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Advancing Cancer Treatment One Patient at a Time
CHORI Clinical Scientist Receives National Honors

September 2012 – In mid September, the annual nationwide meeting of the 47 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-supported Community Clinical Oncology Programs (CCOP) was conducted in Bethesda, Maryland. CHORI is please to report that CHORI Clinical Scientist and Children's Hospital Oakland Director of Oncology James Feusner, MD, was honored for the exceptional number of patients that Dr. Feusner and his colleagues have been able to recruit for participation in CCOP studies.

"Dr. Feusner deserves our deepest respect and most heartfelt admiration for being nationally recognized in the gold category," says Barry Siegel, the president of the Bay Area Tumor Institute, which is one of the 47 national CCOP sites. "We are honored that our Bay Area Tumor Institute CCOP works with and supports his extraordinary efforts."

“Dr. Feusner deserves our deepest respect and most heartfelt admiration for being nationally recognized.”

Participating in CCOP studies provides the opportunity to implement national trials for cancer prevention, control and treatment in the local community. Not only does CCOP participation allow cancer interventions to reach cancer patients that much faster and more efficiently, but it also improves the quality of cancer care in local communities, as well as providing greater outreach to cancer patients from minority under-served populations. This often makes patient participation that much more challenging, however, as many of these local community hospitals are considered safety-net hospitals, hospitals whose majority of patients are low-income or uninsured.

As Mr. Siegel explains, safety-net hospitals are the most severely impacted by the current economic downturn in which budgets are strained by the increasing numbers of patients who can't afford healthcare or insurance.

"Often, patients are non-English speaking and may have compliance problems given the strict requirements of protocol participation," says Mr. Siegel.

"Nonetheless, Dr. Feusner, his oncology colleagues and Children's Hospital Oakland serve every patient who walks in the door with the most advanced and promising forms of cancer therapy."

In 2011, Dr. Feusner and his colleagues were able to enroll 34 patients in 23 separate studies addressing a variety of different cancer treatments and protocols. It is only through the dedicated efforts of clinical scientists like Dr. Feusner that the patients in these studies have the opportunity for increased chances of survival through being offered the most innovative and cutting-edge treatments available. Not only that, but the results from these studies provide critical data in the development of new standards in cancer treatment that can be implemented on a national level, allowing countless numbers of other cancer patients to benefit as well.

“This award is deeply appreciated,” says Dr. Feusner,” and I accept it as the representative of all my physician colleagues and staff who participate in this effort to provide the best possible diagnostic and therapeutic oncology services to all the children and adolescents in our community.”

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