Cancer Research Network

The Baptist Health Cancer Research Network is a collaborative effort among physicians, nurses, patients, caregivers, and administrators who work tirelessly to improve cancer care at Baptist Health through research.

Cancer research at Baptist Health has grown tremendously in the last 20 years with continued growth expected through the collaboration of the Baptist Health Cancer Research Network. Baptist Health has wholeheartedly supported research efforts mirroring the mission to provide the latest treatments and technologies to treat our cancer patients. One of the things that makes our program unique among community research sites is that it has always been hospital-based and has enhanced our ability to provide patients with NCI-sponsored, cooperative-group studies, culminating in our recent designation as a Main Member for NRG and GRN.

For more information about the Network, please contact:

Baptist Health Cancer Research Network

Administrative Office

Ms. Micheal Stephens, Program Director

1720 Nicholasville Road, Suite 703

Lexington, Kentucky 40503


Phone: 859.260.6456

Fax: 859.260.4508


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Baptist Health Cancer Research Network?
The Baptist Health Cancer Research Network (BHCRN) represents a collaboration across the entire state of Kentucky as well as a commitment from Baptist Healthcare Systems, Inc. to foster and support patient access to oncology research trials at facilities throughout the commonwealth and neighboring states. These facilities include, Baptist Health Corbin, Baptist Health Floyd, Baptist Health LaGrange, Baptist Health Lexington, Baptist Health Louisville, Baptist Health Madisonville, and Baptist Health Paducah. The network, represented by the Baptist Health Cancer Research Council (BHCRC), is composed of physicians, research staff and other personnel. The BHCRC will select trials based on patient population and physician interest, develop a quality monitoring system to assure compliance with National Cancer Institute guidelines and ensure proper researcher training. The BHCRC promises to lead the Baptist Health system in collaborating with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Guardian Research Network (GRN) to bring a broader range of clinical trials to the network.
Why is the network important?

The Baptist Health hospitals in Lexington and Louisville have offered clinical trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as separate entities for over 20 years. In 2014 Baptist Health embarked on a mission to expand research opportunities to all communities across the state.

Baptist Health Lexington and Baptist Health Louisville have now combined efforts with the other Baptist Health hospitals to bring the same large, NCI-sponsored trials to all Kentuckians. The Baptist Health Cancer Research Network became recognized as a “main member” (parent site) by the NCI in April 2015. NCI adult cancer trial sites are categorized as a main member “parent” site or an affiliate site which reports to the parent site.

This expansion brings advanced treatment to people where they live. Besides Lexington and Louisville, clinical studies will now be available in and close to communities where Baptist Health owns hospitals, as well as Elizabethtown, where Baptist Health manages Hardin Memorial Health.

The BHCRN promises even greater strides by bringing together physician leaders and key research administrators through the Baptist Health Cancer Research Council. The council will select trials based on patient population and physician interest, develop a quality monitoring system to assure compliance with National Cancer Institute guidelines and ensure proper researcher training.

What is a clinical trial?
A clinical trial is a research study to assess the effectiveness of a new idea about treatment of a disease or condition. This idea could involve medication, or a device, or changes to participants’ behavior. Clinical trial participants are volunteers.
What type or types of clinical trials does the Baptist Health Cancer Research Network offer?

The Baptist Health Cancer Research Network offers a variety of Phase II, Phase III and quality-of-life trials – for a variety of cancers, including breast, lung and lymphoma.

Phase II trials look at effectiveness, safety and potential side effects.

Phase III trials continue to look at safety and potential side effects, but the real question researchers are trying to answer for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in this phase is whether the treatment being studied is better than the standard treatment.

If I participate in a clinical trial, will I receive a placebo or “sugar pill”?
There are many misconceptions about clinical trials, such as the use of placebos. Placebos are rarely used in cancer treatment trials, and never used instead of standard treatment. Clinical trials typically focus on finding a better way to treat a single cancer, manage side effects caused by standard cancer treatment and have strict requirements for participation.
Will I be a “guinea pig?”
No. Other types of testing have been performed prior to having people follow the treatment regime in a clinical trial. However, we know that what works on animals, or looks good in the laboratory, doesn’t always translate into an effective treatment for people. That’s why we need people to take the next step in testing these new ideas to see if it brings us closer to a cure.
What does participating in a clinical trial do for me? For others?
In a clinical trial, you are either receiving the latest treatment, or a standard treatment. You may or may not know which you are receiving, based on the type of clinical trial being conducted. As a trial participant, you may be placed in a study which results in a tremendous breakthrough in treatment, bringing us one step closer to a cure for cancer. In this way, you could be helping others who are later diagnosed with the same cancer.
What if I change my mind?
You can withdraw from a clinical trial at any time.
Will I have a choice of clinical trials?
Maybe. Clinical trials have very strict eligibility criteria. Only a small number of cancer patients qualify for a clinical trial because the criteria are very strict. If Baptist Health does not offer a study that fits your situation, our staff can help you look for a clinical trial offered elsewhere.
Have Baptist Health hospitals participated in previous clinical trials?

Baptist Health hospitals have a long history of participating in clinical trial research.

Approximately 200 research studies are ongoing at Baptist Health hospitals, focusing on oncology, cardiology, orthopedics, neuroscience, pulmonary conditions, gynecology, nursing and allied health, among others.

How do I get involved?
If you or a loved one are currently a cancer patient at a Baptist Health facility, ask the doctor to help determine eligibility for a current research study. A nurse navigator may also be able to help with your questions. About one out of every five cancer patients meets the criteria to participate in a clinical trial.