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Northwest cancer patients to access clinical trial closer to home

A new pilot project is expected to bring access to cancer clinical trial care closer to home for patients in the northwest.

The project is for cancer patients who are undergoing high precision radiation treatment, known as SABR.

This project is a part of an international clinical trial led by Dr. Rob Olson with BC Cancer and the UBC Northern Medical Program.

According to Dr. Rob Olson, this will increase the ability for people who live in rural communities to participate in clinical trials.

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He said he has seen patients decline clinical trials because of the travel to and from Prince George.

“We’re trying to innovate by letting patients on the trial do their follow up in their home community, first we’re starting with Terrace but I could easily see Smithers, Prince Rupert and other places later,” Dr. Olson said.

He also added there continues to be patients within the Northwest who have declined the trial because of the travel involved.

Dr. Olson also said his next step is to go beyond radiation.

“I would like to see chemotherapy trials open in the northwest and even allowing the intervention. If we are able to open the chemotherapy trials it’s possible the patients could have new types of chemotherapy delivered in their home communities,” he said.

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Patients wishing to be a part of the clinical trial are being advised to contact their Oncologist.

The northwest will be the first region within the trial to pilot partnering with community doctors and local health authorities to perform research follow up with patients at hospitals closer to home.

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