General Information

Midwest Cancer Alliance strengthens its clinical trials network

Sep 10, 2010

Today, the Midwest Cancer Alliance (MCA) announced that many more people will have access to clinical trials in the next year.


Clinical trials are the best way to learn whether new treatments work and how better to use drugs that are currently on the market – yet only 3 percent of cancer patients who are eligible to enroll in a clinical trial actually do so. Bringing clinical trials to cancer patients as close to home as possible is one of the crucial missions of the Midwest Cancer Alliance.


Headquartered at the University of Kansas Medical Center, the Midwest Cancer Alliance is a network of professionals working to advance the quality and reach of cancer prevention, early detection, care and survivorship programs in Kansas and western Missouri. The MCA connects The University of Kansas Cancer Center with patients, nurses and physicians battling cancer throughout the region, from Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo., to Goodland, Kan., on the Colorado border.


Since it was launched in 2008:


n       More than 11,450 people have attended community education and screening events supported by MCA, members, and partners.

n       6,200 cancer screenings resulted in more than 470 referrals back to local physicians for follow-up on abnormal results.

n       Cancer patients are actively screened for clinical trial eligibility at four MCA sites.


At its annual meeting today on the University of Kansas Medical Center campus, the MCA also highlighted innovative collaborations at several sites:


n       Researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center and Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics are collaborating on new studies involving drug development, bone marrow transplant and cancer survivorship.

n       Stormont-Vail HealthCare in Topeka has begun several new trials conceived by researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center, fulfilling the MCA’s mission of providing access to trials to community cancer centers, thus allowing patients to receive cancer care close to home.

n       Salina Regional Health Center has expanded its service to include patient navigation, in which health care professionals foster connections between cancer patients, their families and resources to address the educational, emotional and financial needs that come with a diagnosis.


“These are just a few examples of how the Midwest Cancer Alliance is strong and getting stronger,” said MCA Medical Director Gary Doolittle, MD. “Our network of partners and collaborators also demonstrates strong regional support for The University of Kansas Cancer Center’s effort to attain National Cancer Institute designation. Our partners’ commitment and dedication was recognized in May, when a visiting group of directors from NCI-designated centers around the country said it was gratifying to see the MCA’s continued growth.”


“Regional health care and research institutions recognize the tremendous burden cancer places on our families and the tremendous opportunities we have before us,” added former Kansas Lt. Gov. Gary Sherrer, the MCA’s founding chair. “There is no greater challenge we can meet than by bringing the latest and most cutting-edge clinical trials and treatments to people in this region. I know we can achieve this through the collaboration of the institutions in the Midwest Cancer Alliance.”


Midwest Cancer Alliance 2010 members:


MCA Partners Advisory Board


Hospital Members:

Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics -- Randall L. O’Donnell, PhD, President/CEO

Stormont-Vail HealthCare -- Maynard Oliverius, President/CEO

The University of Kansas Hospital -- Bob Page, President/CEO

Truman Medical Centers -- John W. Bluford III, President/CEO


Research Institution Members:

University of Kansas:  


Roy Jensen, MD

Director, The University of Kansas Cancer Center and CEO/ Midwest Cancer Alliance


Barbara Atkinson, MD

University of Kansas Medical Center Executive Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean


Jeffrey S. Vitter, PhD

University of Kansas Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor


Stowers Institute for Medical Research – David M. Chao, PhD, President

Kansas State University Terry C. Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research – Robin D. Denell, PhD, Director


Civic/State Representatives:

Board Chair (Civic Leader) – Gary Sherrer

Kansas Governor’s Office – Lt. Gov. Troy Findley (ex-officio)

Kansas Bioscience Authority – Thomas V. Thornton, President/CEO (ex-officio)


MCA Clinical Trials Network


Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics

Goodland Regional Medical Center

Hays Medical Center

Promise Regional Medical Center

Salina Regional Health Center

St. Francis Health Center

Saint Luke’s Health System

Stormont-Vail HealthCare

The University of Kansas Hospital

Truman Medical Centers

Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg

Email this article | View All School of Medicine News | School of Medicine web site