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Breast cancer clinical trial draws interest from across Colorado

August 24, 2010
St. Mary’s has long partnered with cancer research facilities, giving local patients access to national clinical trials. “Clinical trials give eligible patients an opportunity to receive treatments before they become the standard of care,” says Mary Vaughn, RN, BSN, CCRP, clinical research coordinator, “and participants help advance cancer treatment.” A new relationship between St. Mary’s and UCLA’s Translational Oncology Research International (TORI) Network and Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) gives Colorado patients access to a study just opened in July. As one of 25 TORI-affiliated sites and the only one in Colorado, St. Mary’s is the only place Colorado patients can receive a promising drug to treat a very rare and aggressive form of breast cancer, Vaughn explains. Most clinical trials are studies to test a treatment’s effectiveness. This is an “expanded access” trial of a drug already tested but not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The drug is on the FDA’s approval fast track, and the trial’s intention is to get the drug into the hands of the people who can benefit from it before it receives final approval and is available commercially. St. Mary’s enrolls patient #1 in breast cancer study In research parlance, St. Mary’s has registered “patient 0001” in a national cancer drug study. “Denver physicians are calling, wanting to send their patients here to participate,” says Mary Vaughn, RN, BSN, CCRP, clinical research coordinator. “As a research site, we’re very happy to be able to make this promising therapy available.”