Cancer Clinical Trials

The Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center is a site for a number of cancer clinical trials that are offered both through an agreement with Dana Farber/Partners Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute.  These programs provide access to cooperative group oncology trials as well as pharmaceutical company trials.  

Clinical trials are scientific studies during which new treatments – including drugs, diagnostic procedures, and other therapies – are tested in patients to see if they are safe and effective. Clinical trials have played an important role in the fight against cancer. They are the only scientific way to prove if a new treatment works better than current treatments. The advanced cancer treatments available today would never have been developed without clinical trials.

Physicians from Connecticut Oncology Group offer eligible patients access to cutting edge clinical research. Susanna Hong, M.D. is the local principal investigator for all cooperative group oncology studies, and Robert Levy, M.D. serves as the local principal investigator for all pharmaceutical clinical trials.

Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials

Among our prostate cancer clinical trials is a study that looks at diet for those men who are on active surveillance for their prostate cancer.  

Another prostate cancer trial looks at radiation therapy with and without androgen deprivation therapy, or ADT.  ADT is a treatment for prostate cancer that reduces the production or effect of androgen hormones, such as testosterone, on which many prostate cancers depend.

For further information regarding clinical trials at Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center please contact Clinical Research Coordinators Bertha Robbins at 860-358-2085 or Beth Slifer at 860-358-2058.

Other Cancer Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are also offered for breast cancer, colon cancer, colorectal cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. These trials involve patients who are both newly diagnosed as well as those with advanced and recurrent cancer. The studies vary: some may be a comparison of different medication treatments, or different lengths of the same treatment, while others look at correlating certain biomarkers with treatment outcomes and the role of diagnostic testing for cancer staging and prognosis.

Should You Consider Participating in a Clinical Trial

If you’ve never been part of a clinical trial before, you may have concerns and questions about what to expect.

Who can be in a clinical trial for cancer?

To qualify for a particular study, patients must meet a carefully defined set of criteria. These usually relate to age and gender, cancer type and stage, and the types of treatments they have already received.

What information do patients receive about clinical trials?

Before agreeing to be in a study, patients learn about all possible risks and benefits of the therapy being studied. As the trial progresses, patients are given new information that may affect their willingness to stay in the trial. Patients may withdraw from the trial at any time.

How are patients protected?

Before any clinical trial begins, it must be approved by Middlesex Hospital’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), which includes both physicians and non scientific people. The IRB considers whether proposed studies are safe and well planned, and whether they will advance patient care. The IRB also reviews studies to ensure patients are informed about the risks of being in clinical research. In all studies, the health of each patient is closely followed during the course of the trial.

Clinical trials help scientists answer questions about new cancer therapies. Some clinical trials study a drug, a medical device, or a new way of doing surgery. Others test new ways to prevent disease, diagnose cancer, improve quality of life, or help people with cancer manage difficult psychological and social issues. Nearly all cancer drugs in use today were tested and made available to participants through clinical trials. Ask your doctor about the availability of clinical trials for your diagnosis.

For further information regarding clinical trials at Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center please contact Clinical Research Coordinators Bertha Robbins at 860-358-2085 or Beth Slifer at 860-358-2058.


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