Clinical trials are an important part of cancer research. One of the final steps in the long process of cancer research, clinical trials are research studies in which individuals join with physicians to find new, more effective ways to prevent, diagnose or treat cancer.
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (SJMO) participates in National Cancer Institute (NCI) sponsored trials through our affiliation with the Michigan Cancer Research Consortium (MCRC) (www.mcrconline.org). The MCRC, led by St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, is one of only 50 Community Clinical Oncology Programs (CCOP) across the nation. SJMO's affiliation with the MCRC means that our patients have access to more than 100 clinical trials here in this community. The advantage is that patients need not travel long distances for the latest in cancer treatment.
Cancer research addresses a number of areas, including new:
- techniques for screening, diagnosing and staging cancer
- anti-cancer drugs
- methods of surgery
- approaches to radiation therapy
- symptom management studies that focus on minimizing side effects of treatment
There are four types of clinical trials used in cancer research. They are:
Prevention trials are designed to prevent cancer from developing in individuals without cancer-or to prevent a new type of cancer from developing in those with cancer. They test new approaches, such as medicines, vitamins or other supplements that physicians believe may help lower the risk of certain types of cancers.
Early detection trials:
Early detection trials are designed to test the best way to detect cancer, especially in its early stages.
Treatment trials are designed to test new therapies (such as a new drug, new surgical or radiation approach or new combinations of therapies) in cancer patients.
Quality of Life trials:
Quality of Life trials are designed to improve the overall comfort and quality of life for patients who already have cancer.
Clinical Trial research now offered at SJMO includes:
Trials include treatment for triple negative cancer, treatment to reduce menopausal hot flashes caused by chemotherapy, and treatment for muscle pain and stiffness due to estrogen blockers.
Trials include prevention of recurrence of removed colon cancer and exercise program to help with symptom control.
Trials include treatment for mesothelioma, earl and late stage lung cancer.
Trials include hormone blocking treatment or chemotherapy, new drug therapy for previously treated patients with rising PSA, and a diet study to possibly alter disease progression in prostate cancer patients on active surveillance.
P-5: Statin polyp prevention trial in patients with resected colon cancer.
For further information about clinical trials at SJMO, please contact: (248) 858-6215 or call the SJMO physician referral line at (800) 372-6094 to find an SJMO oncologist near you.