Cancer Clinical Trials

Centra Health

Cancer Clinical Trials

You don't need to travel far for access to advanced cancer care. The Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center offers our patients the opportunity to participate in cancer research studies or clinical trials. If you are eligible to participate in a trial being held at the Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center, you can continue to receive your care right here in your community. Clinical trials also broaden the treatment options for patients. Centra participates in clinical trials through other healthcare systems as an affiliate, as well as running independent studies and served over 1,025 patients in 2018. If you are interested in more information regarding clinical trials at the Pearson Cancer Center, contact Ellen Boling at 434.200.1495.

What is Clinical Research?

What is Clinical Research?
What is Clinical Research?

The goal of this research is to find better ways to treat cancer and help cancer patients. Clinical trials test many types of treatment, including new drugs, new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy, new combinations of treatments, or new methods such as gene therapy analysis to determine appropriate cancer treatments for the individual. Some of our studies also look at ways to prevent certain cancers. Other studies look at way to manage symptoms and side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.

Clinical trials are a critical part of the research process. They help to move basic scientific research from the laboratory into treatments for people. By evaluating the results of these trials, we can find better treatments and ways to prevent, detect, and treat cancer.

What are the benefits?

What are the benefits?
What are the benefits?

Regardless of if you are a cancer patient in a clinical trial or not, you will get up-to-date care from our cancer experts. Federal Regulations stipulate that as a clinical trial participant that you will always receive the best available known standard treatment for your cancer. 

One of the benefits noticed by clinical trial patients is that they have an extra pair of eyes watching over them during and after their treatments in the form of the clinical research team. 

Another benefit is that researchers are always looking for better tests and treatments for cancer. You may be able to receive one of these new tests or treatments along with the current standard of care and be the first to benefit from them. 

In some cases, patients may receive a test or treatment for a condition that currently has no best effective standard test or treatment. Sometimes the new test or treatment is free to participants. It is important to remember there is no guarantee that a new treatment being tested or a standard treatment will produce good results. 

New treatments also may have unknown risks. But if a new treatment proves effective or more effective than standard treatment, study patients who receive it may be among the first to benefit.

Safety

Safety
Safety

Your well-being is important to us. To help protect patients and produce sound results, research is carried out according to strict scientific and ethical principles, including those outlined in the Federal Code of Regulations related to clinical trials. Our clinical trials have gone through a rigorous protocol approval process.

Locally the internal Centra Institutional Review Board (IRB), which includes doctors, nurses, and lay people from the community, carefully reviews every study before any patient is enrolled and at mandated times throughout the life of the study. The research team consisting of the medical monitors, principal investigator, oncologist, advance practice research nurse, and others helps ensure our patients' safety.

What to Expect

What to Expect
What to Expect

If you are eligible for a clinical trial, your oncologist will refer you to our clinical trials coordinators or they will reach out to you following an initial screening.  Our team of cancer specialists and nurses, as well as other health professionals, will follow your progress closely. You may have more tests and doctor visits than you would if you were not taking part in a study. You will follow a treatment plan your doctor prescribes, and you may also have other responsibilities, such as keeping a log or filling out forms. Most studies require that patients be checked on at regular time points even after their treatment is over.  This is often the case for all cancer patients and is necessary for long-term follow-up of disease status and treatment effects.

As a participant in a clinical trial, you can help not only yourself but also future cancer patients. In fact, many of the treatments cancer patients benefit from today are a result of previous clinical trials.

For more information, call our clinical trials coordinator  Ellen Boling at 434.200.1495.