Stephenson Cancer Center Leads the Nation in National Cancer Institute-Sponsored Clinical Trials for New Cancer Treatments

The Stephenson Cancer Center now ranks number one in the nation for the number of patients participating in clinical trials for new cancer therapies sponsored by the National Clinical Trials Network. Participating in clinical trials improves patient outcomes by providing access to new and promising drugs to battle cancer.

“At the Stephenson Cancer Center, we are committed to providing our patients with the highest standard of care,” said Dr. Robert Mannel, Director of the Stephenson Cancer Center. “This national ranking underscores our commitment to clinical research and to providing Oklahomans with access to the latest and most advanced therapies.”

The National Clinical Trials Network, a program of the National Cancer Institute, is the largest clinical trials consortium in the nation. The goal of the Network is to conduct large-scale oncology treatment and advanced imaging clinical trials at numerous cancer centers nationally. Some of these trials are evaluating a next generation of drugs that target tumors with specific genetic mutations, an emerging approach to treatment known as Precision Medicine.

Since 2014, the Stephenson Cancer Center has been one of just 30 Lead Academic Participating Sites in the National Clinical Trials Network. This highly competitive designation is awarded to cancer centers that demonstrate scientific leadership in the Network and a high accrual of patients to National Cancer Institute-sponsored treatment trials.

The Stephenson Cancer Center has consistently ranked among the top three centers in the nation for patient accrual. In 2017, 268 Oklahomans participated in Network clinical trials open at the Stephenson, the most of any cancer center nationally.

Since 2014, 916 patients, from 72 out of the 77 Oklahoma counties, have participated in these trials. This also includes patients who participated in the cancer center’s early-phase clinical trials made possible by the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust’s (TSET) Phase I Clinical Trials Program.

The Stephenson Cancer Center’s 2017 enrollment includes 37 patients treated at Oklahoma Cancer Specialists and Research Institute, an affiliated oncology practice in Tulsa.

“Through our affiliation with the Stephenson Cancer Center, we are able to bring NCI-sponsored clinical trials to patients here in Tulsa and eastern Oklahoma. This provides access to promising drugs and therapies that patients would previously have to leave the state to receive,” said Dr. Daron Street, Director of Oklahoma Cancer Specialists and Research Institute.

The Stephenson Cancer Center has also been a scientific leader within the National Clinical Trials Network. Since 2014, its faculty members have published over 60 scientific articles that disseminate the results of Network trials to the oncology medical community. They have held 40 positions on scientific committees within the Network. Over the past four years, Stephenson faculty have designed three trials that have been conducted nationally.

“Our goal is not just to provide Oklahoma cancer patients with access to cutting-edge therapies,” said Dr. Kathleen Moore, Associate Director for Clinical Research at the Stephenson Cancer Center. “We want to take an active role nationally in the development of new clinical trials which are based on the latest scientific discoveries and that improve outcomes for all patients with cancer.”

The Stephenson Cancer Center currently has over 90 Network clinical trials are available for every cancer disease type, including breast, prostate, colorectal, lung, gynecologic, head and neck, and hematologic. In addition, the Stephenson offers access to numerous pharmaceutical-sponsored clinical trials.

For more information about clinical trial availability, please visit the Stephenson Cancer Center website.