West Virginia's cancer mortality rate being among the highest in the nation coupled with the significant cancer health disparities in our state, further accentuates the urgent need to continue growing and investing in the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.
At this critically important time, your Cancer Center is forging ahead to address the challenges contributing to the state's unacceptable cancer rates. There are many efforts underway at WVU to advance research and cancer care and move us toward NCI designation – the gold standard in cancer research and care.
We are very pleased to share some highlights that hold the promise of optimal cancer care for people throughout West Virginia and beyond.
U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks West Virginia University Hospitals (WVUH) as the top hospital in West Virginia, and recognizes WVUH and the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center as the state's highest-ranked cancer treatment location. In the national magazine's annual Best Hospitals rankings, WVUH scored in the top 10 percent of US hospitals and was rated the top hospital in WV for cancer care. For the category that matters most – surviving cancer – our success was rated: "much higher than expected." Additionally, a further look into the U.S. News data reveals that your Cancer Center is well within the ranks of the 68 NCI-designated centers and is advancing toward NCI designation – the gold standard in cancer research and care.
Your cancer center has seen a steady growth in the number of clinical trials that offer West Virginians cutting edge cancer care close to home. In the past two years we've enrolled 406 patients on therapeutic and lifesaving clinical trials and thousands more to important cancer control and prevention studies.
With National Institutes of Health funding, our researchers are leading exciting studies on lung cancer and are partners in an international effort for cancer and palliative care training in Kenya. In addition, several new physicians and scientists have joined our team.
Our newly created Radiation Oncology Department, under the leadership of founding chair, Geraldine Jacobson, MD, is keeping pace with the many advances in radiation therapy. Our array of sophisticated equipment has greatly enhanced our ability to manage advanced and complex diseases more successfully and with fewer side effects for patients. And, our Betty Puskar Breast Care Center has added more state of the art technology – an automated three dimensional breast ultrasound system for cancer detection in patients with dense breast tissue.
We hope you share our enthusiasm and passion to reduce our state's cancer burden and bring hope and healing to West Virginians afflicted by this disease. We are on an important journey – one that will continue to provide the very best care to our patients while continuing on the trajectory to maintain and grow our national reputation.