This article originally appeared in August-September ’17 issue of Owensboro Living Magazine.
We want patients in this region with cancer to have every option available for successful treatment.
Owensboro Health joined the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center Research Network, which opens the door for patients at the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center to participate in many more clinical research studies. The future of cancer care is in clinical research, and almost every drug, treatment and therapy available today was once part of a clinical trial. This partnership means we can offer more options that can help our patients win their fight against cancer.
One of the most important facets of this partnership is that so much will take place right here in Owensboro. So often, patients tell us they would like to participate in clinical trials, but they don’t want to be away from their family, loved ones and faith communities that give them support. Because of this partnership, patients can access clinical trials right here in Owensboro at the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center.
Markey Cancer Center Research Network is very selective; Owensboro Health had to demonstrate that we deliver outstanding cancer care and that our staff could take on the highly-detailed, closely-monitored processes that come with clinical trials. Markey’s leaders see we can provide outstanding cancer care and want us to be a part of their efforts to build the future of cancer care. Markey has to be selective because clinical research trials are extremely demanding. Every detail has to be documented, every “t” crossed and every “i” dotted.
Only 69 cancer centers nationwide have been designated by the National Cancer Institute, the U.S. government’s leading agency in cancer research, to meet the quality criteria. By being named a National Cancer Institute, Markey has shown it is one of the best cancer centers in the United States, and now patients in this region can more easily benefit from that experience and expertise.
This partnership is truly a win-win-win situation (that’s three wins). The first win is for our patients and providers, who now have more options for potential treatments. The second win is for Markey, which can further its research across the population of this region thanks to this partnership. The third win is for people who don’t yet have cancer, or may not even be born yet. The research we do today can make the difference for them, hopefully saving lives.
I have been asked why collaboration and teamwork are important in cancer care. My answer is still the same: You can’t practice modern cancer care in isolation. You have to do it with a team. That’s what it takes to practice good medicine, and this new partnership with Markey Cancer Center Research Network is one of the best examples of healthcare teamwork and collaboration in the state.
Dr. Alan Mullins is a general surgeon with Owensboro Health Surgical Specialists. He also is a member of the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center’s Cancer Committee and Owensboro Health’s liaison to the Markey Cancer Center.