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April 13 , 2006

Judie Havers, Communications Consultant
Corporate Communications & Public Relations, LHSC
519-685-8500, ext. 58738

Clinical Research and Cancer:
The Search for More Effective Treatments

(LONDON, Ontario) – Cancer is the leading cause of pre-mature death in Canada. The Clinical Research Unit (CRU) at the London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP), London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is dedicated to discovering new treatment options for patients that will extend and improve the quality of their lives.

Clinical trials help the scientific community learn more about cancer and answer many questions about this disease. They contribute immensely to a better understanding of cancer and its treatments. Most importantly, the knowledge gained through conducting clinical trials leads to developments in patient care, therapies and better ways to combat the disease. These advancements will help those living with cancer, both now and in the future.

“Clinical trials give patients access to the newest, most advanced types of treatment before they are widely available. And without clinical research, we wouldn’t be able to offer patients the options that are available to them today”, says Dr. Brian Dingle, Acting Vice-President, Regional Cancer Services, LRCP, LHSC.

The advancements in cancer treatment to date were made possible through the participation of cancer patients in clinical trials. As a result of the progress made, many patients being treated now are living longer, with better quality of life. The goal of the CRU at LRCP is to have a clinical trial available for every patient.

Dr. Robert Ash, LRCP Radiation Oncologist says, ““Participating in a clinical trial can allow the patient to take a more active role in their care, and give them the satisfaction of knowing they are making a valuable contribution to cancer research.”

The LRCP has a strong commitment to participating in clinical research that will result in optimal treatment for cancer patients in London and across Southwestern Ontario.

London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is one of Canada’s largest acute-care teaching hospitals and is dedicated to excellence in patient care, teaching and research. LHSC has pioneered many national and international medical breakthroughs. Located in London, Ontario, LHSC encompasses three sites, South Street Hospital, University Hospital and Victoria Hospital; two family medical centres; and the London Regional Cancer Program. LHSC is the home of the Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario and CSTAR (Canadian Surgical Technologies & Advanced Robotics). The research arm of LHSC is Lawson Health Research Institute, which is partnered with London’s other teaching hospital, St. Joseph’s Health Care, London. LHSC is affiliated with The University of Western Ontario. Physicians and staff at LHSC number close to 8,000 and together they provide care for more than 600,000 patients each year.