Cancer Clinical Trials: Why are they important?

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Clinical Trials


Cancer clinical trials are research studies that involve real patients and can offer a new best practice or late-breaking strategy to help fight cancer. They also empower patients and their families by offering another option for cancer care with the guidance and safety of a team of experts including doctors and clinical research team members. It’s important to note that every modern-day therapy for cancer patients once started as a clinical research trial.

Some of Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center’s doctors and patients recently shared their insights on what this vital research means to them and others who will be impacted by cancer in the future. Watch the video below to learn more about the exciting advances and innovation underway in clinical research nationally and at our Cancer Center:

 
Nationally, fewer than five percent of cancer patients participate in a clinical trial, which means many individuals may be missing opportunities for advanced treatment. Here are five key aspects about clinical research and Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center’s clinical trials program:

  1. Research begins in a lab and clinical trials are the final step of a process to bring treatments or other interventions to cancer patients. Almost all clinical trials offered by the Cancer Center are sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The NCI provides a broad array of programs that support clinical research, including ones that help enhance early detection efforts, facilitate the development of new treatments, prevent cancer recurrence and manage survivorship challenges.
     
  2. A hallmark of NCI trials is a commitment to involving participants who are representative of the U.S. population. As part of the NCI Community Oncology Research Program, the Cancer Center is increasing access to clinical trials for about 80 percent of Louisianans, including in urban and rural areas.
     
  3. It’s a myth that clinical trials are only a last resort for people who have advanced cancer not responding to treatment. At the Cancer Center, all patients are screened for appropriate clinical trials regardless of their disease stage or cancer type.
     
  4. In addition to testing new treatments, clinical trials can help test new approaches for cancer prevention and wellness, survivorship and more. At any given time, the Cancer Center offers up to 50 clinical trials in each of these areas.
     
  5. Doctors, who in the research arena are referred to as principal investigators, typically lead clinical trials at the local site. Additionally, the Cancer Center offers a “concierge” approach to clinical trials, which provides patients with a dedicated research staff member to walk them through every step of the process and offer additional clinical support.

For more information, contact the Clinical Research team at (225) 215-1353 or clinicalresearch@marybird.com, or click here to see a list of clinical trials currently offered.

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