PHOENIX (March 5, 2014) -- Arizona Oncology, a practice affiliated with The US Oncology Network and US Oncology Research, is enrolling patients in clinical trials at a faster rate than ever before, giving patients new, timely options when they need them most.
In Phoenix, the first two patients were enrolled into a Phase III, international ovarian cancer clinical trial in October. Both are Arizona Oncology patients and Phoenix area residents who may benefit from the study.
The trial will examine whether two drugs -- pegylated liposomal doxorubicin and trabectedin -- are more effective in treating advanced-relapsed epithelial ovarian, primary peritoneal or fallopian tube cancer when prescribed together. Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin is already a commonly used therapy for ovarian cancer.
"Arizona Oncology has access to some of the best trials in the world," said Lisa Holland, vice president, US Oncology Research. "We work at great speed to open trials quickly so that patients with immediate needs have options. Many can't wait six months or a year for a trial. We take pride in getting patients access faster."
With recurring cases of ovarian cancer, both Arizona Oncology patients needed access to the trial quickly. Both began treatment in late October.
Currently, trabectedin is approved for use in Europe, Russia, and other regions, however, it is still investigational in the United States and not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Both the FDA and the European Commission have granted orphan drug status to trabectedin for soft tissue sarcomas and ovarian cancer.
Arizona Oncology enrolls patients in trials throughout the state, including in Tucson, where Gynecological Oncologist Joseph Buscema, M.D., practices.
"US Oncology Research gives Arizona Oncology the ability to enroll patients quickly in a huge array of trials that are patient-specific. Patients get access to investigational, targeted therapies that are capable of addressing the specific features of their specific cancer. What we can do now is look for cancer mutations that exist in each cancer's DNA and provide a drug that targets that mutation," said Dr. Buscema.
The ovarian trial examining the pegylated liposomal doxorubicin-trabectedin combination will continue to enroll patients for at least a year. It is sponsored by Janssen Research & Development. The compound is being co-developed with PharmaMar.
Arizona Oncology has seven gynecologic oncologists practicing statewide. They specialize in the treatment of ovarian, uterine, vaginal, cervical, fallopian tube and vulvar cancers. Doctors test patients for the genes that may lead to cancer, operate using the most cutting-edge robotic surgical equipment, and are always on the forefront of new treatments and trials.
Ovarian cancer will kill an estimated 14,000 women in the U.S. this year, according to the American Cancer Society. Cervical cancer will kill an estimated 4,000.
Ovarian cancer is more common in women who are over 60 years old. It ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, accounting for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. Cervical cancer tends to appear in women younger than 50 years of age. It rarely occurs in women who have received regular tests to screen for cervical cancer before age 65.
To see a full list of Arizona Oncology's clinical trials, visit https://arizonaoncology.com/clinical-trials-research/.
To see a list of trials offered by US Oncology Research affiliated sites, visit http://www.usoncology.com/network/FindaClinicalTrial.
About Arizona Oncology
Arizona Oncology is one of the largest medical groups in Arizona, with more than 50 practicing physicians devoted exclusively to the most comprehensive, compassionate and quality cancer care to patients in several communities throughout the state, including: Chandler, Cottonwood, Deer Valley, Flagstaff, Glendale, Green Valley, Nogales, Oro Valley, Phoenix, Prescott Valley, Safford, Scottsdale, Sedona, and Tucson. Arizona Oncology believes it is beneficial to provide cancer therapies in a community setting, close to patients' homes and support systems. The physicians are supported by a talented clinical team sensitive to the needs of cancer patients and their caregivers. For more information, visit ArizonaOncology.com.
Arizona Oncology is united in healing with The US Oncology Network, one of the nation's largest networks of integrated community-based oncology practices dedicated to advancing high-quality, evidence-based cancer care. As an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, Arizona Oncology is united with nearly 1,000 physicians nationwide. Arizona Oncology participates in clinical trials through US Oncology Research, which has played a role in 48 FDA-approved cancer therapies, nearly 1/3 of all cancer therapies approved by the FDA to date. For more information, visit www.usoncology.com.