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Florida Hospital Cancer Institute honored for research

Orlando Business Journal - 4:37 PM EDT Tuesday

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Florida Hospital Cancer Institute is one of only 12 community oncology practices in the country to receive honors from the American Society of Clinical Oncology for efforts to improve cancer research through participation in clinical trials.

The institute is one of three cancer centers in the eastern United States and the only cancer center in Florida to receive this award in 2006. Only 31 community cancer centers have ever received this recognition.

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Last year, Florida Hospital Cancer Institute enrolled more than 300 patients in clinical trials, enabling these patients to receive cutting-edge cancer therapies. The institute currently has more than 120 ongoing clinical trials for different cancers, including breast, lung, colon and pancreatic cancers.

Clinical trials are research studies for patients that are designed to evaluate whether a new therapy is safe, effective and better than the current standard of care.

There are more than 10 million U.S. cancer survivors, and many of them owe their survival to those who took part in clinical trials before them, says Dr. Joseph S. Bailes, interim executive vice president and CEO of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

"Few people know about clinical trials and their potential benefits," he says. "Florida Hospital Cancer Institute is to be commended for increasing awareness and participation in clinical trials in their community."

The American Society of Clinical Oncology's 2006 Clinical Trial Participation Award will be presented to Florida Hospital Cancer Institute on June 3 at the society's 42nd annual meeting in Atlanta.

The award winners were selected based on many factors including patient accrual to clinical trials over a three-year period. Special consideration was given to practices that increased clinical trial participation among underrepresented populations, as well as practices that used innovative techniques to overcome barriers to the enrollment of cancer patients in clinical trials.

The awards program is supported by a grant from the Coalition of National Cancer Cooperative Groups that enables the American Society of Clinical Oncology to provide award recipients with a travel grant to attend the annual meeting.

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