Marty Driesler Cancer Project Fact Sheet
View Marty Driesler Cancer Project Fact Sheet (PDF, 191 KB)
Cancer treatment at UK HealthCare
The Markey Cancer Center provides a multidisciplinary team approach to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
The Marty Driesler Cancer Project is dedicated to researching early detection of cancers in people living in Kentucky's 5th Congressional District. This project seeks to strengthen relationships between the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center and community health care providers by establishing community programs to detect cancer in an early development stage, when it is easier to treat and survival rates are higher.
How the project began
In February 2004, U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers and UK President Lee Todd announced a first-of-its-kind health care initiative to increase the survival rates for people with deadly cancers throughout Kentucky's 5th District.
Rep. Rogers named the project in honor of Marty Driesler, a UK graduate who served as chief of staff in Rogers' Washington, D.C. office for 12 years. After a three-year battle with lung cancer, Driesler died in November 2003.
Why the 5th District?
Kentucky has the fourth highest cancer mortality rate in the nation. Kentucky's eastern and southeastern regions, the 5th Congressional District, have a cancer mortality rate higher than the rest of the state.
Detecting cancer in Kentucky's 5th District
Deaths between 1999 and 2003:
- 3,305 people died from lung cancer
- 144 people died from liver cancer
- 93 people died from esophageal cancer
Earlier detection of these cancers could have extended lives.
The Marty Driesler Cancer project is looking at early detection of lung, liver and esophageal cancer by researching:
- Hepatitis B and C
- Acid Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Barrett's esophagus
- Poor pulmonary function (difficulty breathing) and heavy smoking
Counties in Kentucky's 5th Congressional District
Focus on cancer
The Marty Driesler Cancer Project focuses on lung, liver and esophageal cancers. UK Markey Cancer Center scientists examine these cancers in many communities during the life of the project.
Lung Cancer Early Detection Screening Study
Physicians and researchers combine computerized tomography (CT) screening with spirometry (pulmonary function testing) to determine whether this combination of tests helps detect early-stage lung cancer. If it does, physicians may rely on these tests to help lung cancer patients survive.
Community partners: St. Claire Regional Medical Center, Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, Highlands Regional Medical Center, Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center
Lung Cancer Early Detection Study
Physicians and researchers combine computerized tomography (CT) screening with spirometry (pulmonary function testing) to determine if this combination of tests helps detect early stage lung cancer. If it does, physicians may be able to rely on these tests to help increase survival rates of lung cancer patients. A special part of this study collects blood and other fluids for use by researchers looking for early signs of lung cancer in patients.
Current Community Partners: St. Claire Medical Center, Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, Highlands Regional Medical Center, Appalachian Regional Healthcare Network, UK College of Agriculture's Health Education through Extension Leadership (HEEL) Program, physicians and other health care professionals, public health departments, and advocacy groups throughout the 5th Congressional District.
Burden of Lung Disease (BOLD) Study - In August 2005, an international study began to
examine chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) - a lung disease that may signal lung cancer. The BOLD Study takes a close look at risk factors associated with COPD. Based on phone interviews, residents of the 5th District who met study criteria were invited to participate. Some were eligible to participate in the Lung Cancer Early Detection Screening Study described above. When the BOLD study closed on July 31, 2006, 564 people had volunteered to participate in this research.
Community partners: UK HEEL Program, Kentucky Cancer Program
Hepatitis B and C as precursors to liver cancer - The first Marty Driesler liver study began by examining cases of chronic hepatitis recorded by the Kentucky Department of Public Health for the Kentucky River District. A larger incidence of hepatitis was occurring in the Kentucky River District than previously thought, so Markey Cancer Center scientists designed a second study to gather lifestyle information from a targeted group of residents. The results of this study may help Kentucky's public health departments create new screening strategies to identify hepatitis before it develops into liver cancer.
Community partners: The River District Health Network, the Wallace & Marcum Hospital, Lee County Public Health Department
Association of GERD and Barrett's Esophagus with esophageal adenocarcinoma - Barrett's esophagus is a condition that develops in some people who have chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis). In Barrett's esophagus, the cells in the lining of the esophagus change into an abnormal type of cell. Barrett's esophagus contributes to the growth of esophageal adenocarcinoma. The goal of this study is to identify connections between behaviors and esophageal health to institute educational programs that help people with acid reflux disease avoid more severe diseases.
Community partners: Physicians in Whitley, Laurel and Pulaski counties, Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital
Marty Driesler Cancer project
Susan Revo, CCRP
UK Markey Cancer Center
800 Rose Street
859-323-1147 Toll free: 1-866-506-7226
Find out more about Markey Cancer Center's programs and services
UK Markey Cancer Center
800 Rose Street
Lexington, KY 40536-0093
Find out more about UK HealthCare's programs and services
800 Rose Street
Lexington, KY 40536-0298