Clinical trials program

This page was reviewed under our medical and editorial policy by
Maurie Markman, MD, President, Medicine & Science at CTCA.

This page was updated on July 22, 2022.

Clinical trials program

Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) offers clinical trials as part of our commitment to bringing our patients new and innovative cancer treatment options, especially for patients with advanced cancer or who may have run out of standard-of-care approaches. The research team at CTCA® carefully identifies and studies new and emerging treatment options that are supported by good clinical practices and scientific and investigational research. Our goal is to find those with the strongest likelihood of positively impacting our oncology patients, so we are better able to offer new treatments options.

What is a clinical trial?

Clinical studies evaluate the safety and effectiveness of new approaches to treating cancer, either with new drug development, new technologies or by using existing treatments in new ways. New treatments often take years of study before they win regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While the trials take their course, they often offer participating patients new options that may otherwise be unavailable to them, especially after exhausting conventional cancer treatments. Our research team makes one of our medical centers a clinical trial site only after careful consideration of the relative benefit to our patients.

Clinical trials are an essential testing ground for studying drugs, health care products, medical devices and other treatments before they can be granted government approval. Trials with human subjects are categorized in phases (Phase 0, Phase I, Phase II, Phase III, Phase IV), with each phase bringing the treatment closer to satisfying regulatory requirements. Generally speaking, researchers study whether the treatments:

  • Are effective in treating cancer
  • Work better than existing therapies used to treat a particular cancer
  • Are safe for patients
  • Cause serious side effects

Some of these trials may study new chemotherapy drugs, surgical approaches or radiation therapy technologies. Others may explore whether a new or existing treatment works better in combination with others. One of the most exciting areas of cancer research focuses on precision treatment options. The new generation of precision drugs is generally designed to deliver more targeted, less toxic therapies. Typically, today’s precision-focused trials study new drugs that are not yet on the market, or new uses for existing drugs—to determine whether they can be used to treat additional cancer types, for example.

Do I qualify?

Because every clinical research study is different, the eligibility criteria vary from trial to trial. Trial qualifications may limit enrollment to those with a particular type or subtype of cancer or a specific genomic mutation, or a particular age range or cancer stage. Many trials enroll participants who have exhausted conventional treatment options or who are no longer responding to those treatments. Not every patient is a candidate for available clinical trials. Your CTCA care team will work with you to determine if you qualify for an existing trial and, if so, will assist you in enrolling.

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