Clinical Trials for the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care
The clinical trials program at the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care gives patients local access to new and developing treatments for their cancer.
The trials that are available at Southcoast include those involving new and cutting edge therapies, studies aimed at improving the supportive care in cancer patients and those sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.Southcoast also partners with Boston Medical Center (BMC) to offer clinical trials program as part of their National Cancer Institute (NCI) Minority-Based Community Clinical Oncology Program (MB-CCOP). This allows Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care oncologists to participate in NCI-sponsored cancer prevention, control and treatment clinical trials with special efforts to raise awareness and participation by minorities.
Open studies. Download the most recent listing of open studies that are available at the cancer center.
Interested in learning more? Check out this video for more information about clinical trials at Southcoast and how you can participate. It includes stories from patients who have participated in our trials, as well as interviews from Therese Mulvey, MD, physician-in-chief of the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care, and Elizabeth Blanchard, MD, medical oncologist and Director of the Clinical Trials Program.
About Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are important to the improvement of cancer treatments in every type and stage of cancer. Cancer patients can consider participating in a clinical trial as one of their treatment options. There are trials for all different types and stages of cancer. Participants are monitored carefully throughout the trial and can be the first to benefit from new treatments before they are available to everyone.
Clinical trials are important to the improvement of cancer treatments in every type and stage of cancer. Patients with cancer can consider participating in a clinical trial as one of their treatment options. There are trials for all different types and stages of cancer. Participants are monitored carefully throughout the trial and can be the first to benefit from new treatments before they are available to everyone.
Why are clinical trials important?
Research studies in all fields of medicine are known as clinical trials. These studies are conducted in hopes of finding safe or more effective methods to screen for, prevent, diagnose or treat a variety of diseases.
Types of Cancer Clinical Trials
- Treatment trials test the effectiveness of a new treatment or a new way of using a current treatment in people who have cancer.
- Prevention trials test a new intervention that may lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer.
- Screening trials test a new way of finding cancer early.
- Diagnostic trials study a new test or procedure that may help identify, or diagnose, cancer more accurately.
- Quality of life or supportive care trials focus on the comfort and quality of life for cancer patients and cancer survivors.
What does a trial’s “phase” mean?
- Phase I trials test for safety, side effects.
- Phase II trials test for safety and effectiveness.
- Phase III trials compare intervention to standard care.
- Phase IV trials further evaluate the effectiveness and safety of drugs or other interventions.
How is the safety of clinical trial participants protected?
The rights and interests of people who enroll in clinical trials are carefully protected by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
In a process called informed consent, you learn important information about the clinical trial that can help you decide whether to take part.
Before you sign an informed consent, a member of the research team will explain the trial’s:
- Tests and procedures.
- Risks and benefits.
They will also discuss your rights, including your right to make a decision about participating or leave the study at any time. If you decide to leave the study, your doctor will discuss other treatment options with you.
Common Clinical Trial Misconceptions
“If I take part in a clinical trial, I might receive a placebo instead of real medicine.”
The use of placebos as comparison or “control” interventions in cancer treatment trials is rare. If a placebo is used by itself, it is because no standard treatment exists.
“I am concerned about finances. I don’t know if my insurance will cover a clinical trial.”
Research costs are covered by the organization that sponsors the trial.
“I do not want to be subjected to any additional tests or procedures.”
Not all clinical trials involve additional testing when compared with standard requirements. The clinical trial informed consent identifies all requirements prior to participation in a trial.