One of four research sites for Markey
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 21, 2015) — Hardin Memorial Health has joined the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center Research Network, officials announced Friday. As a member of the network, HMH will be able to conduct Markey-led and some major NCI-led clinical trials in Elizabethtown.
“Clinical trials represent the latest, best treatment options for most patients, and being able to participate in major national and regional clinical trials right here in Elizabethtown means that patients are able to stay closer to their own support systems at home and under the direct care of their doctors here,” said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center.
Clinical trials are key to developing new methods to prevent, detect and treat cancer, and most treatments used today are the results of previous clinical studies. These may include studies in which patients who need cancer treatment receive their therapy under the observation of specially trained cancer doctors and staff. Patients who volunteer for cancer treatment studies will either receive standard therapy or a new treatment that represents the researchers’ best new ideas for how to improve cancer care.
The portfolio of available clinical research studies is targeted, with clinical trials in the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancers with the highest incidence and mortality in Kentucky. These include lung, colorectal and cervical cancers.
“Unfortunately, cancer is more prevalent in Kentucky than in any other state, and this disease has touched too many lives in our region,” said HMH President and CEO Dennis Johnson. “We are committed to doing all we can to battle this disease, and we’re honored to join the UK Markey Cancer Center Research Network and help bring the most advanced care possible to the communities we serve.”
HMH now is one of four research sites of the network. The HMH cancer care team was invited to join the network based on previous performance in research, including a study to identify the best approaches to help cancer patients quit smoking, which will help improve their response to cancer treatments, Johnson said.
Inclusion in the research network is an extension of an existing partnership of HMH and the UK Markey Cancer Center. In 2014, HMH joined the center’s affiliate network, which focuses on sharing new evidence-based findings and access to refer patients to clinical trials.
Since 2013, the Hardin Memorial Cancer Care team has also participated in the Kentucky Clinical Trials Network (KCTN), housed at the UK Markey Cancer Center, which focuses on lung cancer research. The KCTN is a primary initiative of the Kentucky Lung Cancer Research Program, a joint program of the UK Markey Cancer Center and the University of Louisville Brown Cancer Center.
Additionally, the HMH Cancer Care Center has offered clinical trials in Elizabethtown for about two years through a partnership with the Baptist Health Cancer Research Network (BHCRN). Clinical trials through BHCRN may focus on breast cancer, brain cancer, lung, colon, cervical, melanoma and others.