The next generation of cancer care depends on a research process that takes an average of 12 years. If cell and animal laboratory tests suggest a new treatment or drug would be safe and effective, it moves on to clinical trials, the first studies involving humans.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) funds many cancer clinical trials. Actual research is run by NCI-sponsored cancer cooperative groups -- networks of physicians and institutions specializing in a particular aspect of cancer. St. Mary’s maintains relationships with UCLA’s (University of California, Los Angeles) Translational Research in Oncology – U.S. Network and the University of Colorado Cancer Center, Denver. Through these relationships patients may be able to participate in NCI-sponsored research while being treated at St. Mary’s Regional Cancer Center.
St. Mary’s monitors all cancer clinical trials being proposed and conducted and discusses possible participation with patients who may qualify. To be part of a clinical trial is a very personal decision. Some patients who decide to participate are looking for their next treatment because standard treatments haven’t been successful. Others like knowing they are contributing to promising treatments for future cancer patients