Participate in a Study
SCCA was formed, in part, to bring promising new treatments to patients faster. For salivatory cancer patients this means more treatment options at SCCA than might be found elsewhere, including participation in one of many ongoing clinical research studies conducted at SCCA and its parent organizations, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and UW Medicine.
Not all patients are cured with standard therapy and some standard treatments may have more side effects than are desired; therefore, patients may seek help through a clinical research study. Patients who participate in clinical research studies have the first chance to benefit from treatments that have shown promise in earlier research. They also make an important contribution to medical science by helping doctors learn more about the disease.
Clinical trials come in four phases. In Phase I trials, researchers try to determine safe dose levels. In Phase II trials, which involve a larger group of patients, researchers hope to build on what they learned in the first phase by trying to establish whether cancers will respond to the safe dose levels and to determine what side effects will occur. In Phase III trials, researchers compare the experimental treatment with the standard treatment or a placebo to prove whether the new treatment is truly effective. In Phase IV trials, researchers monitor the effects of long-term usage.
For more information about clinical studies, see the Patient Guide to Clinical Trials
which includes Myths vs Facts.