Children's Health

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Receives ASCO Trials Award for Improving Cancer Care through Clinical Research

The hematology, oncology and bone marrow transplant program at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital received the’American Society of Clinical Oncology‘(ASCO) Trials Award for its work to improve cancer care through clinical research. One of just eight hospitals in the country to receive recognition, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital has been given the award to acknowledge the large number of patients enrolled in its critical trials.

“Our goal is to provide the best possible care for patients and offering clinical trials is key to providing the best treatment options,” said David Dickens, MD, principal investigator for Children’s Oncology Group research activities at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. “Participation in a research study maximizes the likelihood of cancer survival and is critical for evaluating newer, potentially better medicines.”

Of the 1.3 million people who will be diagnosed with cancer this year, only three to five percent will participate in cancer clinical trials. In 2008, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, in association with the Grand Rapids Clinical Oncology Program, enrolled roughly one third of all patients in a clinical trial, or approximately ten times the national average. More than 80 trials are underway, including studies in leukemia, lymphoma, bone tumors, brain tumors and sarcomas.

“It’s truly an honor to be recognized by ASCO for providing patients access to the latest treatments,” said Jim Fahner, MD, division chief, hematology/oncology, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. “Knowledge gained from clinical trials helps improve cancer care for children across the country. This award recognizes our progressive and aggressive approach to children’s cancer care.”

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital offers comprehensive, multidisciplinary specialty cancer and blood disorder care for infants, children and adolescents. Learn more about children’s cancer and blood disorders by’watching Jim Fahner, MD, division chief, hematology/oncology, on’Spectrum Health TV.’

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is a member of the Grand Rapids Clinical Oncology Program which receives grant funding from the National Cancer Institute as a Community Clinical Oncology Program.’

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is West Michigan’s largest children’s hospital, serving children and families throughout a 37-county region. A teaching hospital, it includes more than 150 pediatric specialty physicians uniquely skilled in providing medical and surgical care to children in more than 40 pediatric specialties. The hospital cares for more than 7,600 inpatients and 190,000 outpatients annually. Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is committed to caring for children and families with compassion, excellence and innovation.’ Visit’‘for more information.