Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies designed to evaluate the effectiveness of new drugs or treatment strategies. Clinical trials deliver care in a consistent and structured method so all participants in the trial will be treated in exactly the same way. They are an integral component for improving our cancer treatment.

The Dayton Clinical Oncology ProgramOff Site Icon offers cancer patients the opportunity to participate in clinical trials approved by the National Cancer InstituteOff Site Iconand other national organizations such as the Southwest Oncology GroupOff Site Iconand Radiation Therapy Oncology GroupOff Site Icon. Participation in these clinical trials confirms that a cancer center delivers the most up-to-date treatment. A new treatment or new use of a treatment is compared to the standard treatment. If a new treatment is proven to work better, the patient may be among the first to benefit from it.

Clinical trials often help patients for whom conventional therapies have not worked. Participation in a clinical trial is completely voluntary and remains voluntary throughout treatment. Patients enter the trial before starting treatment because they may not be eligible after they have started some therapies.

Clinical trials have three phases:

Phase I: The purpose of phase I is to find the best way to administer the new treatment and to determine how much of a new drug can be given safely. By this time, phase I drugs have been studied in the laboratory and in animals, but their side effects in humans may not be predictable. Patients who participate in a phase I clinical trial are monitored carefully for side effects. This phase usually involves 15 to 30 patients.

Phase II: After safety has been established, phase II trials determine effectiveness on certain cancers.  Doctors carefully monitor the cancer over the course of the trial to see if the new drug is effective. This phase involves less than 100 patients.

Phase III: The purpose of phase III trials is to determine the effectiveness of the drugs in a wide range of patients. These trials require a large number of people, often thousands. Researchers then compare the two groups over time to ascertain if the new treatment is more beneficial to survival and quality of life.

Types of Clinical Trials

There are different types of clinical trials. According to the National Cancer Institute, treatment trials are trials that test new cancer drugs, new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy, new combinations of treatments or new methods of treatments such as gene therapy.

Prevention trials test new approaches such as medicines, vitamins, minerals, or other supplements that physicians believe may lower the risk of certain types of cancer. Quality of life trials, also known as supportive care trials, are available. These trials explore ways to improve comfort and quality of life for cancer patients.

Premier Health works closely with and participates in numerous clinical trials with Wright State UniversityOff Site Icon and the Dayton Clinical Oncology Program (DCOP)Off Site Icon

Offered through:  Miami Valley Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, Atrium Medical Center, Upper Valley Medical Center

Cancer Clinical Trials: Answers to Common Questions

Finding more effective treatments for cancer requires extensive research. This work beings in the laboratory. And cancer patients play an essential role, too. By volunteering to participate in clinical trials, patients researchers discover whether new drugs and treatment strategies work. Learn more and get answers to your frequently asked questions about clinical trials.

Physician Expertise

Premier Health is proud to have over 2,300 physicians credentialed at our facilities.  Search Find a Doctor to find a physician credentialed in Cancer Care.

Content Updated: February 1, 2017

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