With our mission to provide cutting-edge care to our patients, our providers at Southwest Women’s Oncology may recommend clinical trials as a treatment option for your cancer.  We work closely with Optimum Clinical Research Group, LLC, to offer a number of clinical trials across all disease sites.  These trials are sponsored by the GOG Foundation, cooperative groups, and industry pharmaceutical companies.

Our Medical Director, Doctor Karen Finkelstein, has acted as a Principal Investigator and Sub-Investigator on more than 50 studies and has extensively published and presented in the field of gynecologic oncology and gynecology.  Within the New Mexico community, she has served as the Chief of Surgery and as a Medical Executive Committee Member at Lovelace Medical Center.  She also previously served many years on the New Mexico Cancer Care Alliance Executive Board helping New Mexican patients gain access to clinical trials.  Utilizing her vast experience, she then partnered with Optimum Clinical Research Group, LLC to have more immediate control of the types and breadths of trials our patients need to fight their cancers.   We plan to expand our trial offerings to include women’s health, primary care, exercise & environmental medicine, and integrative therapeutics studies.


Optimum Clinical Research Group, LLC is our own clinical research program based in Albuquerque, NM. We finished renovating a state-of-the-art facility in November of 2020 and are excited to start enrolling subjects for trials.  We are now independent from the New Mexico Cancer Care Alliance.  Our goal is to provide expert and efficient access to state-of-the-art national and international clinical trials within our private practice centered on you as part of our Southwest Women’s Oncology family.


When someone chooses to take part in a clinical trial, the care they receive is much like the care they would otherwise receive. However, there is often additional monitoring for the purpose of learning about potential side effects and benefits of the clinical trial. Some trials simply test a study regimen, and all participants receive this same regimen. Other trials may compare a study regimen to the standard treatment. In this type of study, participants are randomly assigned to receive one or the other. Neither the participant nor their doctor can choose which one they will receive for important scientific reasons. Some people worry that they will not know which drug they are receiving or that they will receive a placebo, sometimes called a “sugar pill”. Placebos are never used in place of a treatment that is known to work. Participants will always be told before agreeing to take part if a placebo is going to be considered. Tests that are not part of standard care are covered by the research study.


National Institutes of Health- Understanding Clinical Trials

National Cancer Institute- Understanding Clinical Trials

National Cancer Institute – Clinical Trials Information for Patients and Caregivers

National Cancer Institute- Paying for Clinical Trials

National Cancer Institute- Patient Safety in Clinical Trials

National Cancer Institute- Deciding to Take Part in a Clinical Trial

National Cancer Institute- Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Treatment Clinical Trials


“They were very empathetic, very knowledgeable, very efficient and they are my friends today.  I love them all. I come in here just to say hi to everybody and Dr. Finkelstein. I have complete and total trust in her and her abilities.  Everything she has told me and done is just above board and I have complete faith in her.”


“I was so comforted and excited to have someone listen and hear what I had to say and actually supported me. I appreciated the balance immensely of true knowledge and willingness to be open to what I was finding in regard to alternative medicine.”


“I’m grateful that Karen came into my life. She has so much integrity and love for her patients and  if you end up here you are in a good place.”


“She made sure I understood everything. If I had questions after hours, I could always call her on her cell. I never felt like I was a burden. I know Dr. Finkelstein is here for me.”


“I was very impressed when I met Dr. Finkelstein. She was relatable. She has two young children and a career. I have two young children and a career.”


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To help women triumph over their gynecologic and oncology needs in a warm and nurturing way.

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