Clinical trials help find new ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer. The UMMC Cancer Center and Research Institute joins other medical centers across the nation in the search for these medical advances and offers clinical trials when appropriate to adult and pediatric patients.
When researchers study the effectiveness of new therapies, patients participating in those clinical trials may be among the first to benefit from new medications or procedures.
UMMC works with several national study groups that offer clinical trials. UMMC also participates in studies sponsored by the National Cancer Institute’s National Clinical Trials Networks. National study groups include:
- SWOG (Southwest Oncology Group)
- NRG Oncology Group (includes former GOG - Gynecologic Oncology Group, RTOG - Radiation Oncology Group, and NSABP)
- Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology
- Children’s Oncology Group (COG)
- National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Trials Support Unit (CTSU)
- Mayo Clinic’s Academic and Community Cancer Research United (ACCRU)
UMMC also participates in institutional studies and industry-sponsored studies.
Clinical trials at UMMC may include:
- Chemotherapy drugs or drug combinations
- Radiation therapy delivery methods
- Screening and diagnostic tests
- Quality of life studies
- Cancer prevention and control
- A study of which procedure should come first.
A physician may approach a patient if they believe that patient could benefit from a clinical trial, also called a study.
Only those patients who choose to participate are included in clinical trials. Those decisions are personal and often are made in hopes of a better therapy for the individual or to advance science for others.
Doctors and clinical trial nurses and coordinators explain the study in detail so the patient, or in the case of children, the parent, can make a fully informed decision about whether to participate. Once a patient decides to participate, they have the option of withdrawing at any time.
Patients in clinical trials are closely monitored by doctors, nurses and those who oversee the clinical trial. All are committed to protecting each patient’s safety and health during the study.