Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical to participate in clinical trials for cancer

Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical to participate in clinical trials for cancer

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Better treatment options are on the way to the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical center for veterans with certain types of cancer.

The medical center has been chosen to participate in clinical trials for breast, colon, pancreatic, and other cancers.

The program is recruiting former military members to once again serve their country.

After serving in the military, veterans like Franklin Nesmith are signing up for another call of duty.  He will be taking part in a clinical trial, to find better treatments for prostate cancer.

"They explained some of the things to me and if I can, I would like to do that you know, if I can help others," Nesmith said.

Dr. Stephen Savage is the co-principal investigator of the Navigate program.

It's a partnership between the VA Medical Center, and the National Cancer Institute. It will not only help veterans in the Lowcountry, but others across the country and even the general population.

"We're also answering questions about cancer, so we can solve new problems.  So we'll not only help the people who are receiving the care, but also other people with these types of cancer," Savage said.

This program will also focus special attention on minorities since that's crucial to finding treatment options that will help everyone.

Because what works for white patients, may not work the same for patients of color.

And the Ralph Johnson VA is only one of 12 in the country chosen to participate.

"It was a competitive application to get awarded, and the VA across the country is looking at sites that can really pioneer this program and then hopefully that will expand to other programs across the country."

And hopefully lead to better treatments and even cures for cancer.

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