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Clinical Trials Day Honors Clinical Research Professionals

Did you know that cancer patients at Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) can participate in clinical research trials?

Patients at PCRMC’s Delbert Day Cancer Institute (DDCI) have access to national clinical trials through the health organization’s affiliation with Cancer Research for the Ozarks.

As an affiliate member of the National Cancer Institute’s Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP), the DDCI is able to access a wide variety of trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.

By having patients take part in these research trials, PCRMC has the ability to provide the highest standard of care and help shape the future of cancer treatment globally.

Clinical Trials Day is being celebrated May 19 this year, and the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) uses this day to raise awareness about clinical trials and honor clinical research professionals by recognizing their contributions to public health and medical progress.

At the DDCI, Christopher Spencer, MD, director of radiation oncology, as well as Stephen Toothaker, MD, and Tezo Karedan, MD, both medical oncologists and hematologists, are research investigators and work with patients in clinical trials. Linda Schumacher and Janette Richards are both oncology research nurses at the DDCI. Schumacher is certified through ACRP as a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator, and Richards is a candidate for certification in the spring of 2018.

“The DDCI offers Phase 3 national clinical trials,” says Dr. Spencer. In Phase 3 trials, a drug or treatment is given to large groups of people to confirm its effectiveness, monitor side effects, compare it to commonly used treatments and collect information that will allow the drug or treatment to be used safely.

These clinical trials benefit patients by providing them access to promising new treatment options that are often not available otherwise. In some cases, participants in the clinical trials may be the first to benefit from the new treatments or therapies being studied.

Most of the cancer treatments available today are the result of a clinical research trial. Participation in cancer research is voluntary.

Clinical Trials Day is held on or around May 20 each year to recognize the day that James Lind started what is often considered the first randomized clinical trial aboard a ship.

Lind hypothesized that scurvy could be cured through the introduction of acids to the body, and so on May 20, 1747, he recruited 12 men for a “fair test.” He noticed that citrus fruits helped those who suffered from scurvy. His design of a trial is believed to have inspired future clinical trial designs.

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