Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) was formed, in part, to bring promising new treatments to patients faster. For uterine sarcoma patients, this means more treatment options at SCCA than you might find elsewhere, including the chance to participate in one of many ongoing clinical studies, also called clinical trials, conducted at SCCA and its founding organizations, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and UW Medicine.
- See information about gynecologic cancer clinical trials that are currently open and accepting patients at SCCA.
- For general information about clinical trials, see the Patient Guide to Clinical Studies.
Uterine Cancer Research at SCCA
Doctors at SCCA are looking at the effectiveness of radiation therapy after surgery, as well as the combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy for uterine cancer. Other research includes the study of new drugs, new drug combinations, and biological therapies. Some of these studies are designed to find ways to reduce the side effects of treatment and to improve the quality of women’s lives.
Not all patients are cured with standard therapy, and some standard treatments may have more side effects than are desired. So patients may seek help through a clinical trial. Patients who participate in these 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. Although clinical trials may pose some risk, researchers take careful steps to protect people who take part.
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.