From OHC, Specialists in the Treatment of Adult Cancers and Blood Disorders

May 18, 2020

The cancer experts at OHC understand that patients diagnosed with cancer may not always have a complete response to the most currently-approved treatments available. At OHC, a dedicated team of researchers lead a nationally-recognized clinical trials program that provides cancer patients with access to the newest, most promising treatments, offering them hope when their cancer doesn’t respond to current treatments.

Clinical trials save lives and yet only about three percent of adult cancer patients participate in clinical trials. Often, cancer patients are not offered the option of a clinical trial. It may be that the doctor isn’t aware of available trials, or the cancer group doesn’t offer clinical trials, or unfortunately the conversation just never occurred. At OHC, clinical trials are always part of the personalized treatment plan discussion with patients.

OHC is nationally known for its clinical trials program and has offered hope to patients across the world for its work with new treatments. Almost a decade ago, OHC was noted for having enrolled a significant number of patients on several early clinical trials for what was then the introduction of immunotherapy drugs. The results of the trials heralded the worldwide approval of immunotherapy drugs like Opdivo, Keytruda and Yervoy, which help the body’s own immune system attack cancer and have transformed cancer treatment.

In 2018, OHC became one of the first independent adult cancer groups to offer the revolutionary treatment, chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy (CAR-T). CAR-T is amongst the newest, most exciting cancer treatments since the introduction of chemotherapy in the 1940s. Today, OHC is taking it a step further by offering clinical trials that are evaluating an expanded use of CAR-T, with the end-goal of more patients being able to benefit from this life-saving treatment.

In the near future, OHC is being considered for participation in studies for BiTE. Short for “bispecific T cell engager,” BiTEs are antibodies with two arms. One arm of the drug attaches to a specific protein on the tumor cell. The other arm of the BiTE activates immune cells in the patient to kill the cancer cells. BiTE represents an innovative immunotherapy approach that could ultimately be more broadly beneficial than CAR-T and could be available here at OHC.

“I wish people understood that if you get into a clinical trial, you are considered to be one of the lucky ones,” said David M. Waterhouse, MD, MPH, medical oncologist, hematologist and co-director of research at OHC. “You get the newest, most promising treatment available for your cancer here at OHC.”

Just ask Kathy Swensen, a kidney cancer patient of OHC’s Patrick J. Ward, MD, PhD, medical oncologist, hematologist and co-director of research at OHC.

“Dr. Ward recommended I enroll in a kidney cancer clinical trial that was available OHC. He said the drugs being studied had a lot of potential. But before I agreed to the trial, I went to the Cleveland Clinic for a second opinion. They didn’t have that specific clinical trial and that Cleveland Clinic doctor told me, ‘If you can get in that OHC trial, do it!’ So, I came home, went back to OHC and enrolled.”

“Patients should always ask their cancer doctors about clinical trials. If the drug we’re evaluating shows remarkable results, the only patients who will benefit from it right now will be those enrolled in the trial,” Dr. Waterhouse added.

“That clinical trial gave me hope,” Kathy explained. “When I received my diagnosis, I thought my life was over, but OHC made me feel like there was still a chance. OHC was like a light that gave me hope.”

To learn more about OHC’s clinical trials program, or for a second opinion, click here or call 1-888-649-4800.

OHC is an American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Trial Award Winner for its dedication to conquering cancer worldwide by funding breakthrough cancer research and sharing cutting-edge knowledge. OHC is a partner with US Oncology Research and connects OHC and our patients to an experienced network of more than 900 dedicated researchers and access to more than 400 Phase 1 – 4 clinical trials. Learn more at ohcare.com.

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