What are Clinical Trials?
Clinical trials are the final stages of cancer research that assess a potential new drug or therapy that’s already been studied extensively in the laboratory. Trials are carefully monitored scientific studies that involve patients and offer the earliest access to these newest treatment options. Trials are conducted to determine a drug’s proper dose, how well it works and whether it’s more effective than current standard treatments. All drugs, treatment modalities and combinations currently used as standard of care were once studied in clinical trials.
Why It Matters
Participating in a clinical trial is the only way to access the very latest options, oftentimes years before they become available to other providers. Some of the newest immunotherapies, recently approved by the FDA, have been available to patients at Roswell Park since 2011. Our physicians have nearly a decade of experience with these therapies now, and many of our patients were among the first to benefit from them.
What Options are Available to Bladder Cancer Patients?
The robust research program at Roswell Park provides our patients with more options to maximize their survival, including access to:
- Latest new agents – Roswell Park has multiple trials that offer new agents (potential new drugs) to kill cancer cells or that may maximize the effect of other standard therapies such as intravesical therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiation therapy.
- New drug combinations – Researchers are evaluating different combinations of chemotherapy drugs, immunotherapy drugs and combining chemotherapy and immunotherapy drugs to determine whether the new combinations work better than existing combinations.
- Immunotherapies – One of the reasons that cancer is able to grow is because the cancer cells have fooled the immune system into thinking the malignant cells are normal and don’t need to be attacked. Immunotherapy approaches aim to unmask the cancer cells, triggering and magnifying the body’s immune response.
- New options for advanced or treatment-resistant disease such as antibody drug conjugates or targeted chemotherapy delivery approaches.