WMCC Research Department

West Michigan Cancer Center (WMCC) is one of only six community oncology practices in the country recognized by the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) for its work in improving cancer care through high-quality clinical trials programs. The 2012 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Clinical Trials Participation Award will be presented to WMCC at ASCO’s 48th Annual Meeting in Chicago, June 1-5, 2012.

“As physicians, our number one goal is to provide our patients with the best possible care available. In 2011, 650 of our patients participated in cancer clinical trials,” said Raymond Lord, MD, principal investigator at West Michigan Cancer Center.  “We are honored to have been chosen for this award.”

Of the 1.3 million people who will be diagnosed with cancer this year, only 3 to 5 percent will participate in cancer clinical trials. In 2011, WMCC enrolled 170 new patients in clinical trials, giving them the opportunity to receive cutting-edge cancer therapies. WMCC currently has 120 ongoing clinical trials in more than a dozen different cancer types, including breast, lung, prostate, colon, brain, skin and blood diseases.

“The Conquer Cancer Foundation and ASCO are pleased to honor West Michigan Cancer Center with the Clinical Trials Participation Award for providing patients with access to high-quality clinical research that contributes towards progress against cancer,” said Martin J. Murphy, Jr., PhD, DMedSc, chair of the Conquer Cancer Foundation Board of Directors.

Clinical trials are research studies designed to evaluate whether a new treatment or procedure is better than the current standard of care.  Thanks in large part to the knowledge gained through clinical trials, today two-thirds of cancer patients survive at least five years after diagnosis, compared with half only in the 1970s.

This year’s award winners were selected based on several factors, including patient accrual to clinical trials. Special consideration was given to practices that increased clinical trial participation among underrepresented populations, as well as practices that use innovative techniques to overcome barriers to the enrollment of cancer patients in clinical trials.

In addition to being a community leader in providing patients access to clinical trials, WMCC also offers patients cancer care and treatment from a compassionate, skilled, and dedicated professional staff. The Center also provides patients and their families’ access to nutritional, counseling, and psychosocial support services.

The Clinical Trials Participation Awards program has been supported by the Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups for ten consecutive years which enables the Conquer Cancer Foundation to provide award recipients with a travel grant and complimentary registration to attend this year’s ASCO Annual Meeting.