These are very encouraging times wherein new treatments and cures are being developed every day. The Dreiling/Schmidt Cancer Institute, through our Midwest Cancer Alliance partnership, is offering cancer clinical research trials in which new therapies and techniques promise to better control and cure cancer.
Standard of Care Plus
Clinical trials offer to the cancer patient the current standard of treatment care plus a new potentially and more promising approach. It is part of our commitment to our patients to give them additional options when there is an opportunity to do more.
Clinical trials are research studies that test new medications and treatments. By joining a clinical trial, a patient can contribute to the medical knowledge that may lead to improved cancer care not only for themselves but also for future patients battling the disease. Every standard chemotherapy drug that we have available to us today at one time was in a clinical trial.
Care for patients in clinical trials is provided in the same manner that standard treatment is provided. Physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals keep the patient informed about his or her treatment and help them along the way.
Sometimes just getting out of bed and facing the day for the cancer patient is heroic. Many want to do even more and are willing to participate in helping with new discoveries. They are ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things.
Participation in clinical research is strictly voluntary. The research team explains the trial to the patient and answers questions. Before the trial can begin, the patient signs a consent form. The patient is free to change his or her mind and withdraw from the trial at any time.
Clinical Trials…Be part of the cure.
All clinical trials are closely monitored by the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.
There are four phases of study.
• Phase I is the first step in testing a new treatment approach in people. It determines the
drug's safety, dosage, how patients tolerate it and whether they have side effects. Phase I
usually involves small groups of patients.
• Phase II tests the safe dosage of a drug or treatment on a larger group of patients.
Researchers define side effects, learn how the drug is used in the body and discover how it
helps the condition.
• Phase III compares the new treatment to a commonly used treatment. Researchers determine
if the new treatment is better than, the same, or worse than a standard treatment. This phase
may involve hundreds or even thousands of patients at multiple centers.
• Phase IV takes place once the new treatment is approved for standard use and put on the market.
Talk to your doctor if you are interested in joining a clinical trial.