Participate in a Study

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If You Decide Against a Clinical Trial

Even if you decide not to participate in a clinical study, the fact that Seattle Cancer Care Alliance provides treatment for patients enrolled in clinical studies is a good reason to come here for your cancer treatment.

The reason? SCCA is a hub for the research conducted through its three partner organizations, and doing research on new therapies is an excellent indication that SCCA is committed to developing advances in cancer treatment.

"What you're going to get in the community setting is the best standard of care," says SCCA oncologist Dr. Robert Livingston. "… but the best standard of care is unfortunately none too good." Dr. Livingston points to the example of a woman with node-positive breast cancer who receives the standard chemotherapy regimen. Her chances of long-term, cancer-free survival are not better than 70 percent.

In addition, primary care doctors may not know what the latest treatments are, and they don't have the time to keep up with clinical studies. In focus groups conducted by the National Cancer Institute, primary care providers said they didn't feel they had the time to learn about studies, discuss them with their patients or do the necessary paperwork. They said oncologists should be the ones to discuss cancer clinical trials with patients.

"We have doctors who specialize in different areas of cancer treatment and research," says Dr. F. Marc Stewart, SCCA's medical director. "They have tremendous experience with a single disease or a narrow group of diseases."

The patients SCCA attracts are often savvy health-care consumers, whether they choose to participate in clinical trials or not. They are interested in treatment options beyond those offered in the community setting, and they expect--and receive--a high standard of care.