From Patrick J. Ward, MD, PhD, OHC medical oncologist and hematologist and co-director of OHC’s Research Department

June 11, 2019

A cancer diagnosis is often followed by fear and uncertainty. But at OHC (Oncology Hematology Care), specialists in cancer and blood disorders, we’re giving patients a new sense of hope and possible remission by offering the latest, most promising treatments, many of which are available exclusively through clinical trials. In recognition of National Cancer Research Month, OHC wants to help you understand exactly how a clinical trial could help you in your fight against cancer.

OHC’s cancer experts aggressively attack your cancer with every possible strategy. One significant strategy is to identify new, innovative treatments that are showing positive results, and then provide cancer patients with access to those treatments. OHC does this through its nationally recognized clinical trials program.

A clinical trial should always be one of the first steps in the development of a patient’s cancer treatment plan. Treatments that are being evaluated in clinical trials go through rigorous testing and must show significant promise and safety before they get to a phase where patients can try them, and that’s why they should be considered at the beginning of treatment.

This was the case for J.P. Hiereman, an eight-year, OHC lung cancer survivor who enrolled in a clinical trial at OHC six years ago.

“I chose to be in a clinical trial because [the drug being studied] looked to be something more promising than what I was taking. And no one is going to develop a drug that’s not going to work as good as something they already have,” said J.P.

For patient Kathleen Chapman, clinical trials gave her an opportunity to keep fighting without having to have surgery.

“When I first heard ‘cancer’ everything kind of stopped and I thought, ‘Well, this is it,’” explained Kathleen who was diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread to her brain. “I decided I didn’t want surgery. Then Dr. Ward told me about using the Gamma Knife procedure for the brain tumor and two new immunotherapy drugs available through clinical trials for the lung cancer. I decided to give it a chance since it wasn’t surgery,” said Kathleen.

Her follow-up lab work indicated that not only were the tumors not growing, but they appeared to be shrinking.

“I didn’t think I’d be here two years after my diagnosis. I am so happy to be alive! I’m enjoying life, and am closer with my family and friends. I’m glad I didn’t give up,” Kathleen added.

At OHC, we won’t give up either.

Our research team and our care teams work tirelessly to find better, more effective treatments, and to make sure those treatments are available to our patients. A treatment is only as good as a program that puts it in a patient’s reach.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer, contact OHC at 1-800-710-4674 to speak with a cancer expert about clinical trials or for a second opinion, or click here.

Pictured is Dr. Ward’s colleague, David Waterhouse, MD, MPH (left). Dr. Ward and Dr. Waterhouse serve as co-directors of research at OHC. Pictured (right) with Dr. Waterhouse is lung cancer survivor J.P. Hiereman.

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