Why did you decide to participate in Icon Cancer Foundation’s research?
Incorporating research to my clinical practice has been something I have always wanted to do. Icon Cancer Foundation (ICF) provides support for research which makes it easier for doctors like me to dedicate some of our time to research. It’s hard when you are part of a busy medical practice to take on the extra work which is required when you conduct research, but it’s been great having support from ICF to conduct research.
What is your motivation for doing cancer research?
For me, the most important reason for undertaking research is to make a contribution to improving the lives of patients. The field of cancer treatment is changing so quickly. I have seen how research has changed my medical practice over time and how that has made a difference for our patients. If there is something that I can do which can advance how we provide cancer treatment in our clinic and make the lives of patients better, then I don’t need any more motivation than that.
What improvements have you seen as a result of research over the years?
Research has led to many technological advances which makes treatment times quicker as well as improving survival outcomes and reducing the side effects that patients experience.
One of the areas I am very interested in is stereotactic radiation. This form of cancer treatment uses a higher dose of radiation but impacts a smaller area of the body. It’s very targeted. With this treatment we are able to achieve highly effective results and reduce ‘dose spill’. This means we can reduce the amount of healthy body tissue which is affected by the radiation and provides patients with a better quality of life. They can get on with their lives and not suffer from severe fatigue or other health complications which is what happened in the past before these advances in treatment occurred.
What would you say to a patient who is thinking about participating in a clinical trial?
Participating in a clinical trial means that a patient can have early access to new technology or treatments. It’s a chance to access cancer treatment options that are not yet widely available.
Also, many patients tell me they want to be able to give back to the community and help others with cancer. Being a part of a clinical trial gives them that opportunity. They are helping us improve treatments for other cancer patients who come after them.
Learn more about Dr Yates