • The US Oncology Research network includes more than 80 practices in 200 locations across the U.S.
  • The network supports 14 sites that offer Phase I trials, including first-in-human trials.
  • At any given time, the network has more than 200 active trials.
  • Leadership at US Oncology Research consists of experts in a wide variety of cancer specialties including Breast Cancer, Developmental Therapeutics, Gastrointestinal Cancer, Hematologic Cancer, Gynecologic Cancer, Genitourinary Cancer, Lung Cancer, Translational Oncology Program, and Radiation Therapy.
  • 57 manuscripts from investigator-initiated studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals.
  • US Oncology Research supports the nation's largest research network specializing in Phase I-IV oncology clinical trials.  Investigator- and sponsor-initiated trials bring innovative therapies to patients in local communities across the nation. To find a clinical trial, visit the US Oncology website.

About US Oncology

US Oncology, Inc. is the nation's leading integrated oncology company. By uniting the largest community-based cancer treatment and research network in America, US Oncology expands patient access to high-quality care and advances the science of cancer care. Headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas, US Oncology is affiliated with more than 1,300 community-based oncologists, and works with patients, hospitals, payers, and the medical industry across all phases of the cancer research and delivery system. By promoting the use of innovative technology, clinical research, evidence-based medicine and shared best practices, US Oncology improves patient outcomes and offers a better patient experience. For more information, visit www.usoncology.com.

About US Oncology Research

US Oncology conducts clinical research through US Oncology Research, its wholly-owned subsidiary and the nation's largest community-based cancer research network. US Oncology Research has experienced investigators and dedicated research nurses who specialize in Phase I through Phase IV oncology clinical trials. US Oncology Research serves more than 90 sites in 200 locations managing more than 200 active trials at any given time. The research network has enrolled more than 43,000 patients in more than 700 trials since its inception and has contributed to the development of 42 cancer therapies approved by the FDA. For more information call (866) 216-5053 or visit www.usoncology.com/oncologists.


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