Clinical drug trials at Orange hospital a tonic for cancer patients

JUST WHAT DOCTOR ORDERED: Cancer patients are taking part in clinical drug trials at Orange hospital.
JUST WHAT DOCTOR ORDERED: Cancer patients are taking part in clinical drug trials at Orange hospital.

CANCER patients are now taking part in clinical drug trials at Orange Hospital as an alternative to having to travel to a major Sydney hospital.

Co-ordinator Alison Coote said clinical trials being carried out at the hospital are aimed at determining whether a treatment is working, how it works, how it compares to current treatment and how best to use a particular cancer drug.

Ms Coote said clinical trials are now available to patients at Orange in radiation oncology, medical oncology and haematology, providing them the opportunity to participate in trials much closer to home.

“All the medical research in the world does not mean a thing unless we are able to improve outcomes for our patients,” Ms Coote said.

She said the trials will be based on national and international studies, examining the latest treatments for cancer patients.

“Clinical trials examine new cancer treatments through patient-based research.

“They provide the critical data to determine whether potential new treatments are safe and effective,” she said.

Ms Coote said another bonus of introducing clinical trials at the hospital for patients from across the central west is that the trials will provide important information for doctors to learn more about oncology and how to improve the quality of life for cancer patients.”

She said all research points to patients in clinical trials having better survival rates, through their participation.

However participation in the trials is voluntary.

All clinical trials at the hospital are required to include an informed consent process for patients who are considering taking part in a trial.

“This ensures the patients are fully aware of the nature of the trial, the commitment required and any potential risks involved,” she said.

Orange’s cancer services based in Orange hospital are the most comprehensive for rural and regional areas west of Sydney and include chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments for cancer patients.

On Thursday the hospital is hosting a thank-you to two residents who have already raised funds to go towards supporting the clinical trials.