“Well-designed, well-run clinical trials are the only way to determine the true effectiveness of a promising new agent or intervention being investigated”
– Cancer Clinical Trials: The In-Depth Program, National Cancer Institute.
The Triumph Fund was established to raise funds for life-saving cancer research and, in particular, to support the Clinical Trials Office at the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center (“MCW”). Yesterday was a significant event, as MCW held a “ribbon cutting” for the Nicholas Family Foundation Translational Research Unit, a dedicated facility through which MCW and its partner, Froedtert Hospital, can conduct Phase I and Phase II clinical cancer trials. The foundation set up by the Ab Nicholas family donated $1,000,000 to this cause, even though no one in that family has suffered from cancer. What a gift.
As the below photos reflect, the design and construction of the facility is beautiful. The real beauty, however, is in what it represents and its potential.
At the “ribbon cutting” last evening, one MCW doctor said that the Translational Research Unit places MCW at the “intersection of innovation and hope.” He is correct. After high quality medical care and the support of family and friends, cancer patients seek hope. Clinical trials can offer that hope through the innovative techniques and medicines that are evaluated during a trial.
The pride MCW justifiably takes in this new facility is obvious. Dr. James P. Thomas is the head of the Clinical Trials Office at MCW. As he started his remarks last night, Dr. Thomas commented on how he may get “choked up” as he discussed the unit and its potential. One could sense from speaking with other MCW cancer doctors the significance of this facility in assisting cancer patients in the Milwaukee area and in advancing cancer research in general.
The Triumph Fund is proud to have supplemented that extremely generous donation of the Nicholas family with a donation so far this year of over $25,000 to the MCW Clinical Trials Office. Most of those funds will be used to provide the training required of additional nurses and other professionals so they receive the certification required to practice clinical research at the Translational Research Unit. The National Institute of Health has set up an initiative called Clinical Research Nursing to create a certification process for nurses practicing in clinical research. As the National Institute of Health explains:
Clinical research nursing is nursing practice with a specialty focus on the care of research participants. In addition to providing and coordinating clinical care, clinical research nurses have a central role in assuring participant safety, ongoing maintenance of informed consent, integrity of protocol implementation, accuracy of data collection, data recording and follow up. . . . Study procedures may include administration of investigational drugs, performance of an experimental or investigational surgical or radiological procedure, detailed clinical assessment or phenotyping to characterize the natural history and etiology of a disease, or delivery of a psychosocial intervention. . . .
Today The Triumph Fund holds its head high. It is proud of MCW, Froedtert Hospital, Dr. Thomas and his staff, and the Ab Nicholas family.