Clinical trials are research studies in which people help doctors find ways to improve health and cancer care. Each study at Baptist tries to answer scientific questions and to find better ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat cancer. A clinical trial is one of the final stages of a long and careful cancer research process. Studies are done with cancer patients to find out whether promising approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment are safe and effective.
Different types of clinical trials:
- Treatment trials that test new treatments (such as a new cancer drug, new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy, new combinations of treatments, or new methods, such as gene therapy).
- Prevention trials that test new approaches, such as medicines, vitamins, minerals, or other supplements that doctors believe may lower the risk of a certain type of cancer. These trials look for the best way to prevent cancer in people who have never had cancer, or to prevent cancer from returning, or to prevent a new cancer occurring in people who have already had cancer.
- Screening trials that test the best way to find cancer, especially in its early stages.
- Quality of life trials, also called supportive care trials, that explore ways to improve comfort and quality of life for cancer patients.
Patients within the Baptist system can participate in groundbreaking clinical trials through the Baptist Cancer Center. Baptist, with its network of community hospitals, offers opportunity for research as well as treatment. As we put an increased emphasis on research protocols, higher levels of care can be provided to patients and their families. The best care for cancer patients begins with the best research. As Baptist becomes more involved in clinical research protocols both locally and nationally, additional treatment options will be available to physicians in the Baptist system, and state-of-the-art care will be enhanced for Memphis and Mid-South residents.
For more information about our clinical trials, read through our Clinical Trial FAQ.