Novel Clinical Trials Offer New Drugs and Cancer Treatments

CancerCare10_385x350Clinical trials at the Skagit Regional Health Cancer Care Center are a crucial part of our treatment capabilities as new drugs and treatments are developed in the fight against cancer. Cancer trials usually compare existing treatments to something that demonstrates an improved treatment or one that may result in fewer side effects. With the recommendation by your oncology team of specialists, patients at the Skagit Regional Health Cancer Care Center are screened for enrollment into any appropriate and available trial.

What is a Clinical Trial?

A clinical trial is a medical research study in which participants volunteer to test new methods to prevent, screen, diagnose or treat a disease. A clinical trial is also called clinical study or a protocol. All of today’s recognized cancer treatments were proven by clinical trials.

Clinical Trial Phases Ensure Safety and Effectiveness

Cancer clinical trials have four steps, called “phases.” Each trial answers a separate research question, including:

  • Phase I trials evaluate safety of the treatment
  • Phase II trials measure the treatment’s effectiveness
  • Phase III trials test against the best existing treatment
  • Phase IV trials evaluate new uses or long-term effects of the treatment

Randomized Clinical Trials Offer Standard and Investigational Treatment

In a randomized clinical trial, the participants are randomly assigned to the standard treatment group, called the control group, or the new treatment, called the investigational treatment. The control group receives the standard treatment that has been validated by experts as the best practice or standard of care.

Investigational treatment or therapy refers to a new protocol – either a new drug, new dose, a combination with other drugs, using an approved drug for a different condition, or a new way of giving a drug. It may also include a new procedure that has gone through basic lab testing and received approval from the FDA to be tested on humans. This approach allows the research team to carefully monitor the effectiveness of both the current standard treatment as compared to new treatments that are not yet widely available.

For More Information About Clinical Trials

To learn more about our latest clinical trials, please talk to your cancer care team or contact one of our team members at the Skagit Regional Health Cancer Care Center at 360-814-2146.