Clinical trials

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Clinical trials – the most advanced care available

Since 1986 cancer patients at ETMC Regional Healthcare System have been enrolled in clinical trials, helping to shape new approaches in the fight against cancer while accessing innovative medications or therapies that they otherwise could not have received.

At any given time six to 12 clinical trials are underway at ETMC facilities. All trials are conducted in accordance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines, reviewed by independent research organizations and monitored by researchers and the ETMC Institutional Review Board for strict adherence to protocol. The oncology clinical trials program at the ETMC Cancer Institute coordinates evaluation and registration of patients for study, compiles and maintains records and submits data to the sponsor of the study.

Improving patient care

“I think clinical trials really do improve patient care,” said medical oncologist Gary Gross, MD. “The patient always knows that it’s an efficient and timely way that they’re getting their treatment. And there’s a safety factor in knowing that all tests that need to be done to protect their safety will be done.”

Published studies on a number of cancer types suggest that patients who participate in clinical trials generally have a better survival rate than comparable groups that do not participate in trials. This is likely because the treatment administered during the trial is carefully monitored for accuracy of doses and scheduled administration.

content-cancer-trials-gross“When you’re on a clinical trial you know that great minds have created this treatment plan, so the best of the best have said, ‘This is what you should be taking.’ ”

– Gary Gross, MD, medical oncologist

Every clinical trial is actually the final step in a painstaking process of research scientists developing better ways to prevent, diagnose or treat cancer. Over time that system has borne fruit. Today two of three people in the U.S. live at least five years after a cancer diagnosis – up from one of two in the 1970s. And the nation’s cancer death rate has dropped 18 percent since the early 1990s, reversing decades of increases.

For more information, call the ETMC clinical trials office at 903-531-8850.