Research participant doesn't want OU project to end

Wednesday, July 12th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Tulsa-AP) -- Rosemarie Whisman is not upset that she participated in a cancer trial now suspected of endangering patients' safety. In fact, she doesn't want it to end.

The Claremore cancer patient saw the now-discontinued study at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in Tulsa as her last hope.

The university began notifying patients yesterday about the real reason the trial was halted in March. A letter sent to patients said the trial was closed because of possible safety concerns. Patients had been previously told that researchers had run out of a melanoma vaccine.

Federal health officials notified the university June 29th that they had suspended five government-funded projects because of safety concerns involving the melanoma study.

Twenty-six of the 94 patients who received the vaccine as part of the study died. University officials say there is no indication that the vaccine caused the deaths.