You are here

John Woods: TSET partnership with Stephenson Cancer Center improves cancer care in our state

In Oklahoma, one in two men and one in three women will develop cancer during their lifetime – access to cutting-edge cancer care and treatment right here at home is key to increasing survival rates, and positioning Oklahoma as a leader in cancer research.

Earlier this month, Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma celebrated achieving National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation. Stephenson Cancer Center, which has received more than $31 million from TSET to date, joins an elite group of 70 NCI designated cancer centers nationwide.

Since 2011, TSET has funded cancer research and the development of new cancer treatments at Stephenson Cancer Center. TSET also funds the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center at Stephenson Cancer Center to reduce the toll of cancer and tobacco use on the state.

Stephenson Cancer Center is ranked No.1 in the nation for patient enrollment in NCI-sponsored clinical trials. The Oklahoma TSET Phase 1 Clinical Trials Program is the only early-phase clinical trials program in the state with 1,100 patients enrolled since inception.

Nearly half of the patients that receive cancer care at Stephenson are from a rural area, and 34 percent of rural patients are enrolled in a clinical trial – getting access to care they might have had to leave the state for previously. Stephenson’s regional partnerships with hospitals across the state allow Oklahomans to get cancer treatment close to home. Over 80 percent of the state’s population is within 50 miles of a clinical trials network site.

TSET also supports a partnership between Stephenson Cancer Center, Children’s Hospital Foundations and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center to increase pediatric cancer research.

TSET was created by voters in 2000 to ensure that a portion of payments from a lawsuit settlement with Big Tobacco are safeguarded for programs that improve health for generations to come.

This is a truly a great accomplishment for our state, and I hope you will join me in celebrating the achievement of NCI-designation at Stephenson Cancer Center.