Open Accessibility Menu

Sign up for Live Healthy eNewsletter here.

Cancer center enters patient in clinical trial

  • Category: Health & Wellness
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Deb Sutton, Sweetwater Memorial Marketing Director
Cancer center enters patient in clinical trial

Clinical trials bring new options and hope to cancer patients

Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center recently expanded services to offer cancer clinical trials to its patients. Now, they celebrate a major milestone as a Sweetwater County patient has become its first participant enrolled into an oncology clinical trial.

Dr. Banu Symington“By enrolling our first clinical trial patient, we have taken an important first step in the right direction,” said Medical Oncologist/Hematologist Dr. Banu Symington, cancer center medical director. “We know clinical trial participation leads not only to innovation in cancer therapies, but improves survival outcomes for patients treated on trials.

“Rural patients are sadly underrepresented in clinical trials,” Symington said. “We at Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center are committed to correcting this.”

Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County set a goal several years ago to offer clinical trials to its cancer patients. Clinical trials test new ways to improve treatment and quality of life for cancer patients. Clinical trials require hospitals that offer them to have sophisticated capabilities and extensive expertise in treatment. Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center leveraged its affiliation with Huntsman Cancer Institute – the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the region – to bring this new resource to its patients.

The National Cancer Institute website outlines the importance of clinical trials: “… People are living longer lives from successful cancer treatments that are the results of past clinical trials. Through clinical trials, doctors determine whether new treatments are safe and effective and work better than current treatments. Clinical trials also help us find new ways to prevent and detect cancer. And they help us improve the quality of life for people during and after treatment. When you take part in a clinical trial, you add to our knowledge about cancer and help improve cancer care for future patients. Clinical trials are the key to making progress against cancer.”

The cancer clinical trial now open at Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center is called “Optimizing Endocrine Therapy Through Motivational Interviewing and Text Interventions.” The goal of the study is to improve support to breast cancer patients in managing regular, long-term medication as part of their care. The study seeks to reduce poor medication adherence. Poor medication adherence can be a serious barrier to effective treatment and outcomes for some breast cancer patients.

Lacey ReddickThe Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center team hopes to open more trials in the future. The team wants to expand clinical trial opportunities to allow more cancer patients of all diagnoses and stages to join.

“Our staff has worked very hard to reach this big milestone,” said Lacey Reddick, cancer center clinical trials facilitator. “Without the team we have in place, this would not have been possible. We also are very grateful to have the Huntsman Cancer Institute as our parent site for clinical trials. Huntsman Cancer Institute is providing us with invaluable guidance.

“We look forward to the clinical trial opportunities we will be able to offer cancer patients in our community and the prospect of what this can contribute to cancer research for better treatment and survivorship of cancer patients in the future,” Reddick said.

Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center opens its oncology clinical trials with the support of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the Department of Health and Human Services, through Huntsman Cancer Institute’s participation in NIH’s National Clinical Trials Network.

For more on this and all Sweetwater Memorial has to offer, go to For more on clinical trials, go to and search for “What Are Clinical Trials?”