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Hagen Kenncke, MDSEATTLE – (Dec. 28, 2017) Virginia Mason will be the primary research site in the United States for a new clinical trial exploring whether preoperative chemotherapy combined with less-aggressive surgery could benefit patients with rectal cancer.

Specifically, the trial will treat patients who have rectal tumors with initial chemotherapy, followed by minimally invasive surgery.

“The ultimate goal of this clinical investigation is to improve quality of life for patients diagnosed with rectal cancer,” said Hagen Kennecke, MD, medical director, Floyd & Delores Jones Cancer Institute at Virginia Mason, and a leader of the study.

Currently, individuals with rectal cancer often face the possibility of complete organ loss. Also, 25 percent of patients with stage 2 and 3 rectal cancer require a permanent colostomy, a surgery in which a portion of the large intestine is brought through the abdominal wall to carry feces out of the body.

Called the NEO (Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy, Excision and Observation) Trial, the study was launched by the Canadian Cancer Trials Group and has been activated at select centers in Canada and the U.S.

The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 40,000 new cases of rectal cancer in the United States this year.

About Virginia Mason Health System
Virginia Mason, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system based in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. In the Puget Sound region, the system includes 336-bed Virginia Mason Hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 500 physicians; regional medical centers in Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Federal Way, Kirkland, Issaquah and Lynnwood; Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the United States designed specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS; Benaroya Research Institute, which is internationally recognized for autoimmune disease research; and Virginia Mason Institute, which trains health care professionals and others from around the world in the Virginia Mason Production System, an innovative management methodology for continually improving quality, safety and efficiency.

Virginia Mason Health System also includes Virginia Mason Memorial, a 226-bed hospital serving the Yakima Valley in central Washington since 1950.

Media Contact:
Gale Robinette
Media Relations Manager

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