Oncology research trials have always been a key aspect of cancer care at Marshfield Clinic Health System, which is now integrated with cancer care for cancer patients and survivors. The newly established Cancer Care and Research Center is making this integration possible.

The Cancer Care and Research Center is the newest center in Marshfield Clinic Research Institute (MCRI), which focuses its research efforts in clinical research, genetics, clinical epidemiology, population health, biomedical informatics, farm medicine and oral and systemic health.

“Having care and research in one center makes the research we do and answers we find the most relevant to our patients,” said Dr. Adedayo Onitilo, Cancer Care and Research Center medical director. “Simultaneously the care system we offer can more efficiently incorporate cutting edge research opportunities.”

To facilitate this change, research staff will be working with oncologists in a team-based model at each of the Health System’s cancer centers. Dr. Onitilo said having research staff and cancer care intermingled has not always been consistent across the Health System.

"We are integrating research and cancer care, which is important for our patients because some of these trials might be a valuable treatment option for our patients," said Dr. Amit Acharya, MCRI executive director.

This integration will allow the Cancer Care and Research Center to focus more on cancer care and delivery research, something that is not currently happening across all of our cancer centers.

With the addition of the Cancer Care and Research Center, research trial participation through the National Cancer Institute WiNCORP grant will continue to be available in all of the cancer centers including Marshfield, Eau Claire, Stevens Point, Rice Lake, Minocqua and Wausau/Weston.

Oncology research trials will provide a range of services to patients including clinical trials and internationally-recognized cancer research efforts ensuring patients have access to the latest advances in cancer treatment and a range of support programs helping patients navigate the challenges associated with cancer diagnosis.

“Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. and first leading cause of death worldwide. Cancer research and treatment trials are sometimes the first, and most times the last, fighting chance we can give our patients to combat cancer,” said Dr. Narayana Murali, Marshfield Clinic executive director. “As a health system we have been providing as good, if not better, outcomes and care compared to the best of the cancer institutes in the nation, and research is one of our most vital ingredients.”

The National Cancer Institute believes the most effective model to advance cancer care is one that includes care, research, cancer control and population health in one location. This change will embrace that comprehensive approach.

“Integrating this new research center with our clinical service lines will improve access to cutting-edge research and simplify care for patients,” said Dr. Susan Turney, Health System CEO. “This is an exciting new development for our patients and providers.”