Medical breakthroughs dramatically increase survival rates for many cancer patients. Most lifesaving drugs approved for treating cancer today were tested first in clinical trials.

We have conducted research and clinical trials with the North Central Cancer Treatment Group and the Mayo Clinic Cancer Research Consortium since 1985. This year, the Cedar Rapids Oncology Project (CROP) marked 25 years of conducting clinical trials designed to help cancer patients in our community receive the latest cancer therapies while staying close to home.

More than 3,500 people have participated in the trials, which also allow local physicians to gain experience with the newest treatments. Today, 65 separate clinical trials are underway, using $450,000 in annual grant money from the National Cancer Institute.

Martin Wiesenfeld, MD, FACP, is a medical oncologist and principal investigator for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) funded project. Dr. Wiesenfeld also is Mercy’s Medical Director for the Hall-Perrine Cancer Center.