Local Research, Global Results
Among the characteristics that distinguish an academic medical center is a strong commitment to research. At Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin, Medical College of Wisconsin physicians and scientists continually search for new ways to diagnose and treat a wide range of diseases and disorders. This commitment is an important advantage for patients who receive care here.
Below are two examples of current research studies at Froedtert & The Medical College. For more information on our clinical trials, call 414-805-3666 or 800-272-3666 or visit our clinical trials area.
Patients Still Needed for Vital Breast Cancer StudyPatients are needed for a clinical trial that has been identified as one of the 13 most important breast cancer studies in the country. The Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups chose the study as one to receive the highest priority for patient enrollment. The Phase III randomized study compares conventional whole breast irradiation to partial breast irradiation for women with Stage 0, I or II breast cancer. Julia White, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin radiation oncologist, is the study’s lead national protocol chair for the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group and principal investigator of the study.
“We’re looking at whether we can replace seven weeks of standard whole breast irradiation with one week of irradiation focused on the highest risk breast tissue around the lumpectomy cavity,” Dr. White said.“The study will help us determine for whom partial breast irradiation is as good as whole breast irradiation. We need to answer this question.”
The study is still actively seeking patients. According to Dr. White, about 3,400 patients have participated nationally and another 900 are needed to complete the trial. Women younger than age 50 with a tumor of less than three centimeters and some older than 50 with higher risk features may qualify.
High-intensity Focused Ultrasound Studied for Prostate CancerMen with low risk, localized prostate cancer may choose to participate in a current study evaluating High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). Froedtert &The Medical College of Wisconsin are among 12 sites across the country enrolling patients in the study. Robert Donnell, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin urologist, is the principal investigator. About 20 men are needed for the study over the next year.
HIFU uses a small, transrectal ultrasound probe. “We focus ultrasound waves down to a very tiny area — one millimeter by three millimeters— where they become so concentrated that the energy creates intense heat, causing the tissue to burn,” Dr. Donnell said. “Then, using a computer, we very precisely shift the focal point of the ultrasound slightly, so we eventually treat the entire prostate.”
Using HIFU for prostate cancer may offer faster recovery times, reduced risk of incontinence and reduced risk of blood loss, according to Dr. Donnell. HIFU is already approved and used as a treatment for prostate cancer in Europe and Canada.
“Patients can often resume normal activity in as soon as a few days. There really is an improvement in quality of life around the treatment period compared to other modalities. But, because it’s investigational, we don’t have data as to what the cure rate is in the United States,” Dr. Donnell said. Patients older than 60 with a PSA of less than 10 may be eligible for the study.
Significant support for the HIFU clinical trial was made possible through the support of generous donors to the Froedtert Hospital Foundation.
Source: Froedtert Today
Date: May 2009