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Research at St. Luke’s Cancer Institute

Since our founding in 1969, St. Luke’s Cancer Institute has been committed to cancer research. Today, we’re pleased to offer you access to a wide variety of clinical trials focusing on improved cure rates, more effective treatments with fewer side effects, longer survival, and improved quality of life.

Highlights & Resources

Find Cancer Clinical Trials Available at St. Luke’s Cancer Institute

What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials, also called cancer treatment or research studies, test new treatments in people with cancer. The goal of this research is to find better ways to treat and help cancer patients. A clinical trial is one of the final stages of a long and careful research process that begins with computer models and proceeds through many rounds of laboratory tests. Treatments and procedures that prove safe and effective in the lab move into clinical trials, where they are studied in humans.

Why are clinical trials important?

Clinical trials are an important step in discovering new ways to diagnose, evaluate, treat, and prevent cancer, and are vital to keeping pace with the rapidly advancing field of oncology. These studies show healthcare professionals what is and is not effective, helping us decide if the side effects of a new treatment or procedure are acceptable when compared to the benefits.

Clinical trials allow doctors to offer patients the most current, cutting-edge medicines, equipment, procedures, and comfort measures that otherwise might not be available for years. There is no guarantee that participation in a clinical trial will improve a patient’s outcome, but if a new treatment proves effective, or more effective than standard treatment, study patients may be the first to benefit.

Medical research is vital to saving lives and improving quality of life, and is the foundation of every advancement that has been made in the field of oncology. More than 10 million cancer survivors are living in the U.S. today, and most owe their survival to the knowledge we have gained through years of research, to the insight and vision of scientists and physicians, and to the courage of patients who have taken part in clinical trials.

What’s it like to receive treatment in a clinical trial?

To participate in a clinical trial, you must meet the eligibility criteria for the study. We’ll review your medical record, and you may need to have additional tests, to see if you qualify. Each clinical trial has a strict treatment plan (protocol) that explains exactly what will happen, when it will happen, and why it will happen.

How do I decide if clinical trial participation is right for me?

Participation in clinical trials has potential benefits and can be a good choice for many patients. But as with any treatment option, there are risks. It’s important to discuss the risks, benefits, and alternatives of this decision with your doctor.