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Friday, June 3, 2005 - SJH Cancer Program Patients Participate in Nationally Published Cancer Clinical Trial
SJH Cancer Program Patients Participate in
Nationally Published Cancer Clinical Trial

VINELAND, NJ (June 3) - The results of a national cancer clinical trial that included patients from the South Jersey Healthcare (SJH) cancer program were published in a recent issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, one of the country’s most respected cancer medical journals. Through a partnership with the Fox Chase Cancer Center, the SJH cancer program gives its patients access to more than 30 national cancer clinical trials that test new treatments, diagnostic techniques and ways to prevent cancer.
The study, sponsored by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, examined the use of the drug amifostine with 243 lung cancer patients. The results showed that many cancer patients using the drug were able to reduce swallowing difficulties, a side effect that some people experience from chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments.

“These clinical trials are an extremely important part of our cancer program that benefit our patients,” said Dr. Joseph Fanelle, Medical Director of the SJH Frank and Edith Scarpa Cancer Pavilion. “Studies like this one help to improve the quality of life for many patients, and often allow them to complete their cancer treatments, increasing their odds of beating the disease.”

The SJH cancer program participates in dozens of clinical trials each year. The system’s Institutional Review Board reviews the studies yearly, approving clinical trials only after they have met rigorous checks for patient safety.

“Patients involved in these studies receive the latest treatments and benefit from research taking place in cancer centers across the country,” said Fanelle. “Offering our patients at South Jersey Healthcare access to clinical trials is one more way that we are providing the top notch cancer care found in big city cancer centers right here in our region.”

The SJH team of board-certified physicians, registered radiation therapists and nationally-certified oncology nurses have provided state-of-the-art radiation therapy, medical oncology and cancer support services to thousands of patients in the region for more than 25 years.

The SJH cancer program, housed in the new Frank and Edith Scarpa Regional Cancer Pavilion, has been a member of the Fox Chase Network since 1995 and is the only program in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem counties affiliated with the Fox Chase Cancer Center. It is also the only cancer program in Cumberland, Salem, or Gloucester counties designated as a Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Program by the American College of Surgeons – Commission on Cancer.

SJH physicians work with specialists from the Fox Chase Cancer Center via monthly teleconferences, which include the Elmer Tumor Board and the GYN Tumor Board, to review patient treatment plans. The partnership with Fox Chase also provides personal, helpful referral services to and from the Fox Chase Cancer Center and SJH.

SJH is a nonprofit, integrated health care system, providing access to a continuum of health services. SJH provides hospital services, numerous community health clinics, home health services, and specialty services, which serve the medical and health care needs of Southern New Jersey residents.