WMHS Schwab Family Cancer Center Gives Patients Access to National Clinical Trials


Patients receiving care at UPMC Western Maryland’s Schwab Family Cancer Center have access to clinical trials that test new treatments, investigate new ways of preventing cancer, screen patients for earlier diagnosis, and monitor the quality of life and psychological impact of cancer.

“By joining a clinical trial, patients can play an active role in their own health care,” Clinical Research Nurse/Study Coordinator Mickie Seletyn, RN, BSN, OCN, CCRC, said. “They can also gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available and help others by contributing to medical research.”

The Schwab Family Cancer Center is a member of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) under the affiliation of the University of Pittsburgh. Membership in the ECOG provides not only more opportunities for patients to participate in clinical trials, but allows them to stay close to home while participating.

“In the past year, 58 patients were enrolled in studies here at the Schwab Family Cancer Center and 23 of those are participating in studies sponsored by the National Cancer Institute through our affiliation with ECOG,” Seletyn said. “These ECOG studies include treatment trials for a variety of cancers. The remaining 35 patients were enrolled in other industry-sponsored studies at the Schwab Family Cancer Center.”

Sixteen additional Schwab Family Cancer Center patients were enrolled in studies at these prestigious institutions:

  • Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Md.
  • The University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore, Md.
  • National Cancer Institute at The National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.
  • UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center in Washington, DC
  • West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va.

This high level of participation in clinical trials at the Schwab Family Cancer Center was at commendation level, as determined by the Commission on Cancer standards for a cancer center.

“Advances in cancer treatment have occurred largely because of the knowledge gained in large clinical trials that test new and better ways to treat cancer patients,” Clinical Research Nurse/Study Coordinator Barbara Wood, RN, BSN, CCRC, said.

Schwab Family Cancer Center patients interested in participating in a clinical trial should discuss the opportunity with their oncologist.  

For more information on clinical trials, please contact Mickie Seletyn at 240-964-1422 or Barbara Wood at 240-964-1423.

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