TOGETHER WE CAN HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON CANCER TREATMENT OUTCOMES
What Are Clinical Trials?
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate different types of treatment.
These treatments include:
- New treatments
- Additions to treatment to improve treatment response
- Comparison of proven treatments to identify which is better
- Determine the amount of side effects and minimize the side effects of the treatment
- Identify social and economical impact of treatment(s) on cancer patients
Other Types of Research include:
- Pathology sample reviews to learn more about the disease
- Blood and urine sample reviews to determine impact of treatment
- Patient questionnaire reviews to identify treatment impact on patients
There are three phases most studies go through prior to becoming a standard treatment (studies must show acceptable results prior to moving to the next phase).
Phase I: A small group of patients are enrolled, and the study's main goal is to evaluate the risks and safety of new treatments.
Phase II: A little larger group of patients are enrolled and the study's main goal is to evaluate the risks, safety, and effectiveness of new treatments.
Phase III: A large number of patients are enrolled, to prove the effectiveness of treatment, or to compare two different types of treatment.
Although there is a chance that the new treatment will be disappointing, the researchers involved in the study believe it will be as good or better than currently available treatments.
All studies are reviewed and approved by the University of Arizona Human Subjects Committee in order to minimize any risks possible to patients, and to ensure patients are informed of the nature of the study in which they may participate.
Initiators of studies include national organizations, physicians, support staff, pharmaceutical companies, and equipment manufacturers.
Patients may be interested in enrolling in a trial because they hope the treatment may help them more than what is customarily available, or they may simply want to contribute to the research effort.
PATIENT ELIGIBILITY AND ENROLLMENT
- When patients are seen in our clinic, they may be approached regarding a trial that may benefit them.
- Patients must meet very strict eligibility criteria designed for each protocol.
- Many patients will not be enrolled because they do not fit eligibility criteria.
- Patients must have pre-study testing which may be more testing than required for standard treatment.
- Patients must sign a study specific consent form prior to being enrolled in any study.
- Patients in a study may have more follow-up requirements than patients treated conventionally. Some patients like this because they feel they are being watched more closely.
- Some of the studies we currently have available include drug therapy to either enhance the effectiveness of radiation, or to try to decrease the side effects of radiation therapy.
- Research protocols are important because they are the only way to prove the effectiveness of treatments on closely matched patients. This allows us to improve our methods of treatment. We are also discovering how we can assist with the effectiveness of treatment in our patient's daily lives. This includes patient attitudes, time and cost.
For questions regarding clinical trials please contact:
Maria Serafini at 520-694-2347
Claresa Quezada at 520-694-6235
Additional Studies That Include Radiation Therapy may be found on the Arizona Cancer Center Clinical Trials Site