Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) was formed, in part, to advance cancer treatment through research. Many of our patients benefit from taking part in clinical studies conducted at SCCA and its founding organizations, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and UW Medicine, or from what our doctors have learned from previous studies.
- See information about esophageal cancer clinical studies that are currently open and accepting patients at SCCA.
- For general information about clinical studies, see the Patient Guide to Clinical Studies.
Not all patients are cured with standard therapy, and some standard treatments may have uncomfortable side effects. So patients may seek help through clinical studies. Doctors at SCCA are constantly working to develop new and improved treatments through such studies.
Patients who participate in clinical studies, also called clinical trials, 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.
Every advance in cancer treatment has come from a clinical trial. Talk to your doctor to find out if a clinical trial might be appropriate for you.
Clinical Trial Basics
Clinical trials come in four phases:
- In Phase I trials, investigators try to determine the 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.