ROCK SPRINGS — Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center recently expanded services to offer cancer clinical trials to its patients.
Now, the Center is celebrating a major milestone as a Sweetwater County patient has become its first participant enrolled into an oncology clinical trial.
“By enrolling our first clinical trial patient, we have taken an important first step in the right direction,”
said Medical Oncologist/Hematologist Dr. Banu Symington, Cancer Center Medical Director. “We know
clinical trial participation leads not only to innovation in cancer therapies but improves survival
outcomes for patients treated on trials.
Symington added that rural patients are sadly underrepresented in clinical trials and that the Cancer Center is “committed to correcting this.”
Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County set a goal several years ago to offer clinical trials to its cancer
patients. Clinical trials test new ways to improve treatment and quality of life for cancer patients.
The trials require hospitals that offer them to have sophisticated capabilities and extensive expertise in
treatment. Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center leveraged its affiliation with Huntsman Cancer Institute
– the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the region – to bring
this new resource to its patients.
The cancer clinical trial now open at Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center is called “Optimizing Endocrine
Therapy Through Motivational Interviewing and Text Interventions.” The goal of the study is to improve
support to breast cancer patients in managing regular, long-term medication as part of their care.
The study seeks to reduce poor medication adherence. Poor medication adherence can be a serious barrier to effective treatment and outcomes for some breast cancer patients.
The Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center team hopes to open more trials in the future. The team wants
to expand clinical trial opportunities to allow more cancer patients of all diagnoses and stages to join.
“Our staff has worked very hard to reach this big milestone,” said Cancer Center Clinical Trial Facilitator Lacey Reddick, cancer center clinical trials facilitator. “Without the team we have in place, this would not have been possible. “We look forward to the clinical trial opportunities we will be able to offer cancer patients in our community and the prospect of what this can contribute to cancer research for better treatment and survivorship of cancer patients in the future.
Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center opens its oncology clinical trials with the support of the National
Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the Department of Health and Human Services, through Huntsman
Cancer Institute’s participation in NIH’s National Clinical Trials Network.