The Importance of Colorectal Cancer Research
Clinical research for the treatment of colorectal cancer has brought many new therapies to patients with colon and rectal cancer over the past two decades. It used to be a much more difficult type of cancer to treat! Creating new and better ways to treat colorectal cancer is exactly why Cancer Care Centers of Brevard is dedicated to actively participating in clinical trials for colon and rectal cancers. We want to ensure the forward progress of treatments for our patients and colorectal cancer patients everywhere. So what goes into a cancer research trial for colorectal cancer?
Clinical Trials for Colon Cancer in Brevard County
Clinical trials are carefully conducted scientific studies run by cancer research specialists that focus on creating new or improved cancer treatments that produce better outcomes for patients. These research studies rely on volunteer participation. Some of our patients are able to be a part of this groundbreaking research as part of their colorectal cancer treatment process.
The research study is designed to pinpoint better options for patients with certain stages of colorectal cancer. That’s why a particular trial is only available to certain patients. Each trial studies something very specific such as different doses of medicines, new combinations of therapies such as chemotherapy and immunotherapy, or in some cases, a completely new drug that is showing promise in early stages of the research process.
Cancer Care Centers of Brevard is excited to be a part of cancer research that shapes the future of our patients and patients around the world who are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and other types of cancer.
Is a Clinical Trial Right for Me?
In some situations, your oncologist may recommend that you participate in a clinical trial as the next step in your colorectal cancer treatment process. It’s important to understand that not everybody is a candidate, and the guidelines will vary. Guidelines may include age, gender, past treatments you’ve received, and/or the stage of your cancer. These guidelines are in place for your safety and the purpose of the research. Your oncologist will set up a time for you to meet with your cancer research team so you can discuss your eligibility and go over the specifics of the clinical trial to ensure that you understand the entire process.
While there are possible benefits with clinical trials, there is also the possibility of more appointments and tests which could take more time out of your schedule. If a cancer research trial is suggested for you, please discuss the pros and cons with your doctor and the people close to you.
Common Questions About Clinical Trials
Being part of colorectal cancer research is a big decision that should be weighed carefully. As a brief overview, we’ve put together a few of our most asked questions with supporting answers.
What are the different types of clinical trials?
The core type of trial is treatment trials, prevention trials, screening trials, and quality of life trials. They each focus on different aspects of a cancer diagnosis to better serve the needs of the patient. For most patients at Cancer Care Centers of Brevard, a treatment trial is the recommendation.
Why should I consider a clinical trial?
There are many reasons you may consider participating in a clinical trial. First, you will have access to treatment that is not yet available to the public. Usually, clinical trials are low-cost or no-cost treatments, and you will have some of the best oncologists in the nation, including our own right here in Brevard County, focused on your treatment. There is also the peace of mind in knowing that you are part of something that may improve other cancer patients' lives.
What are the possible risks of clinical trials?
Clinical trials may have unknown side effects, and there is the chance that the clinical trial won’t be better than your current treatment. In some instances, medical insurance may not cover all of the costs associated with the treatment.
Who pays for the clinical trial treatment?
There are two ways that clinical trials are paid for. First, the patient care costs are the costs related to treating your cancer, whether you are receiving standard or trial care. These costs are those covered by health insurance. Research costs are those related to taking part in the trial. While these costs are usually not covered by insurance, they are usually paid for by the research trial's sponsor.
Do I have to participate in a trial?
No. Clinical trials are always voluntary. Additionally, you may also leave a clinical trial at any point if you choose to do so.
You should also be sure to ask comparison questions about your current treatment and how it compares to what is offered in the clinical trial. Of course, you should always feel free to ask your oncologist and medical team any questions you may have about the clinical trial.
Committed to Colorectal Cancer Research in Melbourne, Palm Bay and all of Brevard County
At Cancer Care Centers of Brevard, we are committed to continuing our cancer research program because it’s such a critical part of advancing cancer treatment for our patients and cancer patients everywhere. If you think you might qualify for a clinical trial available at Cancer Care Centers of Brevard, please call for an appointment at our Palm Bay location.