What is a Clinical Trial?
- A carefully written and closely monitored treatment protocol designed to answer specific questions to find the best way to prevent, treat or recover from a specific cancer diagnosis.
- A study that, once written, is carefully reviewed by an Ethics Committee for approval before offered to any patient.
- Always an optional treatment choice. It is never forced.
Why Does Dorcy Cancer Center Offer Clinical Trials?
- To improve upon standard treatments to hopefully allow patients to feel better and live longer.
- To advance knowledge in ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.
- To give patients in the region access to the latest and most cutting-edge treatments so they don't have to travel for care.
Types of Clinical Trials
- Diagnostic or screening trials: these trials are designed to identify new techniques for finding cancer smaller and earlier with the goal of improving survival rates.
- Prevention trials: these trials are designed to test different ways and/or medicines to prevent cancer from developing in patients who are at high risk for developing cancer.
- Supportive care of quality of life trials: these trials are designed to find ways to improve cancer symptoms or the side effects during treatment like nausea, pain or fatigue.
- Survivorship and quality of life trials: these trials are designed to measure how well patients are coping with their cancer diagnosis, treatment, side effects, and recovery.
- Treatment trials: these trials are designed to answer specific clinical questions and typically involve new drugs or combinations of drugs being compared to what is now considered standard.
Clinical Trials are Divided into Four Phases
- Phase I: First in human testing, these treatments have only been studied in the laboratory. These studies are designed to learn how the human body responds to the administration of a drug.
- Phase II: This type of trial takes the information learned in Phase I testing of a drug and with that refines the dose and schedule of administration and monitors how the disease responds to this treatment.
- Phase III: This type of trial takes what is learned in phase I and II testing of a drug or treatment and compares it to standard therapy. It is the most commonly offered clinical trial and generally enrolls a large number of patients.
- Phase IV: This type of drug or treatment trial uses a drug already approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration based on what has been learned in Phase III testing. The manufacturer of the drug is now seeking to learn even more about its use.