What are Clinical Trials

Types and Phases of Clinical Trials

Frequently Asked Questions about Clinical Trials

A clinical trial is a research study designed to test the safety and effectiveness of new treatments for cancer. Every cancer-fighting drug and therapy available to doctors today had to be tested in a clinical trial before it could be used routinely on patients.

University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center is geared for precision. Clinical studies are designed to enhance & compliment ongoing advancements in the understanding of cancer. These efforts drive what is commonly referred to as personalized medicine. Increasingly sophisticated treatments use this information to target specific oncology targets or biomarkers. Traditionally, clinical research programs relied on a more generalized approach. Treatments were trialed for specific therapeutic areas. The potential of increasingly-targeted, precision medicine is moving beyond that approach by using a person's own biological make-up to grant access to cutting edge research, while also minimizing patient exposure to trials that do not match their biology.

Frequently Asked Questions about Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials Facts

  1. Clinical trials provide the highest level of quality of care for patients with cancer.1
  2. The mortality rate from cancer is falling, in large part due to cancer research that has, through clinical trials, led to new and better methods of cancer prevention, detection and treatment.
  3. Children with cancer are enrolled onto clinical trials at a rate of 70-75 percent across the US.
  4. Only two percent of adults with cancer in the U.S. enroll on clinical trials.

1National Comprehensive Cancer Network; American Cancer Society; National Cancer Institute

Why do clinical trials provide the highest quality of care for cancer patients?

  1. Clinical trials provide closer supervision and monitoring than standard care.
  2. Patients always receive equal to or better than the standard of care.
  3. Patients have access to novel drugs, or new drug combinations, that may improve the response to treatment, increase the chance of cure, and prolong survival.

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Partnering for a Cure

Being diagnosed with cancer is a life-changing experience. But thanks to advances in biomedical research, cancer patients today have more reasons to hope for a positive outcome than ever before. Doctors have an arsenal of drugs, chemotherapies, radiation therapies and other treatments that can either cure or delay for many years the progression of most types of cancer.

Unfortunately, these therapies are not perfect and thus do not work for everyone. Cancer is still the second-leading cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 560,000 Americans every year. (Source:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Research scientists at University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center are working hard every day to find new, more effective drugs and therapies to fight cancer. But they cannot do it alone. To succeed, researchers need more people willing to volunteer for a clinical trial to determine how well these potential cancer treatments work. Today, there's a nationwide shortage of research volunteers and it is slowing progress in the fight against cancer. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about what it's like to be part of a clinical trial. Volunteering does not make you a guinea pig; it makes you a partner in the discovery process. If you have cancer, it's a way to make an important contribution to the future of medicine that only you can make.