Press Releases: Southern California
May 29, 2008
Kaiser Permanente Honored for Improving Cancer Care Through Clinical Research
ASCO Clinical Trials Award to be presented at 44th Annual Conference in Chicago
PASADENA, Calif. – The Southern California Kaiser Permanente Oncology Research Program is being recognized as one of only 10 community oncology practices in the country to be honored for clinical trials research that has improved the care of people with cancer. The Clinical Trial Participation Award will be presented to Kaiser Permanente by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and The ASCO Cancer Foundation at the annual ASCO conference in Chicago on June 1.
"Kaiser Permanente's commitment to research underscores our mission to provide quality health care to our members, and to improve the health of the community we serve," said Donald Fong, MD, MPH, director for clinical trials research for Kaiser Permanente Southern California. "Southern California Permanente Clinical Trial investigators are practicing physicians who bridge the gap between research and clinical practice. By applying state-of-the-art research in their own practices, their effects on improving patient care and advancing the state of medicine are felt around the world."
"Virtually every cancer treatment available today is the direct result of clinical research. ASCO is pleased to honor the Southern California Kaiser Permanente Oncology Research Program for its dedication to developing new ways to slow, halt, cure and prevent cancer," said ASCO President Nancy Davidson, MD.
Clinical trials are research studies designed to evaluate whether a new treatment or procedure is safe and effective compared to the current standard of care. Thanks in large part to the knowledge gained through clinical trials, today two-thirds of cancer patients survive at least five years after diagnosis, compared with half in the 1970s.
"Since I started practicing oncology in the 1980s, I've seen steady progress leading to improved survival and quality of life for our cancer patients. This would not have been possible without the innovations established through well conducted clinical trials," said Jonathan Polikoff, MD, Director of the Cancer Clinical Trials Access Program in Southern California.
"In the past year, 250 of our patients have participated in a variety of trials, including studies of the use of raloxifene in high risk women to prevent the development of breast cancer; the use of trastuzumab (Herceptin) to prevent the relapse of breast cancer; and the use of bevacizumab (Avastin) to prolong the life of colon cancer patients. Polikoff added, "Patients who participate in trials are the real heroes; they are advancing our state of knowledge for future generations of cancer patients."
This year's award winners were selected based on many factors, including patient accrual to clinical trials over a three-year period. Southern California Permanente Clinical Trials recruit study subjects from within the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan's 3.3 million Kaiser Permanente members in Southern California. "The application of our clinical expertise within a research-oriented organization gives Kaiser Permanente health plan members access to innovative new technologies and medicines, but there's more," notes Fong. "We publish hundreds of articles in peer-reviewed journals each year, disseminating our research results world-wide, and contributing to a healthier community beyond our state or national borders. This is part of our organizational DNA, our social obligation, if you will. It's who we are and what we do."
The American Society of Clinical Oncology is the world's leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With more than 25,000 members, ASCO is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs and peer-reviewed journals. For ASCO information and resources, visit www.asco.org/presscenter. Patient-oriented cancer information is available at www.cancer.net.
The ASCO Cancer Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The ASCO Cancer Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of people with cancer through programs that support cutting-edge research and education in oncology. The ASCO Cancer Foundation is the torch bearer for the next generation of oncology researchers and the purveyor of knowledge to cancer patients. With the support of the cancer community and the public at large, The ASCO Cancer Foundation is making a world of difference in cancer care.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is America's leading integrated health plan. Founded in 1945, it is a nonprofit, group practice prepayment program with Southern California headquarters in Pasadena, California. Kaiser Permanente serves the health care needs of 3.3 million members in Southern California. Today it encompasses the nonprofit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and their subsidiaries, and the for-profit Southern California Permanente Medical Group. Kaiser Permanente's Southern California Region includes more than 49,900 technical, administrative and clerical employees and caregivers, and more than 6,000 physicians representing all specialties. More information about Kaiser Permanente can be found at kaiserpermanente.org.