Helping Patients get Access to Local Studies
Under our care, Southwest Women’s Oncology doctors may explain why clinical trial participation may be recommended for your diagnosis. Our practice actively participates in a number of clinical trials across all disease sites that are sponsored by our national cooperative group or pharmaceutical companies.
New Mexico Care Alliance
Southwest Women’s Oncology works with the New Mexico Cancer Care Alliance (NMCCA) to support New Mexico cancer patients, their families, and their loved ones by helping patients get access to local investigational treatments and providing the latest information from cancer research studies. Doctor Finkelstein is a member of the governing board of the NMCAA.
NMCCA helps New Mexicans get access to new, investigational oncology research treatments by:
- Maintaining a registry of information about oncology clinical trials.
- Working with government agencies and pharmaceutical companies to bring clinical research trials to New Mexico.
- Handling the administrative work that is required to open and manage local research studies.
- Sponsoring training sessions for patients and physicians about the latest oncology research findings.
National Cancer Institute Clinical Trials Cooperative Group
Our team actively contributes to the Cancer Clinical Trials. The program is designed to promote and support clinical trials (research studies) of new cancer treatments, explore methods of cancer prevention and early detection and study quality-of-life issues and rehabilitation during and after treatment.
Cooperative groups include researchers, cancer centers and community physicians throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
The Cooperative Group Program involves more than 3,100 institutions that contribute patients to group-conducted clinical trials. More than 14,000 individual investigators are registered to participate in NCI-supported cooperative group studies. Cooperative groups place more than 25,000 new patients into cancer treatment clinical trials each year.
Understanding Clinical Trials
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.