What is a Cancer Clinical Trial?

When you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, learning about what a clinical trial is and deciding what treatment to pursue can be daunting. When you’ve exhausted the available cancer treatment options, whether through radiation oncology, hematology-oncology or some other specialty, it can be scary to think that’s there isn’t a treatment option left. Fortunately, clinical trials can provide hope and alternative treatment options for cancer patients who need them.

What Are Cancer Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are the last phase in getting regulatory approval for new pharmaceutical medications, devices or protocols. After months or years of research and testing in the lab and, in many cases, on animals, human testing is needed to ensure safety and effectiveness. Clinical trials are conducted at many research institutions, hospitals, and community based clinics (or practices) around the world.

Why Clinical Trials Exist

Clinical trials exist to get new treatment options to patients. For instance, a clinical trial about investigational breast cancer treatments may lead to more successful outcomes for breast cancer surgeons and their patients. In addition to measuring safety, clinical trials can determine if a new therapy works, makes no difference or further impairs patients.

Who Benefits From Clinical Trials

Many people benefit from clinical trials. First, patients involved in clinical trials receive life-saving treatment earlier than it would normally be available. This is ideal for cancer patients who haven’t responded to approved therapies. For patients who cannot afford treatment, involvement in a clinical trial is sometimes at no cost to the patient. Second, researchers, doctors, and pharmaceutical manufacturers benefit by having humans to test their experimental cancer treatments on.

Third, no matter what the outcome of the trial, future cancer patients strongly benefit from clinical trials. If a new medication or treatment proves to be successful, future patients will be able to use it as a regular part of their treatment. If the clinical trial fails, future patients will not be exposed, and researchers can identify drugs that could provide better outcomes in the future.

How Clinical Trials Are Conducted

Human clinical trials are conducted in three different phases. Depending on the actual trial, there might be more phases. The first phase involves a small number of patients, and the primary concern is the safety or side effects of the treatment. Clinical trials do not aim to hurt people, so at first, the first phase stays small so researchers can closely monitor what happens. This phase happens after a lot of research has already been conducted in the lab, so there is less chance of a foreseeable adverse reaction.

The second phase also uses a small group of people. Instead of just focusing on safety, this phase examines how well the proposed treatment works. If the results still look promising, a third phase involves a larger number of people with less stringent guidelines. For example, if an earlier phase only allowed geriatric patients to be involved, this phase might expand the parameters to evaluate possible side effects and compare alternative treatments to see which is better for whom.

How to Participate in a Clinical Trial

For patients interested in participating in a clinical trial, the first step is to try conventional cancer treatment options, if possible. Many trials will ask what you’ve already tried. Next, patients need to find clinical trials through online databases, their oncologist or a local cancer center to see who’s eligible to participate.

Maryland Oncology Hematology currently has active clinical trials for breast cancer, lung cancer, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), metastatic malignancies, multiple myeloma, supportive therapies and gastric cancers. These include clinical trials for many different stages of these cancers. To participate, you should ask your oncologist or contact Maryland Oncology Hematology directly.

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What Is Head and Neck Cancer?

Head and neck cancers, as you may have guessed, affect areas of the head and neck. These cancers aren’t common (they account for about 3% of all malignant cancers in the United States). And, according to the National Cancer Institute, head and neck cancer diagnosis have been declining for decades. So have mortality rates.

Continue reading “What Is Head and Neck Cancer?”

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Maryland Oncology Hematology and The US Oncology Network Welcome Cynthia Plate M.D. F.A.C.S, Specialist In Breast Surgery

Dr. Plate brings a new line of treatment services to the clinic, offering patients cutting-edge breast preservation techniques

 

Silver Spring, MD- November, 2020 Maryland Oncology Hematology, the premier provider of cancer services in the Maryland region, announced today it has added a breast surgical oncologist to the practice, enhancing the comprehensive multidisciplinary care it provides to breast patients. Cynthia Plate M.D. F.A.C.S specializes in breast surgery and has extensive training and experience in the field. MOH has been serving cancer patients in the Maryland area for over 40 years, providing patients convenient access to leading cancer experts and the most advanced cancer therapies available today.

Dr. Plate has many years of rigorous education, training, and experience focusing on breast disease and surgery, providing her with a superior understanding of breast cancer biology, genetics, and advanced oncoplastic surgical techniques and breast preservation procedures. By adding Dr. Plate to the practice, MOH’s new White Oak Cancer Center enhances its ability to offer multidisciplinary team care for all types of complex breast issues, including benign breast disease, malignancies, and management of high-risk patients. Seamless high-quality care is provided by a collaborative team of specialists in breast surgery, medical and radiation oncology, diagnostic imaging, pathology, genetic risk evaluation, and supportive care.

“Dr. Plate shares our passion of providing exceptional multidisciplinary cancer care, and we are delighted to have her join our growing practice” said Dr. Joseph Haggerty, President at Maryland Oncology Hematology. “With her focus on new surgical advancements in breast cancer treatment, Dr. Plate will be a great addition to our breast cancer team as we seek to deliver the best breast cancer treatment in the Maryland Region.”

Cynthia Plate M.D. F.A.C.S is board-certified in general surgery and is a breast care specialist. She previously worked with Adventist HealthCare Medical Group.

Dr. Plate graduated from Howard University College of Medicine and completed her internship and residency at Howard University Hospital

“Specializing in women’s breast health, I’m committed to providing my patients with exceptional and compassionate care,” said Dr. Plate. “I’m thrilled to join the MOH team where we can continue to deliver leading-edge cancer care to our community.”

Dr. Plate is currently seeing patients at MOH’s Silver Spring White Oak Cancer Center office. Timely appointments are available for newly referred patients, typically within 24 hours, to provide a high level of support and prompt access to care. Please call 301-933-3216 to make an appointment

 

About Maryland Oncology Hematology

 

Maryland Oncology Hematology is an affiliate of The US Oncology Network (The Network). This

collaboration unites MOH with more than 1,400 independent physicians dedicated to delivering value-based, integrated care for patients — close to home. Through The Network, these independent doctors come together to form a community of shared expertise and resources dedicated to advancing local cancer care and to delivering better patient outcomes. The US Oncology Network is supported by McKesson Specialty Health, whose coordinated resources and infrastructure allow doctors in The Network to focus on the health of their patients, while McKesson focuses on the health of their practices. MOH participates in clinical trials through US Oncology Research, which has played a role in more than 70 FDA-approved cancer therapies, approximately one-third of all cancer therapies approved by the FDA to date. For more information, visit www.usoncology.com.

 

About US Oncology Network

Maryland Oncology Hematology is a practice in The US Oncology Network (The Network). This collaboration unites the practice with more than 1,200 independent physicians dedicated to delivering value-based, integrated care to patients — close to home. Through The Network, these independent doctors come together to form a community of shared expertise and resources dedicated to advancing local cancer care and to delivering better patient outcomes. The Network is supported by McKesson Corporation, whose coordinated resources and infrastructure allow doctors in The Network to focus on the health of their patients, while McKesson focuses on the health of their practices. Maryland Oncology Hematology also participates in clinical trials through US Oncology Research, which has played a role in more than 100 FDA-approved cancer therapies.

 

 

Media Contacts:

 

Mark W Lamplugh Jr

The US Oncology Network

(561) 762-9729

mark.lamplugh@usoncology.com

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