Every single advancement in cancer treatment has come through clinical research. This science-based approach to medicine finds better ways to treat patients. Comprehensive Cancer Centers is unique among practices by offering the latest in cancer treatment through research to patients in Southern Nevada and all over the world.
Clinical research is an important part of Comprehensive’s daily efforts to drive better care for patients, with the oncology practice participating in more than 170 clinical studies each year. Comprehensive’s efforts have played a key role in developing more than 100 FDA-approved cancer therapies that are now considered common treatment methods.
While the daily efforts never cease, the practice is proud to celebrate Clinical Trials Day on May 20 and National Cancer Research Month, first observed by the United States Senate in a May 2007 resolution in honor of the 100th anniversary of the American Association for Cancer Research. Eleven scientists founded AACR on May 7, 1907, “to further the investigation and spread the knowledge of cancer.” That mission continues in 2021 by Comprehensive’s team of research doctors.
How Does Clinical Research Work at Comprehensive Cancer Centers?
Long before any new treatments are used on patients, researchers work for years to determine the effects of new drugs and therapies on cancer cells in the lab and in animals. An important part of these efforts include accounting for potential side effects the treatments may cause. This is often what is referred to as “pre-clinical trials.” After the pre-clinical phase, there are four different phases of a clinical research process that aim to answer specific questions about whether a new treatment will work well and if it’s safe.
- Phase I trials test the newest concept drugs in humans to find the best way to give the new treatment as well as the best dose.
- Phase II trials tests what effect the new treatment has on the disease.
- Phase III trials, typically much larger than I and II; compare the results of people taking a new treatment versus the results of people taking the standard of care.
- Phase IV trials are given after a drug is approved by the FDA and made commercially available. This phase checks for the occurrence of certain side effects and detects the adverse events that are very rare and not witnessed in the phase III trial.
Every clinical research project has a person in charge, primarily a physician referred to as the principal investigator. Principal investigators prepare plans for the research which are called protocols, which explain what will be done during clinical research. The protocol also contains information to help determine if the treatment is right for specific patients.
The protocol includes information including who may be eligible to be part of the research, how many people will be enrolled into the program. The information includes the number and size of treatment doses and their timing, and what types of tests will be necessary. This information all leads to gathered assets that assess the research efficacy, or how well the new treatment works.
Why is Clinical Research at Comprehensive Cancer Centers Important?
Successful cancer treatments, developed through clinical research, are among the reasons why people who had cancer are now living longer lives. Clinical research allows Comprehensive’s physicians to improve on existing treatments, with new therapies often shortening treatment timelines and reducing side effects from current treatments. Clinical research also helps in finding cancers sooner, as well as diagnosing them more accurately and with greater detail for each patient.
Who Should Be Part of Comprehensive Cancer Clinical Research Efforts?
Clinical research is key to making progress against cancer continue. When someone takes part in a clinical trial, they add to the world’s knowledge about cancer and help improve cancer treatments for patients who follow them, making future treatment paths more efficient. Clinical research helps Comprehensive Cancer Centers improve quality of life for people during and after treatment. Find current research opportunities here.
Is Participating in Clinical Research at Comprehensive Expensive?
At Comprehensive Cancer, patients who participate in clinical research studies do so at no cost to them for the treatment and tests. Clinical research studies at Comprehensive are funded from a range of sources. Often, insurance companies fund all or part of treatment during a trial. In addition, certain trial organizers may provide funding, or there may be other private or public programs available to assist you.
Are There Risks Involved in Clinical Research?
Contrary to what some people may hear, therapies offered during clinical research treatments have undergone extensive testing before being used by humans. There are different trial phases that are meant to test different aspects of a possible new treatment. Comprehensive Cancer Centers considers patient safety the utmost priority and carefully monitors the patient throughout the duration of the study.
Who Are Comprehensive Cancer Clinical Research Partners?
Comprehensive partners with institutions such as UCLA TRIO-US, The US Oncology Network, USC, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and leading pharmaceutical companies to bring groundbreaking treatments close to home, some of which are not available anywhere else in the world.
Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help
Physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers provide a variety of treatment options for patients interested in clinical research with all treatments being done in Southern Nevada. To schedule a consultation about clinical research, please call 702-952-3350. For more information about clinical research, you can read our two-part Q&A blog here: Part 1, Part 2.
The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.