Clinical Trials Specialist

Charleston Oncology

Medical Oncology and Hematology Specialists located in Downtown Charleston, North Charleston, West Ashley & Mt Pleasant, SC

Until now, no one has discovered a silver bullet when it comes to curing cancer, but there has been a lot of progress in treating the disease, allowing people more opportunities to lead healthy, happy lives free from cancer. A large part of this progress is due to clinical trials, which Charleston Oncology in Downtown Charleston, North Charleston, West Ashley, and Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, area, is actively a participant. To find out whether you might qualify for a clinical trial, call our office to request a consultation.

Clinical Trials Q & A

What is a clinical trial?

Medicine is extremely tricky science, which requires years of research in a laboratory setting before it sees the light of day. It would be no exaggeration to say that, every day, there are thousands of researchers hunched over their equipment trying to find answers to cancer.

Once a researcher confirms that a protocol is safe within a laboratory setting and gains FDA approval for human testing, they send it out for clinical trials, which is the most critical step in evaluating the efficacy of a new intervention.

During a clinical trial, the researchers turn to the frontline of medicine — the doctors — to enlist their help in determining the following:

  • Potential side effects
  • Appropriate dosing
  • Efficacy

The FDA requires that a new treatment goes through three phases before getting final approval for broader use:

  • Phase I, which is an experimental phase with 20-80 people
  • Phase II expands the group to 100-300 to determine efficacy rates
  • Phase III, when anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand subjects are involved

If after these three phases the FDA determines the protocol is safe and effective, it grants access to Phase IV, which is widespread availability.

What are the advantages of a clinical trial?

The team at Charleston Oncology participate in clinical trials to help them advance their treatments. Taking part in the research phase of a new drug or intervention allows the practice to offer its clients the most cutting-edge care available.

Patients, in turn, can gain access to free medication, in some instances, as well as take part in something that could benefit the population at large.

How do I know what clinical trials are available?

The clinical trials at Charleston Oncology are continually changing as the team updates trials and take on new ones. The best way to find out whether there’s a clinical trial for your situation is to sit down with your doctor to review the possibilities.

The number of participants in most clinical trials is limited, and there are restrictions in place for each trial, which includes the stage of cancer you’re in, your age, and your health.

If you don’t qualify for a clinical trial or the practice doesn’t have one for your cancer, it doesn’t mean that you’re not still going to get the very best of care at Charleston Oncology.

To learn more about clinical trials, call Charleston Oncology to request an appointment.