Clinical research trials increase treatment options available to the community and enhance quality of care. There are currently several treatment protocols ongoing at Sturdy Memorial Hospital through the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) and Cancer Trials Support Unit (CTSU). These networks bring together clinical oncologists and laboratory investigators to develop better treatments for cancer. Since Sturdy Memorial Hospital was awarded affiliate status in 2003, our patients have had local access to trials formerly available only at larger medical centers.
Our Institutional Review Board reviews new treatment protocols as they are developed. It is our goal through to ensure that we offer you options that provide a benefit beyond standard therapy. Most trials compare a new agent, combination of agents, or intervention with the current standard therapy. You must meet eligibility criteria to participate in a trial and will be made aware of all of your treatment options.
All Massachusetts health insurers and Medicare recognize clinical trials of the National Cancer Institute, as mandated by legislation. You would not incur additional fees for participating in a trial that is hoped to improve your care.
If you have a cancer diagnosis and are interested in finding out more about clinical trials, speak with your oncologist about your options.
The American Cancer Society is also a helpful resource and provides a Clinical Trials Guide, which includes free information and confidential matching services to help you learn about and find appropriate cancer clinical trials.