Beacon Cancer Care does its utmost to provide the best care to all of our cancer patients, regardless of the type of cancer or the treatments that our patients are undergoing. In line with our commitment to be at the cutting edge of oncology care, one of the options we offer is access to clinical trials.
Clinical trials are research studies undertaken by medical and research institutions that involve human participants. They are a vital part of cancer research and are intended to provide care practitioners everywhere with data and information on innovative treatments that can be used to treat patients more effectively.
At Beacon Cancer Care, we are dedicated to helping our patients to find the best path forward during their cancer journey. If we believe that you would be suitable for and benefit from a clinical trial, we will do our utmost to make that option open to you.
Benefits of Participating in Clinical Trials in Coeur d’Alene
Clinical trials are generally carried out by large research institutions. While Beacon Cancer care does not itself conduct such studies, we do have a research team headed by one of our doctors who has extensive experience working with clinical trials. Consequently, if you opt to and are selected to participate in one of these trials, you will receive direct support and supervision right here in Coeur d’Alene.
Not every patient can participate in a clinical trial. However, our team of care providers will find out if you meet the eligibility profile of any ongoing trials, and help you to investigate whether participation might benefit you. Here are some advantages that may apply to participation:
- Medical professionals will be very closely monitoring your health;
- You may have access to promising treatments and therapies that are not publicly available;
- The treatment being tested may be more effective than alternative treatments;
- You will help researchers and doctors learn more about cancer and how to treat it for future cancer patients.
Frequently Asked Questions About Oncology Clinical Trials
Who Can Participate?
Each clinical trial has specific qualifications for the patients who participate. Typical requirements may include patients with only a specific type of cancer, or who meet certain other requirements in terms of age, physical condition, health history, and so on. To determine whether you are eligible, our staff will review the profile being sought by the researchers, and do a thorough evaluation of your status to determine whether you are a good fit for any trial. We will also explain all the requirements that would be imposed on you by the trial, and if there are any costs involved.
Are Cancer Research Trials Dangerous?
A clinical trial is one of the last stages in testing any new therapy or treatment. Consequently, by the time of the trial, a treatment has been tested thoroughly in a lab setting and is considered safe for testing on human participants.
However, it should be noted that any cancer treatment carries a risk of adverse effects, including traditional therapies. In consideration of this possibility, and to fully evaluate the therapy being tested, clinical trials require that subjects be monitored very closely and frequently by medical personnel to determine the effects of the therapy on every patient. If participants suffer ill effects, or simply decide, even in the middle of the trial, that they do not want to continue participating, they are free to pull out.
What Will the Clinical Trial Be Testing?
There is no set formula for what a clinical trial may test. Trials have been used for everything from testing new drugs or new therapies, the effect of nutritional or vitamin therapies, or the effectiveness of behavioral, exercise, or nutritional regimens and so on. A trial may focus on finding a cure, on recurrence, on quality of life issues, on treatment, or on recovery following treatment. So the answer to the question, “What will the clinical trial be testing?” will vary, depending entirely on the researchers, and it is up to you to determine whether you think participation is worthwhile.
Could I Receive a Placebo Pill or Treatment?
Cancer clinical trials can sometimes involve a placebo pill or treatment–that is, a treatment that does nothing, on purpose, in order to create a “control” group against which a new therapy is tested. However, in no case do cancer clinical trials leave a patient with no treatment at all. If a placebo is used as part of the trial, it will only be used in conjunction with a standard therapy, to help the researchers compare the new treatment against the standard treatment. Further, you will be informed whether a placebo is used in the trial.
Beacon Cancer Care is involved with clinical trials because they can allow patients to receive innovative therapies and treatments and help all oncology care providers to improve their understanding of cancer. If you would like to consider participating in a clinical trial or need more information about them, come talk to Beacon Cancer Care today and allow our team to help you navigate your cancer journey.