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Lewes, Delaware
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August 5, 1994     Cape Gazette
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August 5, 1994
 

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, August 5 - August 11, 1994 - 29 Cancer Watch Be, Medical.Center participating in two clinical trials By Kerry Kester Across the country, cancer patients are contributing to the development of new cures and treatments through clinical trials. Now, as a result of the National Cancer Institute's Community Clinical Ontology Program (CCOP), the sites of the clinical trials are scattered amongst med- ical facilitiesthroughout the nation rather than concentrated at university bases. Beebe Medical Center patients can now actively participate in cancer research as well as receive exposure to state- of-the-art cancer treatment meth- ods. A clinical trial is the last stage in the process of changing a treat- ment from an experimental status to a conventional treatment status. It follows initial research tech- niques and tests on animals. "Beebe Medical Center is affil- iated with CCOP," said Joy Bartell, oncology manager at Beebe Medical Center. "The Medical Center of Delaware is a designated CCOP through the National Cancer Institute, which means they can do clinical trials close to home. Beebe Medical Center is an affiliate of the Med- ical Center of Delaware, so we can do clinical trials here at Beebe. "One of the exciting aspects of clinical studies is the new preven- tion trials. Because cancer doesn't have a cure yet, the best thing we can do is prevent it from occur- ring. There are two large national studies from the National Cancer Institute looking to prevent breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men." Beebe Medical Center is participating in both tri- als, with 10 patients in each study, Currently, that accounts for approximately 16 percent of Delawarians involved in the breast cancer trial and approxi- mately 17 percent of those involved in the prostate study. The breast cancer prevention trial was started in October of 1992, Bartell said. "What this study does is take women at high risk for developing breast cancer and places them in the study. The study is look- ing at the drug Tamox- ifen as a chemo-pre- ventative agent. It has been proven BARTEL through sev- eral clinical studies, in women who were diagnosed with breast cancer, to reduce the rate of can- cer recurrence up to 50 percent." During the trial, half of the women involved in the study took the medication while the other half was given a placebo. The women who had the cancer and were given the drug, she explained, had 50 percent fewer incidents of the cancer recurring in the opposite breast or other parts of the body. The results from the 14,000 women in the study who took Tamoxifen showed that most tolerated the drug well, with minimal side effects, explained Bartell, and that means it is an acceptably safe drug. Women who enter the breast cancer prevention trial will be those who are at high risk of developing the cancer. Factors that put women in the high risk category are having a family member who has had breast can- cer, being 55 or over, starting menarche early, and having few or no pregnancies. "At the present time, over 10,000 women have enrolled in "Good service, COverag e, price- That's State Farm insurance." STATE FARM INSURANCE @ George Bunting 227-3891 Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. State Farm Insurance Comoanies Home Offices: Bloomington, Illinois the study," remarked Bartell. "The breast cancer prevention trial will enroll 16,000 women at high risk for developing breast cancer over the two year period that began in October of 1992. "Fifty percent of the women will be placed on Tamoxifen, and 50 percent will be given placebos. The study is a double blind scien- tific study so no one except the study center knows who is taking what." The participants are involved in the research for five years from the time they enroll. "The study requires close fol- low up, detailed data collection and a strong commitment on the participant's part," she said. "At the end of the five years, the data will be analyzed, and a determina- tion will be made if the Tamox- ifen participants had a lower inci- dence rate of breast cancer." Beebe is also engaging in a prostate cancer prevention clinical trial for men, which began in May of 1994. "Men at high risk for prostate cancer will be random- ized into two groups. One group will take the drug Proscar, and the other group will take the placebo," Bartell stated. Men who are at high risk of developing the cancer are those who are over 60 and who have family members who have been diagnosed with the cancer. Additional factors include a man's general health condition and PSA test results. (A PSA is a blood test that measures the level of a prostate specific protein.) At Beebe Medical Center, our medical staff is our most valuable asset. Here, over 1,000 clinical, administrative and support staff combine a high level of expertise with a caring touch. Over 100 highly qualified physicians comprise our medical staff representing over 30 specialty areas. More of our nurses have received their master's degree than most other medical centers. And many of our Allied Health professionals have achieved certification in specialty areas. At Beebe, we believe that a high level of education is fundamental to , Beebe delivering quality health care. Responding to your Medical Center needs just goes with the territory. Now more than ever