Cancer Clinical Trials
Support Our Clinical Trials Program
To support our clinical trials program, please visit Hope In Motion.
You can also contact our Clinical Trials staff at 203.358.8879.
Our mission is to provide a broad range of high-quality studies focused on the needs of our communities. The team at Bennett Cancer Center gives you the opportunity to participate in the same studies as those found at the nation’s major cancer centers, but right here at home.
Clinical trials are research studies that test new cancer drugs, treatments, diagnostic procedures and therapies on humans. Each study tries to answer scientific questions and to find better ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat cancer. These studies follow pre-defined protocols that help doctors find ways to improve health and cancer care. New therapies are tested on people only after laboratory and animal studies show promising results.
Carefully conducted clinical trials are the fastest and safest way to find treatments that work. Clinical trials are strictly monitored and carefully evaluated. Your oncologist and the highly skilled physicians at Stamford Health will help you determine if you should participate in a clinical trial.
We offer National Cancer Institute trials, pharmaceutical studies and protocols written by our very own researchers. This gives you access to many leading edge chemotherapy, biotherapy, and immunotherapy treatments. We also believe in supplying you with personalized precision medicine with studies that look at prevention and treatment based on the special, even unique, characteristics of your genes.
The Stamford Health Bennett Cancer Center is accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer as an Academic Comprehensive Cancer Program and has received the Outstanding Achievement Award in the last two survey cycles. The hospital is also a long standing member of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG).
Before any medicine is made available to the public, it must undergo a clinical trial. Clinical research consists of four phases:
- Phase I trials evaluate how a new drug should be given, how often the drug should be given, and amounts for a safe dosage. A Phase I trial usually enrolls only a small number of patients.
- Phase II trials continue to test the safety of the drug, and begin to evaluate how well the new drug works, generally on a particular kind of cancer. In a Phase II trial, the study drug or treatment is given to larger groups of people (100-300).
- Phase III clinical trials compare standard treatments in combination with and without a new drug. In a Phase III trial, the study drug is given to large groups of people (1,000-3,000) to: confirm its effectiveness; monitor side effects; compare it to commonly used treatments; and collect information that will allow the drug or treatment to be used safely. The time frame for this phase usually is several years.
- Phase IV studies are done after the drug or treatment has been marketed. These studies continue testing the study drug or treatment to collect information about its side effects in various populations and any side effects associated with long-term use.
Therapeutic trials test experimental treatments, new combinations of drugs, or new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy.
Prevention trials 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 seek the best way to prevent cancer in people who have never had cancer or prevent cancer from returning or a new cancer occurring in people who have already had cancer.
Screening trials test the best way to find cancer, especially in its early stages.
Quality of Life trials
Quality of Life trials (also called Supportive Care trials) explore ways to improve comfort and quality of life for cancer patients.
All clinical trials have have specific guidelines such as age, type of disease, medical history, and current medical condition. Before you join a clinical trial, you must qualify for the study. The factors that allow you to participate in a clinical trial are called inclusion criteria and the factors that keep you from participating are called exclusion criteria. Inclusion and exclusion criteria are not used to reject people personally. Instead, the criteria are used to identify appropriate participants and keep them safe. The criteria help ensure that researchers will be able to answer the questions they plan to study. Whether you participate in a clinical trial or not is ultimately your choice. By discussing all of your options with your oncologist and our cancer care team, you will be better able to make a decision that is right for your unique situation.
Questions to Consider
- What is the purpose of the study?
- What kinds of tests and treatments does the study involve?
- What does the treatment do?
- Has the treatment been used before? Has it been used for other types of cancers?
- Will I know which treatment I receive?
- What are my other choices?
- How is this going to benefit me?
- What are the potential risks?
- What side effects can I expect from the study? Can the side effects be controlled?
- What are my responsibilities if I participate?
- Will the study cost me anything? Will any of the treatment be free?
- Does commercial insurance or Medicare/Medicaid cover any of the procedures of the trial?
- If I'm harmed as a result of the research, what treatment might I get?
- What are my rights as a participant in this study?