HOUSTON, June 7, 2004 – The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has named two practices affiliated with US Oncology winners of its Clinical Trials Participation Award. Texas Oncology, P.A.–Tyler and Virginia Oncology Associates in Norfolk, Va., are among a handful of practices from across the country recognized for actively participating in cancer clinical trials.

The ASCO Clinical Trial Participation Award is intended to raise awareness of the important role clinical trials play in improving cancer care. Recipients are selected primarily on the basis of enrolling a high number of patients in clinical trials over a three-year period.

“US Oncology considers research to be a vital component in our effort to continuously enhance the delivery of state-of-the-art cancer care,” said Dr. Atul Dhir, president of US Oncology’s Cancer Research and Information Group.  “We are proud that ASCO has recognized two practices that are part of our unrivaled national research network, which nationwide has accrued more than 16,000 cancer patients into clinical trials during the past 10 years.”

The greater the number of people who participate in clinical trials, the faster emerging anti-cancer therapies can be brought to market.  Last year alone, US Oncology accrued more than 3,300 cancer patients to clinical trials.

“The only thing that will cure cancer is research, and progress cannot be made without these trials,” said Dr. Donald Richards, medical oncologist and head of the research program at Texas Oncology, P.A.–Tyler. “It is gratifying to be recognized for our efforts to make leading- edge treatments available to patients in our community.”

Dr. Paul Conkling, who founded the research program at Virginia Oncology Associates, said the award illustrates the commitment of the practice’s staff to ensure patients have access  to high-quality cancer care. “In the past 15 years, we have progressed from enrolling a single patient in a clinical trial to enrolling hundreds of patients in trials of all kinds,” said Conkling. “Every patient who participates in a clinical trial is personally involved in improving cancer care.”

The ASCO award is made possible by a grant from the Coalition of National Cancer Cooperative Groups.

A total of 10 community oncology practices will receive ASCO’s second-annual Clinical Trials Participation Award.  The awards were presented during the opening ceremony of ASCO’s 40th annual meeting in New Orleans, Saturday, June 5.

About US Oncology, Inc.

US Oncology, headquartered in Houston, Texas, is America’s premier cancer-care services company.  The company provides comprehensive services to a network of affiliated practices – comprised of more than 870 affiliated physicians in over 470 sites, including 80 outpatient cancer centers – in 32 states, with the mission of expanding access to and improving the quality of cancer care in local communities and advancing the delivery of care.