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The Community Cancer Research Foundation is bringing to area patients the latest research advances in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer. Through trials sponsored by the Foundation local patients have been among the first to benefit from treatments that have helped to improve survival, and are less invasive. In its quest to improve cancer care, the Foundation also established the Cancer Resource Centre, providing valuable support resources to patients and their families. Through its many community outreach programs for the public and educational programs for area medical professionals, the Foundation brings awareness to the issues affecting cancer care.

The Foundation sponsors research trials at the three hospitals of the Community Healthcare System: Community Hospital in Munster, St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart. As part of the Community Healthcare System, the Foundation helps support the area's largest cancer treatment and research programs with its established links to the National Cancer Institute and major research cooperatives around the globe. More than 30 trials are available, offering local patients access to treatments for breast, lung, ovarian and colon cancers, pancreatic cancer, cervical and bladder cancer, and multiple myeloma.

Board of Directors  

Chairman: Donald P. Fesko
Vice-Chariman, Chair Medical Committee: Andrej Zajac, MD 
Secretary/Treasurer: Open
Administrator: Mary C. Shields, RN, MS 
Members: Frankie Fesko, Mohamad Kassar, Mary Nicholson, MD, Rosita Ngo, MD, M. Nabil Shabeeb, MD, Elizabeth Yee

Making Strides in Cancer Care... in Our Community

  • Enrolled area women in the largest national breast cancer prevention trial, which established a new treatment option for women at high risk.
  • Participated in the National PET Registry evaluating the use of PET scans for cancer care. The data collected through the registry validated the importance of PET scans and led Medicare to increase its payment coverage for these tests.
  • Enrolled area cancer patients in a study for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer, which has since become the standard of care, improving survival.
  • Enrolled area women with Her2 positive breast cancer in studies evaluating medications found to improve survival.
  • Contributed hundreds of tissue and blood specimen samples to help increase knowledge of the makeup of cancer and how different proteins are expressed on cancer cells.
  • This data is being used to develop medications that target cancer more effectively, causing fewer side effects.
  • Enrolled patients in a study evaluating a medication for metastatic lung cancer found to improve disease-free survival.
  • Provide genetic screening for women diagnosed at high risk for breast cancer through the hospitals of the Community Healthcare System.
  • Assisted with Bone Marrow Transplant Registry drive securing nearly 500 new donors.
  • Initiated a cancer survivorship program, helping individuals with cancer review their cancer treatments and transition to survivorship, outlining an optimum follow-up and prevention plan
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