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 approaches 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. If you have pancreatic cancer, you need the very best treatment today, not years from now.
Some current treatments for pancreatic cancer were developed and studied at Roswell Park, allowing our patients early access to these therapies. For example, the practice of combining the chemotherapy drug 5-fluorouracil with leucovorin (a drug that helps protect healthy cells from chemotherapy) was developed at Roswell Park in the 1950s and 1960s. Most recently, Roswell Park participated in the landmark trial through which nanoparticle albumin bound paclitaxel (Abraxane) — now one of the most commonly used drugs in pancreatic cancer — became standard therapy for this disease.
What options are available for pancreatic cancer?
Through Roswell Park’s expansive research program, we’re able to offer our patients the newest drugs, novel therapeutic approaches and more ways to maximize their survival, including these.
- New targeted agents. Roswell Park researchers are evaluating the effectiveness of adding new agents targeting the metabolism of pancreatic cancer cells and other newly discovered targets in the tumor or its surroundings to approved chemotherapy regimens such as FOLFIRINOX.
- Chemotherapy/immunotherapy combinations. Researchers are currently studying the effectiveness of several new chemotherapy/immunotherapy drug combinations against certain pancreas cancer types.
- Phase 1 clinical trials that use very novel agents as cancer treatments to assess their potential effectiveness against cancer.