Fighting Cancer in the Tri-Cities

<p>Dr. Thomas Rado</p>

Dr. Thomas Rado

<p>Columbia Basin Oncology &amp; Hematology</p>

Columbia Basin Oncology &amp; Hematology

A Tri-Cities cancer research center is selected as one of 10 practices in the country to conduct cancer trials.

The Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston is one of the top research and treatment centers in the nation.

The agency selected Columbia Basin Hematology and Oncology in Kennewick as one of 10 centers in the country to conduct cancer clinical trials with them.

That means people who are fighting cancer here will have access to many alternative therapies.

Dana Farber is the primary research and teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and is made up of a consortium of oncologists, academics and foundations - all working towards finding a cure for cancer.

Now patients in this area will have access to more treatment options than were available ever before.

Dr. Thomas Rado says the ability to build a bridge between communities and the research and academic base makes this a valuable opportunity.

"The only way we can move toward curing cancer is through the clinical trial process. Patients here know they have a terrible disease and they want to give something to future patients. And it's amazing how many of them say to me 'I understand that this may not be much better than the standard treatment today, but if it can help someone else, you bet! Sign me on,'" said Rado.

He says the most important part of this process is to ask the right questions, and he will be doing exactly that through writing protocols for these clinical trials.

He said the more clinical trials done to understand the new technology and drugs, the more likely this puzzle will be solved.

Clinical trials are expected to start in about six months.