Many breast cancer patients at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center get promising therapies by taking part in clinical trials. These research studies are done by physicians and scientists from Fred Hutch and UW Medicine. They test new treatments and discover new ways to use current treatments.
Through this work, we are looking for answers to three main questions: How can we do even better at detecting breast cancer early? How can we make treatments work better? How can we make treatments less toxic and easier on patients?
We have clinical trials for all stages of breast cancer, from early to metastatic. Our studies test dozens of treatment options, including:
- Chemotherapy regimens
- Endocrine therapy
- Targeted therapies
- Immunotherapies, including immune checkpoint inhibitors and cellular immunotherapies
- Radiation therapy
- Vaccine therapy
Fred Hutch is a national leader in advancing these and other options, bringing new hope to patients.
When your care team makes your treatment plan, they will give you the choice to join clinical trials that match your situation. Your care team will talk with you about if you might want to join a study and why. This can help you can make the decision that is best for you.
In the spring of 2012, Maria Pearson was grooming one of her horses when he tossed his head to dispel flies and knocked Pearson in the chest, causing her left breast to swell up. A few months later, she fell off that same horse, broke her hand and tore her rotator cuff. It was a rough few months, to say the least.
Some might say she was at the peak of health and fitness. The prior summer, Ali Spain completed the TransRockies Run, a six-day ultra trail race that covered 120 miles at elevation in the Rocky Mountains. Then at the age of 47, her breast cancer diagnosis changed everything.
Science says: Cracking the code in solid tumors
Scientists are working on targeted new therapies for breast cancer and other solid tumors. Dr. Nancy Davidson, who has helped bridge the connection between patient care and cancer research, explains which advances in breast cancer treatment are most exciting.
Risk vs. benefit: Bisphosphonates in breast cancer
These common drugs can help prevent and treat the spread of breast cancer to bones, and they may even keep early breast cancer (ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS) in check. But they also have both short- and long-term side effects that patients should know about.
Enobosarm may represent a safe, new hormone treatment approach for AR+, ER+ metastatic breast cancer
It is important not only that any new treatment fights breast cancer but also that patients can live with the treatment’s effects. Dr. Hannah Linden explains a new endocrine therapy that shows promise against the disease and for patients’ quality of life.
A metastatic breast cancer journey: family first
Watch as patient Liz Satterfield and Fred Hutch’s Dr. Hannah Linden talk about Liz’s experience with breast cancer and the new treatments being developed. “We’re getting much better at controlling the disease,” Linden says, “and buying patients a longer period of quality time.”
Preventing brain metastasis in breast cancer
Breast cancer cells can spread through the body and settle in the brain long before they make tumors there. Fred Hutch physicians hope to prevent brain metastases by learning what keeps these cells “asleep” for so long and what finally wakes them up.
A breast tumor might have thousands of mutations. Which are important?
To design new targeted treatments, physicians need to know which changes in breast tumor cells drive the cancer and which are passengers, just along for the ride. A new method developed at Fred Hutch may provide answers that will lead to more precise treatment.