Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) was formed, in part, to bring promising new treatments to patients faster. For people with cancer, this means more treatment options through SCCA than you might find elsewhere, including the chance to participate in one of many ongoing clinical studies conducted at SCCA and its founding organizations, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and UW Medicine.
Proton therapy’s efficacy in treating many types of cancer has been well established, but many questions remain unanswered. Our clinical studies hope to make an important contribution to medical science by helping doctors learn more about how effective proton therapy is in treating cancer when compared with other forms of radiation therapy, and when used in combination with other treatments such as chemotherapy and surgery. We also intend to examine outcomes for patients who receive the higher radiation doses made possible by this precise technology.
- See information about proton therapy clinical studies that are open and accepting patients through SCCA.
- For general information about clinical studies, see the patient guide to clinical studies.
Clinical studies, also called clinical trials, are carefully controlled research studies done with patients who volunteer. There are many requirements you must meet to be part of a study. If you qualify, it is up to you whether to take part.
Not all patients are cured with standard therapy, and some standard treatments may have side effects that patients and doctors would prefer to avoid, if possible. So patients may seek help through clinical studies. Patients who participate in 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 and potential new treatments.
Clinical Study Phases
Clinical studies 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.
Learn more about clinical studies.