Clinical Trials

Patients who meet certain research guidelines may be good candidates for participation in a clinical trial. A clinical trial is an investigative study conducted with cancer patients to evaluate a new form of treatment. Clinical trials provide researchers with valuable information about treatments that are not in general use; and, they provide patients with access to the newest drugs. Most standard cancer treatments used today were first tested in clinical trials.

Oncology Care Consultants, a group of physicians practicing at the FRHS Regional Cancer Therapy Center, offer multiple clinical trials to their patients. These physicians were honored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) with one of nine awards designed to recognize community oncology practices that actively participate in clinical trials.

When should participation in a clinical trial be considered?

A cancer patient may decide to participate in a clinical trial in the hope of improving his or her chances of recovery, prolonging his or her life, or even helping other cancer victims in the future. The results of some trials are disappointing, while others have proven to be even more effective than standard treatments.

How is a clinical trial conducted?

Before a new treatment is tried with patients in a clinical trial, its promise for safe, effective use is evaluated as thoroughly as possible in a laboratory setting. Volunteers in clinical trials are fully informed about possible risks and benefits. They receive a strict protocol of treatment and are carefully evaluated for side effects and complications. Trials are repeated, the results are scientifically compared, and the research is published for review and critique in established medical journals.

The Regional Cancer Therapy Center currently conducts clinical trials in association with the National Cancer Institute, Johns Hopkins University and a cooperative group of medical professionals from around the world.