Cancer research, experimental treatments more accessible

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - People facing a cancer diagnosis and treatment will have more options to participate in research and experimental treatments thanks to a prestigious grant awarded to local doctors from the National Cancer Institute.

The millions of dollars is having an impact on people across Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

To find yourself in a room of medical equipment and hearing the word "cancer" can be terrifying, but the actions of others who have already been there are making a difference in what happens next.

"What we've done here in Wisconsin has helped throughout the world. We've done a lot of good research here that has changed practice throughout the world," Dr. Anthony Jaslowski of Green Bay Oncology at the St. Vincent Cancer Centers said.

Dr. Jaslowski is talking about the work of the CROWN Consortium (Cancer Research Of Wisconsin and northern Michigan), a collaboration of HSHS St. Vincent Hospital cancer centers and two other providers based in the Wausau and Milwaukee areas -- Aspirus and Ascension, respectively.

The National Cancer Center just awarded the group a $5 million grant to give patients more access to cutting-edge clinical trials.

"We want to offer, in our region, ways for patients to approach things that are better than what we're doing today," Jaslowski said.

We've shown you people across our area more than willing to participate in the trials.

This grant to providers which also serve many rural or medically under-served populations gives more options -- and more hope -- to more people.

"It's amazing how the cutting edge, what we've done has pushed things so far ahead," Jaslowski said. "But we still know there's a lot of work to do, and we still know there's a lot of cancers where we have to keep pushing the envelope."

The trials also study what might prevent cancer in the first place.

Only 45 other programs across the country will receive this funding -- a reflection, the doctor says, of their years of success.

It's exciting work for Dr. Jaslowski, who's watched a transformation in his patients.

"People are living longer and better. They're staying productive. They're staying involved with their families."