Clinical Trials

What are clinical trials?

Clinical TrialsClinical trials are research studies that provide valuable information about the safety and effectiveness of promising new treatments.

Some trials evaluate new drugs that are not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for conventional cancer treatment. Other trials evaluate new ways of using FDA-approved drugs to enhance their effectiveness. This might involve changing the dose or trying different combinations of approved drugs. Researchers also assess new approaches to helping patients and loved ones deal with the emotional, social, and life challenges associated with cancer.

Harrison patients have access to leading-edge clinical trials
As members of major cancer-research cooperatives funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Harrison physicians participate in clinical trials in cooperation with cancer centers throughout the nation. This means you have access to the same leading-edge treatments available to eligible patients in Seattle and Tacoma—at all three Harrison Oncology Clinics Bremerton and Poulsbo. Clinical research coordinator, Karen Kearns, will help determine your eligibility to participate in a clinical trial. For more information, call (253) 831-3423.

Patients who join clinical trials gain access to new treatments that are not yet widely available. They also have the satisfaction of knowing they are helping to advance medical science, which will benefit future patients.

By their nature, experimental treatments involve risks, as well. However, strict safeguards are in place to monitor patient welfare and ensure that studies follow ethical and scientific standards. Your physician can help you weigh the risks and potential benefits of participating in a clinical trial.

Trial sponsors typically cover costs associated with the research portion of a participant’s treatment, including extra tests that might be required for the study. Before joining a clinical trial, make sure you understand what your costs will be. Your medical team and insurance provider should work together to give you the answers you need.