Conducting therapeutic clinical trials is our primary focus.
For a full list of our open clinical trials use the Research Studies drop down menu above.
When deciding on whether or not to take part in a research study it is helpful to consider whether there is a standard of care treatment available and if it is working for you.
For every type and stage of cancer, there are recommended standard of care regimens. Standard of care is treatment has been tested and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) and is considered the most safe and effective treatment currently available. When a patient has tried standard of care treatment for the type and stage of her disease and it is no longer effective, a clinical trial may be the best option. Your doctor can discuss the standard of care and clinical trial options with you.
If standard of care is no longer the best option, ask your doctor if there is a clinical trial available. If a trial is available, discuss with your doctor the type of trial and the goal. The study Informed Consent Form (ICF) explains in layperson terms the purpose of the clinical trial, the number of visits required, and the expected side effects. If you are interested in a clinical trial and your doctor confirms you may be eligible, ask for a copy of the ICF to review.
Phase I: The aim of Phase I clinical trials is to find the optimal dosing regimen of a new (experimental) treatment. The first patients on the trial receive a low dose of the treatment and are closely monitored. If there are no side effects or only minor ones, the next group of patients will get a higher dose. This process continues until the dose most likely to have the most benefit and acceptable side-effects is found.
Phase II: Phase II clinical trials find out how well the experimental treatment works. All the patients on the trial receive the same dose and get tests and scans to see how well the treatment is working.
Phase III: Phase III clinical trials compare the experimental treatment to the currently approved treatment called "standard of care.” Patients are randomly assigned to get either the new experimental treatment or standard of care treatment. If a clinical trial is blinded, only the study pharmacist knows which patients have been assigned to each group. Blinding helps assure that observations made by the doctor and research team and the patient's experience are not influenced by knowing of which treatment, standard care or experimental treatment, the patient is receiving. Phase III studies assure that there is no selection or treatment bias which would invalidate study results.
Phase IV: Post Marketing Surveillance. After a drug has been approved by the FDA and becomes standard of care, patients are asked to take part in long term follow-up to determine if there are side effects that develop years or decades after the drug was approved.
In addition to clinical trials, our unit also supports survey and qualitative research.
Laboratory research is conducted by our colleagues in The Center for Ovarian Cancer Research.