Clinical Trials at Southeastern Medical Oncology Center
Expanding your treatment options and chances for cure.
At SMOC, we are committed to finding cures for cancer, and our doctors are nationally recognized for their contributions to this effort. One key way we are helping advance the fight against cancer is by getting involved in the investigation of new treatment options via clinical trials.
By participating in more than 100 different clinical trials (investigations of new potential treatments), we’re able to offer alternative options — and new hope — for people who don’t respond well to standard-of-care treatments.
What is a “clinical trial”?
A clinical trial is a research study designed to test new medical techniques (medications, devices, etc.) and their effectiveness in the prevention, detection, diagnosis and cure of diseases. Clinical trials are investigations that let doctors determine if new approaches are safe, and identify the benefits and risks associated with them.
Clinical trials are, in fact, the method by which all medical therapies, devices and techniques are evaluated. Therefore, all treatments used today were first investigated through clinical trials. Likewise, tomorrow’s standard-of-care treatments will first go through clinical trials, and they may be getting investigated today. Without clinical trials, new drugs and treatments for cancer would not be investigated, get approved or come into use to benefit patients.
SMOC: Broad access to leading clinical trials.
At Southeastern Medical Oncology Center, we actively participate in several nationally and internationally recognized cancer investigational consortiums funded by the National Cancer Institute, including:
- National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project
- Southwest Oncology Group
- Radiation Therapy Oncology Group
- Cancer and Leukemia Group B
- University of Rochester Cancer Center
In fact, SMOC is involved in the same clinical studies as major cancer centers, such as UNC, Duke and Sloan Kettering. Southeastern Medical Oncology Center is also active in pharmaceutical company trials for the development of emerging cancer therapies. This enables us to offer you or your loved one the “beyond-state-of-the-art” care people assume is only available at these major institutions.
Should you participate in a clinical trial?
The decision to participate in a cancer clinical trial, or not, is an important decision that only you can make… and which should be considered carefully. Your views on scientific evidence, your feelings about your disease and your personal attitudes about health are all vital to consider.
Researching clinical trials is likely the best way to start figuring out if they may be right for you. Discussing the issue with your oncology specialist and your family is also vitally important. Clinical trials are not for everyone. So it’s important to weigh all aspects of the studies in your decision, including these considerations:
- Care from cancer specialists on the leading edge of their field
- Access to new drugs that may not be otherwise available
- Information from your experience that can benefit other patients and possibly the future of cancer treatment
- Advancement of the scientific knowledge of cancer and cancer treatment
- The risk of side effects
- You may not be able to choose treatment in trials, such as in Phase III where treatments are randomly assigned
- Your health insurance plan may not cover the study
- Clinical trials may require more time than standard treatment
Cancer Clinical Trials in Your Community - NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP)
Researchers in the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) describe this national network of more than 9,000 doctors, nurses and research staff at over 1,000 sites across the United States, Puerto Rico and Guam. The program makes it easier for people from diverse settings to enroll in cancer clinical trials and seeks to improve cancer care for everyone.
If you are considering participating in a clinical study, be sure to consult with your SMOC oncologist. He or she can recommend trials that may be most appropriate for you and answer any additional questions you may have about side effects, benefits, costs and quality-of-life.
To see which clinical trials SMOC is currently participating in, click here to link to Southeast Clinical Oncology Research Consortium.