Breast Cancer Clinical Trials and Research
One way to get the latest treatment is to join a clinical trial. This may give you a chance to receive a new treatment that might otherwise be unavailable. It also helps us continue to improve the standard of care for breast cancer patients. Clinical trials study breast cancer imaging, genetics, radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, prevention, and treatment disparities. Speak with your health care team if you have questions or interest in any of our current clinical trials.
Our doctors work closely with partners in the pharmaceutical industry. We also collaborate with other research groups through the National Cancer Institute (NCI). You can learn more about clinical trials by visiting the websites of NCI-related organizations. One good example is the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology.
What is a Clinical Trial?
Clinical trials are research studies that test new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, or treat diseases like breast cancer with the help of patients like you. Many standard therapies used in cancer treatment today began as drugs that were initially tested in clinical trials. At Mount Sinai, we are committed to providing the best, most advanced care options, and we offer a wide range of clinical trials for patients with all breast cancer stages, and sub-types.
A clinical trial typically starts by testing a potential drug’s safety and dosing on a small number of patients; this is phase I. Next, the trial tests the efficacy of the new drug and compares it to the current standard drug; this is phase II. Finally, a large group of patients are randomized and blinded to either the experimental drug or the standard drug and the outcomes are compared; this is phase III. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) offers more detailed information about new clinical trials.
Why join a Clinical Trial?
By participating in a clinical trial, you may get access to promising new treatments or approaches that are not generally available. The treatment being studied may be more effective than the current standard treatment. In addition, you can feel good that your participation may help others in the future. You will help us move cancer research forward. Discuss your treatment options, including the possibility of participating in a clinical trial, with your breast cancer medical team.
Keep in mind that some people think clinical trials are only for people with no other options. That is a myth.
Participating in a Clinical Trial
Choosing to participate in a clinical trial is an important personal decision. It is also a voluntary one. You may not qualify for every clinical trial. It will depend on the purpose and phase of the trial. Before participating, you must meet all the eligibility criteria for the trial. You must also give your informed consent. Before deciding to join a clinical trial, consult with your doctor, your family members, or friends. Also, you can speak with the study research staff and ask questions about specific trials.
How can I find a Breast Cancer Clinical Trial?
Ask your doctor if you may be a candidate for a clinical trial. For a list of currently open breast cancer clinical trials, you can search for breast cancer clinical trials.