Updated Sat, Feb 11, 2012 12:58 pm
The fight against cancer is intensifying at Adena Health System in Chillicothe. A new cancer center is the most visible development.
A first-of-its-kind study is also taking place.
The Adena Cancer Center opened in January. "I think the main thing is how it helps us do what we do, better. It has definitely been designed for the patient comfort," says Linda Kight, Adena's Clinical Research Associate.
The $21 million facility is located adjacent to the hospital.
"Where our facility is located, we're fortunate to see the Great Seal State Park hills from the treatment area, the chemotherapy treatment area, so it's a beautiful area. The windows surround the outside corridor of the building and that's a lot of the areas where the patients are at during treatment and waiting areas."
It gives the Adena cancer team 33,000 square feet to provide advanced cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment. Kight says the old radiation therapy department was outdated and small. The new set-up offers two new, state-of-the-art radiation machines. The space also allows for more efficient staff operations and privacy for the patients.
Also new at Adena - a study, quote, "that could dramatically change the way clinical trials are discussed with certain groups of people in the U.S., and perhaps the world."
The study is being done by Dr. Janice Krieger of Ohio State University.
Kight is coordinating at Adena, helping to "develop better methods of telling people in Appalachian Ohio about clinical trials."
"We offer 60-some clinical trials through the Columbus clinical oncology community group, so we have a lot of clinical trials going on here," said Kight.
Patients who participate in clinical trials undergo experimental therapies. The trials ensure that cancer treatment facilities offer top-notch care, says Kight. "We have to meet high standards to offer clinical studies," she explained.
Clinical trial enrollment rates are low across the U.S.
"They are particularly low in Appalachia," says Krieger, who is an expert in how communication impacts certain populations when it comes to cancer prevention and control.
Studies have shown the decision to enroll in a clinical trial is influenced by friends and family.
The study at Adena is the first to explore the issue in the Appalachian region.
"The more people that participate in studies, the better our cancer treatment in the future is going to be, and cure rates. So it's definitely important," said Kight.
Cancer patients at Marietta Memorial Hospital are also being asked to take part in the study.
The researchers plan on interviewing 120 people.
Dr. Krieger hopes to develop an interventional program by next year.
Linda Kight is no relation to WOUB's Fred Kight.