As medical science seeks to improve the treatment of cancer, major changes are taking place, affecting patients and doctors alike. Historically, most cancer patients have received therapy in large, centralized, academic tertiary care centers. But in recent years, a shift has occurred; today, more than 80% of all cancer patients receive their treatment in a community environment, and an increasing percentage of newly diagnosed patients are receiving front-line therapy in a private physician's office. To address the problems attendant to these changes, Dr. Khaled Jabboury established the Jabboury Foundation for Cancer Research in 1993.
Clinical trials of cancer therapies are the primary ways to achieve progress. However, only a small percentage of cancer patients are available to participate in clinical trials, because most research studies take place in academic medical centers. This reality is even more pronounced in front-line therapy, which, as a rule, has the potential to affect survival most. It is not uncommon for oncologists to develop treatment protocols deserving of clinical trials, however, the time, physical resources, and personnel required to facilitate this present a major barrier. The number of eligible patients may be too small to support such a trial or even to attract support from a pharmaceutical company or a multigroup oncology research consortium. Potentially valuable ideas remain untested and unpublished. Therefore, one of the goals of the Foundation is to stimulate and facilitate clinical research in the community setting.
The Foundation is dedicated to educating the community about cancer prevention and early detection, through the provision of educational sessions on a variety of cancer-related topics and through distribution of cancer-related literature at various community events.
In 2002, the Foundation became an Institute of Excellence for Genetic Susceptibility Testing of individuals deemed at high risk for hereditary cancers. The Foundation encourages the use of this service by absorbing the cost of the initial screening interview, blood collection and result review and counseling session.
In existence for more than 12 years, the Foundation has made substantial strides: it has attracted distinguished physicians and researchers to the Scientific Advisory Committee and to the Board of Directors, received IRS approval as a nonprofit medical research organization, established a relationship with the West Houston Medical Center, and has written multiple clinical research protocols.
To date, the Foundation has existed primarily through the financial support of Dr. Jabboury. With the help of public support we hope to greatly expand the Foundation's efforts. We are on a mission to educate the community and health care professionals about cancer screening and early detection, to expand the Genetic Susceptibility program and to continue developing our innovative cancer research program.