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SEATTLE - (June 3, 2010) - The Floyd & Delores Jones Cancer Institute at Virginia Mason is one of only 10 community oncology practices in the country to receive honors from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and The ASCO Cancer Foundation for efforts to improve care of people with cancer through participation in clinical trials. The 2010 Clinical Trials Participation Award will be presented to Virginia Mason's Cancer Institute, Sunday, June 6 at ASCO's 46th Annual Meeting in Chicago.

The award recognizes organizations and physicians for developing and expanding quality, community-based research programs and making strides to involve underrepresented and minority populations in clinical cancer research. Since 2003, 71 awards have been given recognizing community-based oncology research networks.

"It's an honor to be recognized as a high-quality clinical research organization by ASCO," said Jacqueline Vuky, MD, Section Head of Hematology and Oncology and principal investigator of the National Cancer Institute Community Clinical Oncology Program grant at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. "We are particularly proud of our efforts to expand research opportunities for our patients and to reach out to underrepresented and minority populations."

Despite the fact that clinical research participation often represents the highest level of oncologic care, of the 1.3 million people who will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States this year, only 3 to 5 percent will participate in cancer clinical trials. In 2009, at Virginia Mason's Cancer Institute 16 percent of newly diagnosed oncology patients enrolled in research programs, giving them the opportunity to receive new, innovative and promising therapies. Virginia Mason currently has 47 actively accruing clinical trials in 13 different cancer types, including breast, prostate, renal, lung, colon, pancreatic and testicular cancers, and AIDS-related malignancies.

"ASCO is pleased to honor the Virginia Mason Cancer Institute for working to give their patients a range of treatment options and for contributing to the progress that is being made against cancer," said Martin J. Murphy, Jr., PhD, DMedSc, chair of the ASCO Cancer Foundation Board of Directors.

About ASCO
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world's leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. For ASCO information and resources, visit www.asco.org.

About Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a non-profit comprehensive regional health care system in Seattle that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 440 physicians with a 336-bed acute-care hospital. Virginia Mason operates a network of clinics throughout the Puget Sound area; manages Bailey-Boushay House, a nursing residence and Chronic Care Management program for people living with HIV and AIDS; and operates Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, internationally recognized in autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason is known for applying manufacturing principles to health care to improve quality and patient safety. For more information, visit VirginiaMason.org or Facebook/VMcares or follow @VirginiaMason on Twitter.

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