Clinical Trials: Moving Cancer Treatments Forward
Clinical trials play a vital role in advancing cancer care and treatment. “Clinical Trials are the only way we make progress against cancer,” says Steven Devine, MD, director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).
What Is a Clinical Trial?
A clinical trial is one of the final stages of a long and careful research process. These studies help physicians and researchers evaluate new cancer treatments to find better ways to help patients. “All the treatments for cancer now that are considered standard treatments were first evaluated in a clinical trial,” says Devine.
Clinical trials can involve the testing of:
- Experimental drugs for safety and effectiveness
- Novel approaches to surgery or radiation therapy
- Combinations of treatments
- New methods, such as gene therapy
Clinical Trials at the OSUCCC – James
At the OSUCCC – James, clinical trials are conducted for the advancement of cancer prevention, detection and treatment. “We have over 400 clinical trials that are either active or have patients actively being followed,” Devine says.
Through clinical trials, the OSUCCC – James can offer patients some of the most sophisticated cancer treatments available. “Twenty-seven percent of the patients we treat here are on clinical trials,” Devine says. “Last year, we enrolled about 1,600 patients on clinical trials, and we have about another 2,000 on follow up.”
Should I Participate?“Because there is no routine cancer,” Devine says, “the moment patients are diagnosed with cancer, they should ask their physician, ‘Is there a clinical trial for me?’”
However, deciding whether to participate in a clinical trial is an important personal decision. Patients should consult their physician. Ask questions and make sure you get the information you need to feel comfortable about your decision