Wichita Community Clinical Oncology Program
Principal Investigator: Dr. Shaker Dakhil • Administrator: Marge Good • Via Christi Regional Medical Center, 929 N. St. Francis Street, Wichita, KS 67214 • Phone: 316-268-5784
The Wichita Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP), which first received funding by NCI in 1983, comprises two major community hospitals - Via Christi Regional Medical Center and Wesley Medical Center - and also has affiliations with the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Wichita State University, Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice, and 11 other sites across Kansas. Through this consortium, the CCOP includes 11 medical oncologists; 6 radiation oncologists; 2 gynecologic oncologists; 1 pediatric oncologist; and 16 surgeons, urologists, and primary care physicians who have completed training on protection of research subjects. The program receives patient referrals from more than 175 additional physicians.
Wichita is the largest population center in south central Kansas. As a result, the Wichita CCOP serves as the referral center for cancer care for the region, a mostly rural area. The program's affiliation with hospitals and clinics throughout the region allows patients access to the latest cancer protocols in or near their communities, and also provides training to oncologists who can then provide the latest care to patients who are not eligible for clinical trials.
Enrollment and Outreach
Though its patient base is small (approximately 850,000), during its 22 years the Wichita CCOP has registered a total of 9,200 patients to cancer clinical trials: 4,755 to treatment protocols and 4,445 to cancer control trials. In fiscal year 2005, the average monthly rates of enrollment were 35 patients for NCI treatment trials and 34 participants for NCI cancer control trials. Ninety percent of the patients who enroll in trials are referred by oncologists affiliated with the Cancer Center of Kansas.
The Wichita CCOP's percentage accrual of eligible patients is extraordinarily high. As a member of the Southwest Oncology Group, Wichita CCOP had the highest total accrual to cancer treatment trials between 1990 and 2004. And after only 4.5 years of membership in the North Central Cancer Treatment Group, Wichita CCOP is the highest accruer to cancer control trials and the third-highest accruer to treatment trials.
Wichita CCOP has had particular success enrolling minorities. Approximately 7.3 percent of patients enrolled in trials by Wichita CCOP are from a minority group - higher than the 6 percent of eligible minority patients in the region. For the STAR breast cancer trial, Wichita CCOP recruited 39 percent of eligible women from rural areas to participate. To boost representation in the future, the program has established partnerships with clinics in underrepresented regions and regularly sends staff to community events to educate attendees about the opportunity of cancer clinical trials.
Other Key Facts
Several deans, professors, and chairs of preventive medicine and internal medicine at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita are involved with the Wichita CCOP, either as investigators enrolling patients or as educators teaching students about the options for cancer patients and continuing medical education available through the program. Thus, Wichita CCOP cultivates referral relationships with local oncologists during their earliest years of training, making clinical trial recruitment a part of the regional standard of cancer care